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The Pioneering Age Of LiFi: What The IEEE 802.11bb Standard Means For Our Digital Future

The Pioneering Age Of LiFi: What The IEEE 802.11bb Standard Means For Our Digital Future

By Jeroen van Gils, Founder & Managing Director of

In a world where high-speed data transfer and reliable connectivity have become the backbone of our daily lives, the announcement of the IEEE 802.11bb standard for LiFi (Light Fidelity) signals a technological revolution. Born from the union of light spectrum technology and wireless communication, LiFi is not just a novelty; it’s the future. In this article, we will explore LiFi’s immense potential in connectivity, data security, and smart home technology, and delve into the significance of the recently established standard. The IEEE 802.11bb Standard: A Milestone

The IEEE 802.11bb standard, released in July 2023, provides the framework for the physical layer specifications and system architectures for LiFi. Championed by the Light Communications Task Group and industry leaders like PureLiFi and Fraunhofer HHI, this standard ensures interoperability between LiFi systems and existing WiFi technologies. With major corporations like Panasonic and GE showing interest, LiFi’s future is looking bright.

Rethinking Connectivity and Data Security

LiFi operates using light waves, leading to significant advantages over traditional RF technologies like WiFi and 5G. This technology promises transfer rates as high as 224 GB per second, addressing the congestion and latency issues that plague WiFi. Moreover, because light waves don’t penetrate walls, LiFi offers enhanced security features. Eavesdropping and jamming risks are significantly reduced, making it an ideal choice for sensitive applications in medical, military, and industrial settings.

LiFi in Smart Home Technology

With the smart home market booming, LiFi can play a significant role in connecting devices more efficiently. Companies like PureLiFi have even introduced mass-market products like “Light Antenna ONE,” designed to be compatible with the new 802.11bb standard, further bridging the gap between the lighting and data industries.

Real-world Applications

LiFi is already in commercial use, achieving transfer rates up to 1GB per second. It’s proving itself invaluable in various settings:

  • Healthcare: In hospitals, where RF signals can interfere with medical equipment, LiFi can offer a safe alternative.
  • Education: In classrooms, LiFi can provide high-speed internet without the distractions or security risks associated with WiFi.
  • Industrial Automation: With its low latency, LiFi can significantly improve real-time control systems.
  • Retail: LiFi can enable more secure and efficient point-of-sale systems, benefitting both retailers and consumers.

The Limitations

It’s worth mentioning that LiFi does have its drawbacks. The technology requires a direct line of sight, making it susceptible to interference from physical objects like walls and fabrics. However, it is being designed to work in tandem with existing WiFi systems, making the transition smoother and more flexible.

The Future is Bright, Literally

The release of the IEEE 802.11bb standard is a significant milestone that will undoubtedly accelerate the adoption of LiFi technology. Though it may not completely replace existing wireless communication forms, it provides a compelling, high-speed, and secure alternative. Companies are beginning to introduce LiFi-compatible products, and it’s only a matter of time before LiFi becomes as ubiquitous as WiFi is today.


As the IEEE 802.11bb standard takes LiFi from experimental stages to commercial viability, its applications are bound to diversify and its adoption rates soar. From providing an ultra-fast internet connection in smart homes to ensuring secure data transmission in sensitive environments, LiFi is poised to be a significant player in shaping our digital future.

In the coming years, we can expect to see a range of innovative LiFi solutions that will not only offer faster internet speeds but also revolutionize how we think about connectivity and security. The age of LiFi has dawned, and it’s illuminating a path toward a brighter, faster, and more secure digital world.

About the author:

Jeroen van Gils is the founder and managing director of, a leading voice in the promotion of LiFi technology. He also heads Morex, a digital solutions enterprise. With a fervent passion for LiFi technology, Jeroen is dedicated to exploring its myriad possibilities and transforming the way we connect.


Jeroen van Gils, Founder & Managing Director of


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  • James Benya August 31, 2023, 1:12 AM

    The optical Wi-Fi promise has been in the air since 1990. The bandwidth capabilities are a function of the fundamental frequency of the carrier, which has not changed since then. The limitations of line of sight have not changed since then, either. What’s the hold-up? The problem is that in order for it to work, in essence two flashlights have to be aimed at each other, shifting to radio Wi-Fi to maintain contact in an optically imperfect world. I look forward to seeing how these 30 year old limitations can be resolved without reverting to Wi-Fi most of the time.

    • David Shiller September 1, 2023, 6:09 PM

      Jim, great points. The only thing that’s changed recently is the standard, and miniaturization of the transmitter components. Chicken and the egg (supply vs. demand) always slows down adoption. Thanks as always, David


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