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RF Shorts for Oct. 24, 2013

Li-Fi offers wireless speeds up to 3.25 Gbps, no need for new spectrum
Shanghai's Fudan University says it has made a breakthrough with its “Li-Fi” technology. The technology uses a one watt LED light bulb to connect four computers to the Internet simultaneously. The new technology promises speeds as fast as 3.25 Gbps

Few technical details were offered in the article Shanghai Fudan University develops new Li-Fi technology.

Fudan University isn't the only group working on visible light communications. In April reported Scientist Deliver 3 Gbps Cable High Speed Internet via Ceiling Lamps. The article describes work at the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute. ISPreview also covered work at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland on Li-Fi technology developed there in the article Tiny LiFi LED Lights Set to Deliver WiFi Style Internet Communications.

Even with Li-Fi's obvious limitations, the technology provides a way to offer wireless data at speeds unattainable using microwave and lower frequency RF technologies.

Loon's antenna revealed
There has been much interest in Google's Project Loon technology for providing Internet access to regions without terrestrial Internet access, particularly since Google began testing the technology in California's central valley around Fresno recently. Google has been posting information about Project Loon and the technology behind in on its Google+ Project Loon page. A posting last Friday showed the inside of the Loon base station antenna.

It turned out to be fairly simple – a patch type antenna in front of a flat circular reflector. The article Google cracks open Project Loon's antennas, explains balloon delivered internet has a close up of the antenna, while Lee Bell's article in the Inquirer, Google talks up balloon Project Loon antenna technology provides some additional details.

Doug Lung

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.