The recent release of the IEEE 802.11bb standard, the first global standard for light-based LiFi communications, is set to revolutionize the wireless communication landscape.
LiFi (Light Fidelity), a wireless technology that uses light rather than radio frequencies to transmit data, promises faster, more reliable, and secure wireless communications compared to conventional technologies such as WiFi and 5G. The IEEE 802.11bb standard, ratified in June 2023, defines the physical layer specifications and system architectures for wireless communication using light waves. This new standard paves the way for the widespread adoption of LiFi technology and its interoperability with the successful WiFi standard.
Global LiFi technology firms pureLiFi, and Fraunhofer HHI have been at the forefront of these standardization efforts. Both organizations aim to see accelerated adoption and interoperability not only between LiFi vendors but also with WiFi technologies. The Light Communications 802.11bb Task Group, formed in 2018 and chaired by pureLiFi, has been instrumental in this process.
The Potential of LiFi
LiFi offers high-speed mobile connectivity in areas with limited RF, like fixed wireless access, classrooms, medical, and industrial scenarios. It complements or serves as an alternative to WiFi and 5G. The exclusive optical spectrum of LiFi ensures higher reliability and lower latency and jitter. Light’s line-of-sight propagation enhances security by preventing wall penetration, reducing jamming and eavesdropping risks, and enabling centimeter-precision indoor navigation.
The Future of LiFi
With the release of the IEEE 802.11bb standard, LiFi is now poised to take its place in the wireless communication market, offering unprecedented speed, security, and reliability to users around the world. The release of the IEEE 802.11bb standard has also attracted interest from some of the biggest industry players, ranging from semiconductor companies to leading mobile phone manufacturers. This global standard gives confidence to device manufacturers who will deploy LiFi at scale.
The future of LiFi is bright, with the technology expected to work seamlessly with WiFi and make communications better in a range of applications, from high-speed, secure internet access in the home and office to expanding next-generation experiences to wider markets such as XR and spatial computing.