Today, internet use is exploding, with the global data communication volume doubling every two years. This is caused by the expanding number of connected devices via the Internet of Things (IoT) and multiplied by the data consumption of those devices.
However, the radio spectrum commonly used for networks does not provide enough room to grow. This manifests in reduced stability and less effective coverage of wireless connectivity as well as slower throughput, frustrating user needs and expectations. There is also growing concern about security with radio-communication. Radio provides a blanket cover, under which anyone could sneak, as unsecured or ‘open’ networks are an eavesdropper’s paradise.
In order to keep up with the ever-growing amount of devices, many organizations today are starting to look into Light Fidelity (LiFi) technology in order to handle the high speed transmission of data.
This week, HomeGrid Forum, an industry alliance that brings together the world’s best in technology innovators, silicon vendors, system manufacturers, and service providers to promote and deploy G.hn, announced that Signify, a multinational lighting corporation that manufactures electric lights and light fixtures for consumers, professionals and the IoT, has joined the organization to expand the innovation and deployment of G.hn technology for Light Fidelity (LiFi) applications.
“This is an extremely exciting time for the LiFi community, and we are thrilled to welcome Signify as a Contributor member. Together we will enable innovation and network infrastructure that are fully interoperable with a growing number of devices, at a time when demand for reliable and secure connectivity is increasing,” said Livia Rosu, HomeGrid Forum President.
With a presence in over 70 countries, Signify has a global reach in LED lighting innovation and the expansion of lighting systems in both the professional and consumer markets. They also had already entered the LiFi industry, offering their Trulifi solution to help enable the transition to Industry 4.0 by creating safer Internet highways for government and defense, office workspaces, hospitality locations, AR/VR devices and factory machines.
“LiFi will build on an open standard to ensure full interoperability and widespread market acceptance. Signify’s expertise will be instrumental as the Forum continues to innovate G.hn technology for LiFi use cases in airports, banks, factories, government and defense organizations – all of which require simultaneous high security and low latency connectivity.” added Rosu
LiFi is a wireless communication technology that uses LEDs to transmit data at high speeds over the visible light, ultraviolet and infrared spectrums, and provides network connectivity within the premises like Wi-Fi does, but uses light waves instead of radio signals. LiFi enables data to be transmitted between multiple connected devices with the light spectrum providing low latency and avoiding the interruption that can often happen with congested radio frequency spectrum.
As digital transformation accelerates to meet the growing demand for ultra-fast connectivity, LiFi will play a critical role in complementing Wi-Fi and providing a secure, reliable and spectrum-saving solution. However, for LiFi to reach its full connectivity potential for sensitive sectors such as financial services, healthcare and robotics, it will require a robust, reliable and proven physical layer encoding technology and a strong, solid backbone that connects the LEDs.
G.hn technology, a standard of the International Telecommunications Union – Telecommunications (ITU-T) organization, promoted and certified by the HomeGrid Forum, can be the solution necessary for both needs. It supports PLC but also accommodates other wired media like twisted-pair telephone wiring and cable TV coax. Its main applications are home networking, Internet access, and connecting TV sets, DVD players, set-top boxes, and other video equipment
“Standardization is the cornerstone for LiFi interoperability, which is an essential condition for lowering barriers to adoption, encouraging competition and innovation, and building consumer confidence,” said Musa Unmehopa, Head of Ecosystems and Strategic Alliances at Signify. “We join HomeGrid Forum to grow the LiFi ecosystem in which we collectively create and build a global market where we can all compete effectively and serve consumers.”
Using the light spectrum with LiFi technology does offer a myriad of benefits compared to radio waves with common wifi networks. One of its biggest benefits come with its efficiency, as since LiFi makes use of VLC technology, which in turn makes use of highly-efficient LED bulbs, users are able to enjoy lower costs in terms of energy consumption.
Another big advantage of LiFi is that the usage of light allows LiFi connections to occur almost instantaneously because light travels at extremely fast speeds. This results in faster transmission of data and faster internet connections, about 100 times faster than speeds achievable by WiFi (News - Alert).
Finally, the source is readily available nearly everywhere. Because there are already 14 billion light bulbs all over the entire world, its availability is never in question as there can be as many LiFi networks available as there are light bulbs.
With the ever-growing demand for connectivity, LiFi is just becoming more well known recently, but isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The Li-fi Market is expected to register a CAGR of over 70 percent between now and 2024. This might just be because when coupled with G.hn technology and used as a companion with the wireless networks already in place, LiFi technology has the potential to increase connectivity for all on a global scale.
“The capabilities of G.hn are critical success factors for enabling LiFi applications. By working together as an industry, we can ensure the end-to-end coexistence and interoperability that is needed to build the optimal LiFi ecosystem,” added Rosu.