Du unveils lighting-based wifi in Dubai

Du has brought ‘light fidelity’ technology to the Middle East for the first time. 

The UAE telecoms provider has successfully completed a trial in Dubai which saw wireless data transmitted using lighting. Now it wants to bundle the technology in street lights to enable motion detection, geo-localisation and internet-connected cameras.

The trail deployment covered internet, video and audio streaming over LiFi but Du hasn’t released any of the technical results. However, the apparent success of the validation project - conducted with Dubai tech start-up Zero1 – means so-called LiFi has taken a major step closer to implementation in the UAE.

The oil industry will be a key target market, as ‘electromagnetic smog’ needs to be minimised in areas such as refineries, oil platforms and petrol stations. As LiFi can’t be hacked remotely, other early adopters will be in environments where safety and data security are paramount such as hospitals, company headquarters, transport, and security agencies. 

LiFi is a wireless optical networking technology that uses LEDs lights for data transmission instead of radio waves, reportedly giving it the data transmitting potential of up to 224GB LiFi is 100 times faster than WiFi technology as well as being significantly cheaper. 

In addition, LiFi complements WiFi technology, by minimising the risk of loss of data in a high density area in a confined region.

The technology has been pioneered by University of Edinburgh spin-off company PureLiFi, headed by the so-called godfather of LiFi, Harold Hass. PureLiFi recently signed an agreement with French lighting manufacturer Lucibel to co-develop and market Europe’s first, fully industrialised LiFi luminaire.

The off-the-shelf solution, which will be produced at Lucibel’s industrial site in Barentin in France, will integrate pureLiFi’s innovative technology into a Lucibel luminaire. The product ‘measurably reduces the cost for the deployment of both communications and lighting services into a single integrated infrastructure’.

Commenting on the Dubai trials, Du network chief Saleem AlBlooshi told Lux Review: ‘We expect to see demand for this technology increasing exponentially over the coming years. We wanted to ensure our customers were aware of this technology and the demonstration of LiFi technology complements our broadband portfolio for the business segment.’

  • LiFi and smart lighting will be among the topics discussed at the LuxLive Middle East exhibition and conference next month. The event takes place on Wednesday 13 April and Thursday 14 April at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. Entry is free if you pre-register at www.luxlive.ae


Picture courtesy PureLiFi