Mexico commercializes optical wireless (Li-Fi) technology

All LED lights in a room can be modulated simultaneously to carry the Li-Fi signal.

Mexico is the first country to commercialize Li-Fi (light fidelity) connection technology, via a service called LedCom that allows transmission of audio, video, and Internet of up to 15 megabytes per second. LedCom was developed by Sisoft (Colonia Narvarte, Mexico) and is being offered starting January 2016.

A room-based Li-Fi system transmits data wirelessly through visible LED light usually generated by more than one LED lamp in the room, replacing a conventional modem and Wi-Fi signals. The LED lighting is modulated at up to gigabyte rates to carry the signal; if bright enough, the light can even be diffusely reflected before being detected by a photosensor on a USB stick plugged into a laptop or other device.

Countries including Russia, the United States, Israel, and China are committed to this technology, but Mexico is the first to market and adapt the technology for its daily use, said Arturo Campos Fentanes, CEO of Sisoft.

"Imagine having Internet through each luminaire, avoiding the problems of speed and bandwidth being saturated because everyone is connected," says Campos. He adds that the technology is economically self-sustaining because changing conventional lamps to LED fixtures reduces energy consumption, generating savings that would go to pay for the LedCom system.

Up to 10 GB/s
Although the transmission rate depends on the provider company, it can range from 200 MB/s to 10 GB/s in some cases (equivalent to downloading an HD movie in 30 seconds).

Sisoft of Mexico expects to produce 10,000 control chips per month. Campos says there are different kits that range from from five lamps to the complete lighting of a home or office.

Control unit is within a desk lamp
"We intend for the lamps to be aesthetic but fulfill the conditions of light intensity to perform optimal data delivery," says Campos. "In addition, we have a product that stores the technology in a single desk lamp and has a receiver inside."

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