The Li-Fi Market was valued at USD 143 million in 2019 and is expected to reach USD 3.52 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 70.54% over the forecast period 2020 - 2025. Li-Fi is a disruptive technology that is poised to impact many industries. The technology can unlock the potential of IoT, driving Industry 4.0 applications, and lead to the upcoming light-as-a-service (LaaS) in the lighting industry. The CAGR of wireless traffic has been 60% during the last decade. This growth is expected to sustain for the next 10 to 15 years, which, in the current scenario, is a reasonable assumption, due to the advent of Internet-of-Things and machine type communication (MTC). It corresponds to a demand of 12,000 times the current bandwidth, assuming the same spectrum efficiency.
- The governments are making efforts in the ICT sector, owing to the increasing need for energy management. Owing to government initiatives in the ICT sector, such as implementing smart city transformations, players are enforced to invest and innovate in Li-Fi. For instance, ICT is at the heart of the seven-year Dubai Plan 2021, which builds on investment in advanced technology by the emirate’s leadership, in combination with some private sector technology companies.
- Moreover, the European Commission recognizes the enabling role that the ICT sector can play over the forecast period, like rendering buildings more energy efficient or improving the functioning of the electricity grid and managing water. The concept of smart city encompasses optimizing the efficiency of city operations and services and connect citizens.
- The limitations of the visible light provide Li-Fi with a security advantage over Wi-Fi. However, these limitations also create disadvantages. Physical barriers, such as walls and doors limit the operational scope of a Li-Fi-enabled LED lamp. Thus, the data transmitted by a Li-Fi product remains confined within a close spaced because light cannot penetrate opaque objects and has a shorter range. In establishments, such as a house or a building, enabled LED lamps must be strategically placed in rooms, halls, and other sections to expand the scope of the Li-Fi network. A single Wi-Fi router has wider and longer range than a Li-Fi router. These limitations of Li-Fi also do not make it ideal for use in public Wi-Fi networks.
- Moreover, it cannot be used in outdoor environment, like RF signal. This is because of interference caused by sunlight and other optical sources present nearby. Moreover it can be intercepted by unwanted people if used outdoors. Furthermore, Li-Fi is still in the emerging stage and very few have reached the commercialization stage.
- The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted the day-to-day operations of various organizations across the industries. However, with the enormous growth in the number of COVID-19 patients worldwide, hospitals and medical facilities are facing a severe challenge in the treatment of patients.
- For instance, in April 2020, Nav Wireless Technology Pvt Ltd adopted LiFi technology to transmit crucial patient data, such as ventilator reading, temperature, etc., using a wireless data transfer through LED lights. The device is a plug-n-play LED light with a LiFi-enabled chip inside it and a USB dongle that can be connected to a machine. This technology reduces the risk of infection for the doctors and medical staff.
Key Market Trends
Indoor is Expected to Register a Significant Growth
- Smart buildings are currently adapting to accommodate their residents, in order to improve resident comfort and user experience. They do this by knowing the locations of each occupant and then providing location-based services, such as intelligent car parking, health monitoring, logistics, and shopping assistance. In addition to indoor shopping assistance, location-based service also plays a crucial role in the reduction of building energy costs. The basic idea of Li-Fi technology is to utilize the visible light from an LED light bulb to transmit high-speed data to a photodetector, which is connected to a smartphone or tablet.
- Over the last few years, there has been increasing research in Li-Fi networking techniques, such as multiuser access, interference mitigation, and mobility support, and in parallel, Li-Fi products have been developed, which have enabled wireless networking with light. Moreover, as energy efficiency measures are being taken all over the world, smart homes and smart cities, with energy-efficient devices, are expected to increase. As Li-Fi technology is slowly penetrating these applications, the growth in the smart home and smart city markets will offer a massive opportunity to the vendors in the studied market.
- Wi-Fi’s frequency spectrum is around 2.4GHz or 5GHz, while Li-Fi’s frequency spectrum is located in the visible light band. Considering the widespread use of LED bulbs inside buildings and large bandwidth of visible light, Li-Fi technology is much cheaper and more eco-friendly than Wi-Fi. Li-Fi technique has great potential in many popular applications, such as location-based services, mobile connectivity, smart lighting, and hazardous environments.
- The increasing growth in the use of LED lamps in buildings for lighting provides enormous opportunities for Li-Fi-based applications. As Li-Fi combines the functions of high-speed wireless data communication and indoor lighting infrastructure, it is very cost-effective to be widely utilized in smart buildings.
- Also, Charlottesville-based Li-Fi firm VLNComm has received backing from the US Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation. It has also released three Li-Fi products, such as a desk light, a USB stick, and an LED panel.
- Further, the market is witnessing partnerships with various facilities providers to offer their solutions. For instance, UK-based PureLiFi, in collaboration with Edinburgh University, deployed its Li-Fi solutions at Kyle Academy secondary school. The project was overseen by the Scottish Futures Trust, which supports the Scottish government’s digital strategy.
The United States is Expected to Hold Major Share
- The rapid advancement of information technologies, such as wireless sensor networks, the Internet of Things, Big Data, and smartphones, has resulted in the development of smart buildings in the North American region. At the end of 2016, around 15 million households in the United States met the definition of smart home, which is expected to increase to more than 20 million households, thereby, offering several opportunities for Li-Fi in the country.
- According to the US Green Building Council, buildings contribute a significant portion of energy consumption in the United States. It is reported that buildings account for 70% of electricity load and 39% of carbon oxide emissions. Given an occupant’s accurate indoor position, a building management system (BMS) is capable of offering highly efficient heating, cooling, ventilation, and lighting services to the occupant.
- Increasing applications of indoor location-based services embedded with light fixtures in retail shops and hotels in the North American region are also projected to be one of the factors driving the revenue growth in the region. Several companies, such as GE Lightings and ByteLight Inc., are deploying VLC installations in supermarkets, which in turn, is aiding retailers to tie a customers’ shopping history by tracking their location details.
- Additionally, the scope of utilization of Li-Fi in the marine and subsea applications is also manifold. For instance, the US Navy presently uses a slow and antiquated system for underwater communication that does not quite jibe well with the poor acoustics that lies underwater.
- As a result, the US Navy is developing cutting-edge communication technology using Li-Fi to counter the problem of subsea communication. Further, for use in petrochemical plants or on airplanes, Li-Fi emissions are being considered to bea great option, since Wi-Fi tends to interfere with onboard electronics.
The Li-Fi market is highly competitive and consists of several major players. In terms of market share, few of the major players currently dominate the market. These major players with prominent shares in the market are focusing on expanding their customer base across foreign countries. These companies are leveraging on strategic collaborative initiatives to increase their market share and increase their profitability. The companies operating in the market are also acquiring start-ups working on Li-fi technologies to strengthen their product capabilities.
- August 2020 - Nav Wireless Technologies Pvt Ltd has set up LIFI based communication facilities at Civil Hospitals in Ahemdabad, Surat Municipal Institute of Medical Education & Research, and Gujarat Medical Education & Research Society Hospital. After receiving positive responses from the hospital management, medical staff, and patients, the company is exploring more tie-ups with other government and private hospitals in Gujarat and neighboring states like Maharastra, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan.
- January 2020 - Getac Technology integrates the Li-fi technology powered by pureLiFi into the rugged mobiles. The Getac device to offer integrated LiFicapability will be the UX10 fully rugged tablet. Defense, Public Safety, Automotive, energy, and manufacturing sectors will be benefited from Getac’s Lifi Solutions.
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