All these years, Wi-Fi has been a long-standing winner when it comes to internet connections in terms of popularity and market maturity. However, the increasing number of internet users has begun to challenge Wi-Fi’s capabilities as a dominant technology. Wi-Fi, which utilizes radio waves as a medium for data transfer, is now becoming congested due to the high number of users, leading to an abundance of load on the radio spectrum. This has shifted the attention of technology leaders to new alternatives, the rise of Li-Fi. This post explains challenges and advantages of Li-Fi in wireless networking.
Li-Fi and its working principle
Li-Fi or Light-fidelity is an evolution of wireless network technology that uses visible light to transfer data. In simpler explanation, Li-Fi is a Wi-Fi like technology but utilizes different medium to transmit data (light spectrum instead of radio spectrum).
Specifically, Li-Fi can be described as a wireless communication system that conducts data transfer through illumination. It involves the use of an LED light bulb as well as a photodetector, to enable data transfer. The working principle of Li-Fi can be explained using the diagram below.
Data from the internet and the local network is used to modulate light intensity of LED light source. Then, the photodetector will capture the light intensity (signal) which is converted back into data stream and send to the users.
Li-Fi: Challenges in implementation
There are several considerations that need to be taken into account during the implementation of Li-Fi, as its working principle revolves around the characteristics of light. While studies have proven the capability of Li-Fi to provide higher bandwidth, efficiency, and availability compared to Wi-Fi, these advantages only apply when certain limitations related to light are addressed. Since light moves in a straight line and cannot penetrate opaque objects, data transmission may be easily interrupted, resulting in additional sources of noise that can interfere with the interaction between the transmitter (LED) and receiver (photodetector). These limitations need to be overcome.
Li-Fi uses high-frequency light. While this enables data transmission at higher speeds, it also leads to a smaller coverage area. Therefore, the effectiveness of implementing Li-Fi depends on the specific area of implementation. In other words, Li-Fi is more efficient for use in confined areas.
Reliability is also a significant challenge in implementing Li-Fi. Since the light source, such as normal bulbs and sunlight, serves as the transmitter for Li-Fi, there are concerns regarding the reliability of data transmission.
In conclusion, even though Li-Fi offers promising advantages over Wi-Fi, such as higher speeds and efficiency, its implementation requires addressing challenges related to light limitations, coverage area, and reliability. As further research and development continue, resolving these challenges will give way for the wider adoption and integration of Li-Fi technology.
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