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Fraunhofer 'LED Backhaul' Launched in Japan


Japanese telecom provider Sangikyo has launched what is believed to be the first Li-Fi product based on Fraunhofer HHI's optical LED backhaul technology.

Fraunhofer HHI has leveraged its ongoing development of optical wireless communication (OWC) technologies, also called Li-Fi, in an initial test deployment by industry partner Sangikyo Corporation. The Japan-based telecommunications system company has launched its first Li-Fi product called LED Backhaul. Core technology was initially introduced as a 4K/8K video relay; it can now achieve data rates between 100 and 750 megabits per second.

Fraunhofer HHI, a leading research institute for optical telecommunications systems, stated that it believes this development could play an important part in future 5G systems, stating that 5G network deployments will require flexible frequency spectrum solutions, and that there are considerations about implementing optical links for data backhauling. Further, that systems such as LED Backhaul may offer significant contributions in areas where RF signals cannot typically penetrate or where wireline links are not practical.

Since 2014, HHI has pioneered the idea of a short-range optical wireless backhaul link through research in two European research projects (SODALES and 5G Crosshaul). Apart from backhauling, the newly-developed system can be used as a flexible network, or as a form of LAN extension if no cable is available. The companies said they believe LED Backhaul may offer solutions for factories or subways or any area this is not easily penetrated by radio waves.

Yasukazu Sengoku, COO of Sangikyo, commented, "We have worked with HHI to advance the joint development of high-speed wireless communication with LED light and have attained a realistic application. In future, LED backhaul will be standardized by IEEE 802.15.13 and by international standardization activities of HHI."

Further developments

Prof. Ronald Freund, Head of Photonic Networks & Systems at HHI, said, "We are developing the communication technologies of the future and are pleased that the new wireless system with LED light, which was brought to the market in cooperation with Sangikyo, will be used on the Japanese market. We will continue to work with Sangikyo and develop a wide range of high-speed wireless systems with LED light."

Optical wireless transmission is a future-oriented technology for fixed and mobile wireless optical communication over comparatively short distances. Possible applications are wireless backhaul and fronthaul for 5G, wireless communication for industry 4.0 as well as in indoor areas alongside WiFi and LTE.

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