Home
 » ISP News » 

London Scientists Prep 10Gbps Home Wireless Network Using Li-Fi and 5G

Thursday, September 14th, 2017 (10:45 am) - Score 1,164
LED Light Bulbs

A team working out of Brunel University London has secured £720,000 of funding from Europe’s Horizon 2020 programme in order to help them develop a 10Gbps capable home wireless network using hybrid Li-Fi (Light Fidelity) and mmWave tech inside LED (Light-Emitting Diode) room lights.

The idea of a Visible Light Communication (VLC) network is nothing new and Li-Fi technologies have been in development for quite a few years, although commercial products are somewhat lacking. In simple terms, the LED lights flicker on and off thousands of times a second (i.e. too fast for your eyes to perceive) and by altering the length of the flickers you can introduce digital communications (like flashing a torch to send Morse code).

In theory you could embed this sort of technology in computer screens or desk lamps, although in practice it would work best if installed inside a LED light bulb on your ceiling because of the wider coverage. Likewise it would also be more energy efficient than a standard WiFi wireless network and significantly faster, albeit with a few caveats.

Electronics and software engineers at Brunel University London are just one of the teams working on Li-Fi solutions as part of a 3 year project. The goal is to create a 10Gbps (Gigabits per second) local wireless network in homes and buildings (offices etc.) with a delay of just 1ms (millisecond).

iorldiagram

The new network would make use of both Li-Fi and 5G wireless technologies in the millimeter Wave (mmWave) frequency bands, although judging by the diagram above it’s probably not something that an ordinary home owner would want to install; unless you’re happy with running lots of optical fibre cable around your various light fittings. However it may have applications in other fields.

Professor John Cosmas said:

“It will allow surgeons to perform robotic surgery from a different hospital from where the patient is located.

In general, it will enable the Internet of Control — remote control of machines and robots through the Internet. So far, this has not been possible because of large and variable latencies — delays through the existing Internet.

People will no longer need to travel as much, and will work from home more effectively, thereby reducing the use of fossil fuels for transport.”

The current plan is to develop and install a “remote radio-light head 5G” demonstrator hybrid Li-Fi / mmWave network and advise on systems in a Paris Museum (Musée de la Carte à Jouer), as well as an unnamed Madrid underground station and a Chinese supermarket. The team suggests that it could also find its way into tube stations, airports, planes, trains, schools and hospitals.

However mass market adoption would probably be contingent upon the technology finding its way into lots of consumer products, which is unlikely to happen if they make it difficult to install. LiFi also suffers from a number of drawbacks, such as the fact that you’d have to buy lots of pricey new bulbs in order to cover your home (visible light cannot penetrate through walls or other solid objects and mmWave signals can suffer from a similar issue).

Oddly the team also states that Li-Fi “cuts harmful electromagnetic exposure because it only transmits 2-3m [metres],” which they say means there “will be much less electromagnetic radiation within buildings [and] this could reduce the ill effects on humans and potentially lower incidence of tumours and leukaemia.”

The above seems like an odd statement to make given the lack of hard scientific evidence to support harm from wireless networks in adults (unless you go around with one literally glued to your head all day.. for several years). Mind you, more research would always help.

Delicious
Add to Diigo
Mark Jackson

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he is also the founder of ISPreview since 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.

Leave a Comment
3 Responses
  1. Max

    They’re going to need a tonne more funding than a measly 720k. Creating a consumer electronics product using new technology takes tens of millions at a minimum. Interesting concept though.

    • Sandor

      Total budget is £7.8m, and there are 20 European, Israeli and Chinese teams on the project. 720k is Brunel’s cut.

  2. 3G Infinity (now 4G going on 5G)

    Good idea though you are spot on re running fibre to a light socket – they are in ceiling voids between joists so the ability to drill thru joists without taking out a whole section of the ceiling is nigh on impossible. Next you have to loop the fibre around all the light sockets and back to the distribution board/router – presumably in a cupboard somewhere dark and difficult to reach.

    Finally I can see this a ‘mxx’ project, because the ‘fxxxxx’ would want the lights to dim of course.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

IMPORTANT: Javascript must be enabled to post (most browsers do this automatically). On mobile devices you may need to load the page in 'Desktop' mode to comment.


Comments RSS Feed

* Your comment might NOT appear immediately (the site cache re-syncs periodically) *
* Comments that break our rules, spam, troll or post via fake IP/proxy servers may be blocked *
Promotion
Cheapest Superfast ISPs
  • Hyperoptic £16.00 (*22.00)
    Up to 30Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Vodafone £20.00 (*25.00)
    Up to 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Plusnet £22.99 (*33.98)
    Up to 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Origin Broadband £23.61 (*31.58)
    Up to 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Sky Broadband £25.00 (*38.99)
    Up to 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: £50 Prepaid MasterCard
Prices inc. Line Rental | View All
Poll
*Javascript must be ON to vote*
The Top 20 Category Tags
  1. BT (2007)
  2. Broadband Delivery UK (1359)
  3. FTTP (1342)
  4. FTTC (1287)
  5. Openreach (1016)
  6. Politics (1005)
  7. Business (912)
  8. Statistics (807)
  9. Fibre Optic (775)
  10. Mobile Broadband (731)
  11. Wireless Internet (677)
  12. Ofcom Regulation (671)
  13. 4G (616)
  14. Virgin Media (611)
  15. FTTH (570)
  16. Sky Broadband (474)
  17. TalkTalk (451)
  18. EE (395)
  19. Security (323)
  20. 3G (287)
New Forum Topics
Helpful ISP Guides and Tips
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
Promotion

Copyright © 1999 to Present - ISPreview.co.uk - All Rights Reserved - Terms  ,  Privacy and Cookie Policy  ,  Links  ,  Website Rules