O2 is using light to provide wireless connectivity

Tyrone Stewart

O2Mobile network operator O2 trialling the idea of using LED lightbulbs to provide wireless connectivity, as it continues to work toward its launch of 5G in the UK.

To conduct the test, O2 has teamed up with pureLiFi, a light communications technology company formed out of the University of Edinburgh. Working together, the pair will use LED lights to send ‘large amounts of data’.

O2 has installed pureLiFi’s LiFi-XC system, which is comprised of nine LiFi-enabled LED lightbulbs, in a room at its Slough headquarters. This system enables data to be transmitted from a LED lightbulb and back via adjustments in the bulb’s brightness.

“At O2 we're committed to building the best network possible for our customers, and a huge part of that is making sure we're ahead of the pack in testing the latest technology,” said Derek McManus, O2 COO.

“Our LiFi trial shows how you can deliver high-speed connectivity to customers in new ways and is another example of how we're future-proofing our network as we pave the way for 5G in the UK.”