Li-Fi to hit mass market in 2021 - Mobile World Live

Li-Fi to hit mass market in 2021

14 NOV 2019

Li-Fi was tipped for mass-market adoption from as early as 2021, around the same time as the standard for the technology is ratified, pureLiFi CEO Alistair Banham told Mobile World Live.

Early consumer use cases are expected to be developed in areas which are usually accompanied by constantly growing interest and demand for services including gaming, VR, AR and mixed reality.

“Light can make VR truly wireless”, Banham said, explaining the technology “offers faster speeds, lower latency and interference-free wireless communications that helps overcome technology challenges allowing VR and AR products to become wire free and reliable”.

The technology could also find a home in the consumer mobile handset market, he added, noting the technology’s ability to provide “1,000-times the bandwidth of the entire radio spectrum, unprecedented privacy and reliable, interference free communications”.

Current deployment
The company has more than 200 deployments of the technology worldwide, covering 16 different use cases, with Li-Fi particularly popular among the defence and industrial sectors “due to privacy and lack of interference”, said Banham.

PureLiFi this week completed a funding round of $18 million which included involvement from Singapore-based investment company Temasek, and the Scottish Investment Bank.

“This investment will allow pureLiFi to deliver Gb/s Li-Fi light antennas to the mobile device and lighting industries and bring Li-Fi closer to the hands of the consumer”, Banham stated.

He added the company had already developed the products needed for Li-Fi integration into consumer devices and lighting, and is not planning another fundraising round at this stage.

Pros and cons
Banham highlighted the ability to deliver multi-gigabit data rates on mobile devices as among the biggest benefits of Li-Fi, noting it can currently reduce latency by three-times compared with Wi-Fi.

It also addresses privacy concerns, as “light can be contained and secured in a physical space”.

“The fact that Li-Fi does not work in your pocket can be seen as a downside,” Banham acknowledged: “However, there is little need for high bandwidth data communication when you’re not using your phone. This is why we don’t see Li-Fi completely replacing RF technologies.”

In October 2017 the company demonstrated how the technology works by presenting the Li-Fi XC USB dongle and access point. The product was later used in a network trial by O2 UK.

Consulting company Global Market Insights projected the Li-Fi market will be worth $75 billion by 2023.



Yanitsa Boyadzhieva

Yanitsa joins Mobile World Live as a Reporter based in London. She has more than 5 years’ experience at various media outlets in her home country Bulgaria. She started her career as a political reporter, followed by taking editor roles...

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