du completes Li-Fi technology demonstration; claims Middle East first

du's EVP for network development and operations, Saleem AlBlooshi, said the operator boosted its wireless broadband portfolio by conducting the first demonstration of Light Fidelity (Li-Fi) technology in the Middle East.

The executive said that the demonstration of internet, video, and audio streaming over Li-Fi aimed to highlight the potential of the technology to du's customers as the company seeks to tap into a global market that is tipped to be worth $80 billion (€71 billion) by 2020. du demonstrated Li-Fi in conjunction with Zero1, a consumer brand that originated in the UAE.

In a statement, du explained that Li-Fi is a wireless optical networking technology that utilises LEDs to transmit data instead of radio waves, making it up to 100 times faster than Wi-Fi. The technology uses visible light spectrum (VLS), which du said offers a data capacity of up to 390 THz of bandwidth and is not impeded by radio interference.

The technology also "generates no electromagnetic smog", making it suitable for hazardous environments including refineries, oil platforms, and petrol stations.

du added that Li-Fi is significantly cheaper than Wi-Fi technology, but also complements Wi-Fi by minimising the risk of data loss in "a high density area in a confined area".

The operator said the technology will enable it to develop new business-focussed services in municipal, commercial and industrial fields.

"We wanted to ensure our customers were aware of this technology and the demonstration of Li-Fi technology complements our broadband portfolio for the business segment," AlBlooshi said.

The EVP added that du is "currently working with major businesses to create tailor-made Li-Fi solutions and to test and validate the applications so that we can ensure we offer the latest in innovation to our valued customers."

Services in the company's sights include analytics, communication and management systems, and customer engagement solutions. For example, du noted that deploying Li-Fi outdoors would enable services including motion detection, geo-localisation, and camera networks incorporated into street lights. Potential indoor service sectors cover retail, healthcare, education, and cultural centres.

For more:
- see this du announcement

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