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IEEE LiFi Task Group Created to Pursue Light Communications

August 7, 2018 By Steve Senne in

IEEE has formed a new task group to work with manufacturers, operators and end users to build a global standard for light communications in wireless local area networking. The IEEE LiFi task group will focus on using solid state lighting, such as LED lighting, to wirelessly transmit high-bandwidth data.

The task group, to be known as the IEEE 802.11 Light Communications Task Group will build on previous IEEE work.

The umbrella 802.11 task group includes a wide array of interests from across the telecom industry, with representatives from chipset providers like Qualcomm, Huawei, Broadcom and Intel; infrastructure providers, including Cisco, HPE, Nokia and Ericsson; and device manufacturers like Apple, Samsung, Sony and Panasonic, etc., noted the IEEE in a blog post.

IEEE LiFi Initiatives

The standards that the LiFi task group will focus on will be known as 802.11bb.

“IEEE 802.11 is ideally suited for LiFi because of the diversity, completeness, and proven track record of the ecosystem, as well as the Wi-Fi community’s success in bringing technologies into standards and, more importantly, into products,” said Nikola Serafimovski, chair of the IEEE 802.11 Light Communications Task Group, in a prepared statement. “The commercial success of LiFi requires a coherent approach from this broad ecosystem and the participation of world-leading organizations in the development of IEEE 802.11bb. This will lay the foundation for mass market product development and introduction, leveraging the ecosystem that has global deployments in billions of units.”

According to IEEE, light communication is gaining ground because early uses show it is a viable global wireless solution particularly in EMI-challenged environments, such as hospitals, petrochemical plants, and airplanes, as well as in secure environments where RF is not sanctioned.

Another consideration, according to IEEEE, is that Light Communications will substantially improve indoor connectivity, in both office environments and, most significantly, in the home. Indoor connectivity accounts for four-fifths of all wireless communications.