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New tech will see ultra-fast internet from Dubai’s streetlamps

By the end of 2016, authorities plan to equip streetlamps in some areas of Dubai with the technology

Published: Updated:

Humble low-tech streetlamps lighting up Dubai are about to receive a 21st century upgrade.

A new technology, called Li-Fi, relies on optical technology to transmit lightning-fast internet at speeds of up to 224 gigabits a second.

By the end of 2016, authorities plan to equip streetlamps in some areas of Dubai with the technology, making the city the first in the world to do so.

This technology works through a computer chip installed in the lamp; the chip will translate data over optical frequencies, and the user will only have to be near the light sensor to get an Internet connection.

UAE-based tech company Zero 1 have partnered up with local telecoms provider Du to roll out LiFi in the city’s Silicon Oasis district. Du has not yet said how much it will charge users to access LiFI.

Unlike conventional Wi-Fi frequencies, Li-Fi is also considered to be safer, as signals are controlled through transmission of light rather than over the air.

The newest generation of smartphones are LiFi enabled, and can connect through the device’s camera sensors.