The internet speed revolution has arrived | Li-Fi 100 times faster than Wi-Fi

  • By Nathan Hayashi

Internet from a light bulb that is 100 times faster than Wi-Fi

The results have been an astonishing success from the first field-tests for the new wireless technology called Li-Fi. The new technology achieved marvelous wireless speeds that are 100 times faster than possible current WiFi speeds.

Li-Fi is a new wireless technology that transmits high-speed data using light, Visible Light Communication (VLC) rather than radio bands.

Earlier this year the technology achieved mind-blowing speeds of 224 gigabits per second (Gbps) in a lab using Li-Fi. It’s believed that this technology has the potential to change everything about the way we use the Internet today.

Test Results showed that Li-Fi is on average 100 times Faster than Wi-Fi.

An Estonian startup company called Velmenni took the technology out of the laboratories and into the real-world offices, and industrial environments in Tallinn for the first time and, believe me, it really is remarkably fast.

The company was able to transmit data at 1GB per second, which is almost 100 times faster than the maximum available Wi-Fi speeds.

“Currently we have designed a smart lighting solution for an industrial environment where the data communication is done through the light. We’re also doing a pilot project with a private client where we’re setting up a Li-Fi network to access the Internet in [our] office space.”

Unlike Wi-Fi network signals, Li-Fi is based on light and can’t penetrate through walls, which makes it more secure from external sniffing. Meanwhile, it also means there is less interference from other devices.

The Li-Fi technology was originated in 2011 by German physicist Harald Haas, who outlined the idea of using light bulbs as wireless routers during a TED Talk. He demonstrated that with a flickering light from an LED, one could transmit more data than a cellular tower.

In real terms this revolutionary technology is likely only to apply to a select few public spaces, large open plan warehouses or corporate offices concerned about security, but with no need for a constant uninterrupted signal. For everyday households the fact that light can be so easily obscured by not just walls but, anything, your body, or any other object that can cast a shadow means the invention sadly has very little practical use in the real world.

You may get to see the occasional Free Li-Fi Zone sign around in public areas or cafes, but there is not likely to be a sudden rush to abandon Wi-Fi any time soon.


 

N.Hayashi@theinternational.org.uk