Optical Wireless Communication: A Candidate 6G Technology?

Shintaro ARAI  Masayuki KINOSHITA  Takaya YAMAZATO  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences   Vol.E104-A   No.1   pp.227-234
Publication Date: 2021/01/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1337
DOI: 10.1587/transfun.2020WBI0001
Type of Manuscript: INVITED PAPER (Special Section on Wideband Systems)
Category: 
Keyword: 
post 5G/6G,  visible light communication,  Li-Fi,  IEC 62943 visible light beacon,  rolling shutter,  rotary LED transmitter,  

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Summary: 
We discuss herein whether an optical wireless communication (OWC) system can be a candidate for post 5G or 6G cellular communication. Almost once per decade, cellular mobile communication is transformed by a significant evolution, with each generation developing a distinctive concept or technology. Interestingly, similar trends have occurred in OWC systems based on visible light and light fidelity (Li-Fi). Unfortunately, OWC is currently relegated to a limited role in any 5G scenario, but the debate whether this is unavoidable has yet to be settled. Whether OWC is adopted post 5G or 6G is not the vital issue; rather, the aim should be that OWC coexists with 5G and 6G communication technologies. In working toward this goal, research and development in OWC will continue to extend its benefits and standardize its systems so that it can be widely deployed in the market. For example, given that a standard already exists for a visible-light beacon identifier and Li-Fi, a service using this standard should be developed to satisfy user demand. Toward this end, we propose herein a method for visible-light beacon identification that involves using a rolling shutter to receive visible-light communications with a smartphone camera. In addition, we introduce a rotary LED transmitter for image-sensor communication.