Vodafone Deutschland and Signify plan to integrate 5G and Li-Fi

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Operator and former Philips Lighting company are to explore consumer, IoT and industrial applications.

The collaboration aims to develop applications and solutions for secure, reliable two-way wireless communications at speeds beyond wireless technologies like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, both over wireless and light waves.

Boosting fixed Gbps

Vodafone will show the benefits of combining the technologies at the IEEE 5G Summit in Dresden this week. The two companies explore how Li-Fi technology in local networks can be used with 5G so that Vodafone customers can gain more benefits from their wired Gigabit connections.

Signify recently introduced a Li-Fi system that uses light waves, branded Trulifi, instead of radio signals, to provide wireless data transmission and reception technology that can be installed in Philips luminaires.

It uses the lighting infrastructure to provide a reliable and secure high-speed broadband connection at up to 250Mbps.

IoT and industry

Li-Fi also offers advantages for industry and IoT, providing communications in areas where certain radio frequencies perform poorly or wireless communication is not allowed due to safety regulations.

In addition, fault-tolerant systems and services are better equipped to withstand network outages: the two communication technologies work independently of each other to provide redundancy where required.

Other possible applications are for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and cellular vehicle to environment (C-V2X), the direct communication between vehicles and the environment to improve road safety and efficiency.

The basis for connecting devices, machines and vehicles is a fixed point-to-point system, which acts as a 'wireless cable' and can be complemented by the Trulifi range.