Li-Fi to light up India's net connectivity

Li-Fi to light up India's net connectivity

Light Fidelity (Li-Fi), an LED light-based technology, may as well boost Prime Minister Narendra Modi government’s efforts to take Internet to the villages.

Edinburgh University Professor Harald Haas’s projection of this technology, which is hundred times faster than some Wi-Fi networks, comes at a time when the country is toying with the idea of making Internet connectivity a fundamental right.

The Li-Fi system could reach speeds of upto 224 gigabits per second, explained Haas in an interaction with Deccan Herald at the Wipro Electronic City campus here. Haas emphasised that internet penetration can be made ubiquitous with Li-Fi.

Tech giants Microsoft, Google and Facebook have been vying to play a significant role in the NDA government’s over Rs 20,000-crore national broadband project.

 While Google proposed to fly helium balloons in villages to provide connectivity, Microsoft and Facebook came up with their own ideas. However, Li-Fi may prove useful in harnessing the power of the Internet for giving more citizen-centric governance while reducing investment needed for building conventional network infrastructure.

Radio Frequency technology requires spectrum which is very limited and licensed. But a Li-Fi network — which works on ethernet or a WiFi-enabled LED light — when integrated with solar panels, can further cut the cost.

Professor Haas brought out the first product “Li-1st” in 2013 and upgraded it to “Li-Flame” in 2014 as the world’s first true Li-Fi system. “An overhead lamp fitted with LED with signal-processing technology streams data embedded in its beam at ultra-high speeds to the photo-detector. A receiver dongle then converts the tiny changes in amplitude into an electrical signal, which then converts it to a data stream and transmits to a computer or mobile device,” he said.

Haas said if Li-Fi can enhance wireless capacity and it can be used for Internet of Things and boost 5G, besides working in electromagnetic sensitive areas such as in aircraft cabins, hospitals and nuclear power plants without causing electromagnetic interference as it uses visible light.

 

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