Why Optical Wireless Communication is Ready for 6G!

Security, energy efficiency, data density and peak data rates of up to 1 Tbps are some of the key performance indicators (KPIs) of 6G. With current radio frequency (RF) technologies it will be difficult to advance all these KPIs jointly due to fundamental spectrum limitations in the RF domain. What is needed to achieve step-change improvements in all those areas of interest, is substantial new spectrum, devices at high optical-to-electrical (OE) conversion efficiencies and the ability to spatially control signal radiation tightly and at low energy cost.

December 2024, 5th edition

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To this end, OWC can leverage decades of development of optical devices for optical fiber communications. We will review recent advancements of mobile, multiuser wireless networks that are fundamentally based on the optical spectrum. Moreover, we will provide a status of IEEE 802.11bb standardization activities and discuss existing challenges and the road ahead.

An invited speaker presentation by Professor Harald Haas, Director of LiFi Research and Development Centre (LRDC) at The University of Strathclyde / Glasgow.

View of the Speaker

Question 1: What drives you?
What really drives me is to pull technologies through from fundamental research to large-scale adoption, and all the challenges on the way.

Question 2: Why should the delegate attend your presentation?
I am hoping that I will be able to give a fresh perspective on OWC. World-wide, research on 6G is in full swing and candidate technologies are being proposed and evaluated. We can expect that 6G standardisation will start in two years. This is now the right time to come together and make a strong case for OWC.

Question 3: What emerging technologies / trends do you see as having the greatest potential in the short and long run?
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are big buzzwords at the moment. What people need to understand is that AI/ML requires big (sensor) data sets to function properly. It is very unlikely that all the data sets are produced where they are processed. Therefore, to meaningfully advance digital technologies, substantially improved communication networks are needed. The use of the optical spectrum not only in fibre, but also in free space is a natural step shift towards this objective.

Question 4: What kind of impact do you expect them to have?
New wireless networks will unlock new applications (see Metcalfe’s law).

Question 5: What are the barriers that might stand in the way?
There are several barriers which would be great to discuss at the conference.

About Harald Haas
Professor Haas is a Distinguished Professor of Mobile Communications at The University of Strathclyde/Glasgow, and Visiting Professor at the University of Edinburgh. Prof Haas set up and co-founded pureLiFi. He currently is their Chief Scientific Officer. He has co-authored more than 600 conference and journal papers and holds more than 40 patents. He has been listed as highly cited researcher by Clarivate/Web of Science since 2017. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

About the LiFi Research and Development Centre (LRDC) at The University of Strathclyde / Glasgow
The University of Strathclyde (UStrath) is a leading international technological university. It is one of the UK’s top 20 universities for research intensity according to the Times Higher Education (THE) and it is the first university to receive the THE’s ‘UK University of the Year Award’ twice (2012 and 2019). UStrath is a member of CESAER, the European association of leading specialised and comprehensive universities of science and technology, and it is internationally recognised for its standing in applied research, technological innovation and university-business partnerships.

The LiFi Research and Development Centre (The Centre) is dedicated to accelerating the development of LiFi as a major global industry, through creating a pipeline for innovative ideas, technologies, products and partnerships.

The LiFi R&D Centre conducts internationally leading research in collaboration with, and on behalf of industry. It aims to accelerate society’s adoption of LiFi and emerging wireless technology through engagement with major industrial partners, to fully harness the commercial and innovative potential of LiFi, and to help establish a major new £5 billion ($8.5 billion) LiFi industry by 2018.

The UK based research and development centre was formed in 2013, and stems from research into fundamental communications science begun in 2002 that has now received in excess of £8 million ($13.5 million) of competitively won funding.

By facilitating collaboration between industry, internationally renowned experts from the University of Strathclyde, and other key research institutes around the world, the Centre is taking emerging LiFi technologies through into mainstream applications that will soon begin to impact on many aspects of the modern world. The Centre, with its partners and collaborators, will foster the wide spread market adoption of LiFi technologies.

The Centre continues to drive all aspects of LiFi communication from novel devices, through to the integration of LiFi access points in agile heterogeneous 5G and 6G networks enabled by emerging software defined networking (SDN) infrastructures.

Harald Haas is invited speaker at the 2022 edition of the Optical Wireless Communication Conference.

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