Li-Fi Networks 100 Times Faster Than WiFi in Real World Tests
Alexander Neil / 2 years ago
Thanks to Estonian startup Velmenni, Li-Fi is making the leap out of the labs and into the real world. Velmenni have announced that they have been going ahead with trials of the technology in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, in some of the city’s offices and industrial areas.
Velmenni reports that the LiFi technology that they have been testing is able to send data at as much as 1Gbps, outstripping common WiFi setups 100 times over and 10 times faster than most common 100Mb/s fiber internet connections. The CEO of Velmenni, Deepak Solanki spoke to the International Business Times on the topic, giving more insight into the company’s projects on the technology: “Currently we have designed a smart lighting solution for an industrial environment where the data communication is done through light. We are also doing a pilot project with a private client where we are setting up a Li-Fi network to access the internet in their office space.”
This is where the key difference between WiFi and LiFi come to light. While LiFi may be faster than WiFi, it has the limitation of relying on light. This means that, Li-Fi is unusable through walls and other opaque objects. However this limitation on access could also allow LiFi networks to be more secure than current WiFi networks, as anyone wishing to access the system would need to be directly in the light of the Li-Fi node.
One thing that Solanki and Professor Harald Haas, the inventor of Li-Fi, have in common is that Li-Fi has the potential to become ubiquitous that WiFi, as every light emitting device could theoretically be fitted with a Li-Fi chip allowing it to serve dual purposes as both lighting and as a network connectivity point. And it could be sooner than we think, with Solanki estimating a rollout could begin within 3 or 4 years, and begin with retrofitting our current lighting infrastructure with Li-Fi support.
I don’t think the sun will start providing the internet to us any time soon, but mass adoption of Li-Fi could at least bring the nerds out of their darkened rooms and into well-lit ones.