Abstract

LiFi is networked, bidirectional wireless communication with light. It is used to connect fixed and mobile devices at very high data rates by harnessing the visible light and infrared spectrum. Combined, these spectral resources are 2600 times larger than the entire radio frequency (RF) spectrum. This paper provides the motivation behind why LiFi is a very timely technology, especially for 6th generation (6G) cellular communications. It discusses and reviews essential networking technologies, such as interference mitigation and hybrid LiFi/Wi-Fi networking topologies. We also consider the seamless integration of LiFi into existing wireless networks to form heterogeneous networks across the optical and RF domains and discuss implications and solutions in terms of load balancing. Finally, we provide the results of a real-world hybrid LiFi/Wi-Fi network deployment in a software defined networking testbed. In addition, results from a LiFi deployment in a school classroom are provided, which show that Wi-Fi network performance can be improved significantly by offloading traffic to the LiFi.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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