Vodafone adds 5G boost to Li-fi

VODAFONE and Signify have joined forces to combine 5G communications and Li-Fi.

The Trulifi transceiver consists of a small black-fronted box about the size of a Sharpie marker, sitting on the surface of the luminaire.

The union of 5G, the new generation cellular platform, with Li-fi, the delivery of data via LED luminaires,  will enable ultra high-speed wireless broadband connectivity, say the companies.

The deal, announced at the IEEE 5G Summit in Dresden today, should help to develop applications that deliver secure and reliable two-way wireless communication at speeds well beyond traditional wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi.

‘We were the first company to bring Germany into the 5G era,’ Gerhard Mack, head of technology at Vodafone Deutschland, told Lux. ‘We’re not stopping there. Today’s agreement marks the beginning of a collaboration between two industry leaders, bringing together the worlds of telecommunications and lighting.

‘I’m looking forward to revealing the first breakthrough innovation.’

Together, the two companies have pledged to explore ways in which LiFi technology in local networks will be used in conjunction with 5G, so that Vodafone and other customers can benefit from the speed of the new technologies.

Under the name of Trulifi, Signify (formerly Philips Lighting) recently introduced a Li-fi system that uses light waves instead of radio signals to provide wireless data transmission and reception technology, which can be built into Philips-branded luminaires.

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

The combination of 5G and LiFi also offers advantages for industrial customers and the Internet of Things.

It enables reliable and secure high-speed wireless communication with low latency in areas where certain radio frequencies are performing poorly due to critical environments or when wireless communications are not allowed at all due to safety regulations.

In addition, fault-tolerant systems and services are better equipped to withstand network outages - the two communication technologies can be ubiquitous through inter-system handovers.

Also conceivable are applications in autonomous driving where vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2X) networks enable direct communication between vehicles and the environment in order to increase safety and comfort in road traffic.

The basis for connecting devices, machines and vehicles is a fixed point-to-point network that acts as a ‘wireless cable’ and complements the Trulifi range.

‘Thanks to the technology leadership of both companies, today together we can show a revolutionary combination of 5G and LiFi. This collaboration has the potential to provide end-users with ultra high-speed wireless broadband connectivity. We foresee that this will enable applications that require low latency and the highest dedicated speeds,’ said Michel Germe, global head of Li-fi systems at Signify.



  • Learn more about Li-fi and see the latest Signify technology at at the LuxLive 2019 exhibition.  The show takes place on Wednesday 13 November and Thursday 14 November 2018 at ExCeL London. Entry is free if you pre-register HERE.