Sensors and Connectivity series: LIFI for rapid, low energy data exchange

Li-Fi (Light Fidelity) uses visible light to deliver high-speed wireless data communication. An LED light with signal-processing technology streams binary data embedded in its beam at high speeds to a photo detector or a solar panel. A receiver dongle converts minute changes in amplitude into an electrical signal, which is then converted back into a data stream and transmitted to a computer or mobile device. Li-Fi can provide low-cost wireless internet more securely in localised areas and has recorded speeds of up to 224 Gigabits per second.


Li-Fi could enhance passenger experience by providing higher speed internet access than Wi-Fi and improving data usage around high demand areas through the replacement of current light fittings to support the technology e.g. in stations and on long-distance travel. Using Li-Fi could contribute as an enabler to the Customer Experience element of the Rail Technical Strategy as well. Train operating companies could transmit data at a much higher speed than current methods to multiple customers’ phones quickly, securely and remotely.
Because of its ‘line-of-sight’ approach, connection to the internet would be confined within trains, potentially making users and train and freight operating companies less susceptible to cyber-attacks. This is if devices can receive and transmit in Li-Fi.

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