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A Comparative Survey of Optical Wireless Technologies: Architectures and Applications

by   Mostafa Zaman Chowdhury, et al.

New high-data-rate multimedia services and applications are evolving continuously and exponentially increasing the demand for wireless capacity of fifth-generation (5G) and beyond. The existing radio frequency (RF) communication spectrum is insufficient to meet the demands of future high-datarate 5G services. Optical wireless communication (OWC), which uses an ultra-wide range of unregulated spectrum, has emerged as a promising solution to overcome the RF spectrum crisis. It has attracted growing research interest worldwide in the last decade for indoor and outdoor applications. OWC offloads huge data traffic applications from RF networks. A 100 Gb/s data rate has already been demonstrated through OWC. It offers services indoors as well as outdoors, and communication distances range from several nm to more than 10000 km. This paper provides a technology overview and a review on optical wireless technologies, such as visible light communication, light fidelity, optical camera communication, free space optical communication, and light detection and ranging. We survey the key technologies for understanding OWC and present state-of-the-art criteria in aspects, such as classification, spectrum use, architecture, and applications. The key contribution of this paper is to clarify the differences among different promising optical wireless technologies and between these technologies and their corresponding similar existing RF technologies


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