|Visible light communication (VLC) technology|
A test conducted by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology confirmed that the real-time traffic rate of a Chinese VLC system had reached 50 gigabytes per second (Gbps), the ministry announced Friday.
The real-time speed is the highest obtained by China so far. In August 2014, media reported a group of Mexican scientists used similar technology to transmit data with speeds up to 10 Gbps.
IT expert and academic Wu Jiangxing said it will be possible to establish a huge VLC network based on the billions of bulbs and LED lighting facilities already around the globe.
"Every bulb can serve as a high-speed Internet access point (similar to a WIFI hotspot ) after VLC technology is widely applied in the future," said Wu, unable to give a specific time frame. "Imagine downloading several movies while you are waiting for a green light at a crossroad or surfing the Internet on planes and high-speed trains via the lights."
The technology is green and consumes far less energy and can secure information better than radio, which has loopholes such as signal disturbance, leaks and interception, according to the ministry.
The VLC system was developed by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Information Engineering University and has entered a phase of "integration and micromation in design." The university succeeded in developing a wireless broadcasting system based on VLC in 2013.
The ministry and the university have not specified when the Li-Fi system will be accomplished and put into practical use.