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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R007101/1
Title: Towards 100 Gigabit Wireless Networking by Light (Go-by-Light) (Ext.)
Principal Investigator: Haas, Professor H
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Airbus Group Limited Nokia SoraaLaser Diode Inc
Zodiac Aerospace
Department: Sch of Engineering
Organisation: University of Edinburgh
Scheme: EPSRC Fellowship
Starts: 01 March 2018 Ends: 28 February 2021 Value (£): 1,085,375
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Networks & Distributed Systems Optical Communications
RF & Microwave Technology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Communications
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
06 Sep 2017 EPSRC ICT and DE Fellowship Interviews 7 and 8 Sept 2017 Announced
19 Jul 2017 EPSRC ICT Prioritisation Panel July 2017 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
This is an extension of the Fellowship: 'Tackling the looming spectrum crisis in Wireless Communication'.

Future economic success is inevitably tied to advancements in digital technologies. An essential component in the mix of digital technologies is digital communications, as also reflected in the EPSRC delivery plan under the heading of 'Connected Nation'. Wireless networking is fundamental to the achievement of 'connectivity'. According to a Cisco White Paper ("Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2016-2021, White Paper", February 09, 2017), mobile data traffic has increased 18 times in the last 5 years alone. This corresponds to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 78% with a further sevenfold increase expected between 2016 and 2021, reaching 49.0 exabytes per month by 2021. This growth is fueled by new wireless services on smartphones such as augmented and virtual reality and mobile TV. In addition, new networking paradigms such as the Internet of Things or more generally machine type communication will become increasingly important, especially to support operation of autonomous systems. This means that by assuming an average CAGR of 60% of global mobile data traffic, in 20 years from now a 500 MHz radio frequency (RF) channel allocated to a current RF system would need a bandwidth of 6 THz in 2037. The entire RF spectrum, which is currently used for wireless communications, only amounts to 0.3 THz.

LiFi adds to the RF spectrum the nm-wave infrared and visible light spectrum with a combined bandwidth of 780 THz. This unregulated spectrum has the potential to make wireless communications future-proof. While the current Fellowship enabled ground-breaking research on achievable data rates using light emitting diodes (LEDs) - as the recently demonstrated 15 Gbps data rates from a single device - further substantial research efforts are required to unlock the full potential of the entire infrared and visible light spectrum, and to make LiFi an integral part of the fabric of wireless communications. Furthermore, research to date has primarily focused on advancing link level performance in static transmitter and receiver arrangements. In order to realise the vision of a world fully connected by light where car headlights, street lights, lights in offices, factories and homes including computer screens and indicator lights of home appliances, form the wireless networks of the future fundamental research is required to ensure that a terminal remains connected when it moves, and that interference generated when a large number of simultaneous transmissions are ongoing is mitigated effectively, or that random blockage does not cause link failure. Lastly, there are a number of challenges that come with the large increase in LiFi access points. Specifically, the many access points must be connected to the network backbone via suitable backhaul connections. LiFi systems that are composed of laser transmitters and solar cells as data receivers are envisaged to be a key for the backhaul challenge. It is these latter considerations which will also facilitate the eradication of the rural divide which currently prevents 60% of the world population from accessing digital communications.

There are presently no viable solutions to these fundamental problems, and this is where this Fellowship extension comes in by taking the current internationally leading achievements to the next level. LiFi is now at the stage at which WiFi was 20 years ago, and the work undertaken in the next few years will be crucial in making this technology a success.

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