Visible Light Communications towards 5G

Stanislav Zvanovec, Petr Chvojka, Paul Haigh, Zabih Ghassemlooy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)


5G networks have to offer extremely high capacity for novel streaming applications. One of the most promising approaches is to embed large numbers of cooperating small cells into the macro-cell coverage area. Alternatively, optical wireless based technologies can be adopted as an alternative physical layer offering higher data rates. Visible light communications (VLC) is an emerging technology for future high capacity communication links (it has been accepted to 5GPP) in the visible range of the electromagnetic spectrum (~370–780 nm) utilizing light-emitting diodes (LEDs) simultaneously provide data transmission and room illumination. A major challenge in VLC is the LED modulation bandwidths, which are limited to a few MHz. However, myriad gigabit speed transmission links have already been demonstrated. Non line-of-sight (NLOS) optical wireless is resistant to blocking by people and obstacles and is capable of adapting its’ throughput according to the current channel state information. Concurrently, organic polymer LEDs (PLEDs) have become the focus of enormous attention for solid-state lighting applications due to their advantages over conventional white LEDs such as ultra-low costs, low heating temperature, mechanical flexibility and large photoactive areas when produced with wet processing methods. This paper discusses development of such VLC links with a view to implementing ubiquitous broadcasting networks featuring advanced modulation formats such as orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) or carrier-less amplitude and phase modulation (CAP) in conjunction with equalization techniques. Finally, this paper will also summarize the results of the European project ICT COST IC1101 OPTICWISE (Optical Wireless Communications - An Emerging Technology) dealing VLC and OLEDs towards 5G networks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015


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