Optical wireless communication (OWC) systems provide many advantages over radio frequency (RF) wireless technologies in some scenarios, including significantly higher data rates and a large amount of available license-free frequency spectrum. Recently, OWC has also been proposed in fifth generation 5G standard as a tool to augment capacity due to RF spectrum crunching challenges. Various forms of OWC can be used to augment RF capacity at both access and backhaul/fronthaul levels. Despite the major advantages and various application areas, the widespread deployment of OWC is delayed by several challenges, such as the demand to maintain strict line-of-sight alignment between transmitter and receiver in long range outdoor applications; the need to combat attenuation due to adverse weather conditions such as fog, cloud, and turbulence; to modulate light emitting diodes at high frequencies without distortion at indoor visible light communication (VLC) applications and retaining power levels within the eye safety limits for laser transmitters and comfortable illumination levels for LED transmitters.
- Optical wireless communication
- free space optics
- visible light communication