Optical Wireless Communication Conference

OWCC 2023

Nanotechnology Computer Networks & Wireless Communication Computer Security & Cryptography Artificial Intelligence Optics & Photonics

6G and Optical Wireless Communication!

This edition of the Optical Wireless Communication Conference focusses on the role optical wireless communication can play to address some of the key challenges of 6G. 6G will have to serve many mobile users and IoT devices at a density of terabits per second per square meter. Current RF systems provide continuously improving performance but at rapidly increasing cost, complexity and power consumption. Yet, very high bit rates in large amounts of available spectrum can be realized by steerable or switched light beams, which also allow dense reuse. As cell sizes have been shrinking exponentially in the past decades to serve an ever-increasing amount of client devices, atto-cells covered by an optical beam coming from the ceiling are a natural next step. The compact disc (CD) and digital versatile disc (DVD) technology have already proven many years ago that high-capacity steerable lasers can become a mass market product.


What are the main challenges to make LiFi part of 6G? Can LiFi be miniaturized to fit in a smartphone? Integrated photonics and optics promise a high degree of miniaturization and aggressive power reduction. Are the LiFi results sufficiently reproducible to standardize? LEDs are omnipresent because of illumination and could provide shadow-free guaranteed quality of service, or are Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting laser (VSCEL) arrays or steerable lasers a better solution? MIMO (Multiple-Input and Multiple-Output) and cooperative multipoint (CoMP) technologies can overcome line-of-sight blockage challenges.


Due to the immense densification of wireless networks in 6G, backhaul technologies are also important. Here, optical wireless can also play an important role. Over long distances, free-space optical (FSO) communication faces the serious challenge of atmospheric turbulence, scattering, clouds and pointing losses. These become more severe with increasing distance. Can we make Free Space Optical (FSO) links sufficiently resilient towards these distortions for the 6G network? Satellite communication encounters similar challenges, with the exception of optical inter-satellite links (OISL), which are merely hampered by pointing losses.

Exponential growth

The ongoing exponential growth of wireless traffic to end devices also implies the need for a performance jump in the backbone network to deliver high bit rates over distances towards base stations and access points. FSO links have been shown to be capable of transmitting terabits per seconds over large distances. Wireless optical links can be easy to deploy, to reach out to remote areas, to densify the urban network of 6G base stations, possibly also via drones, aircraft and low-orbit satellites.

Track record

The Optical Wireless Communication Conference has established a track record in connecting academic and industrial research to opportunities for market innovations. It offers inspiring input to academic researchers from industrial speakers and from standardization. It shows the potential of novel approaches created in academic settings to potential users and industrial players. It is also an opportunity to see how we can bring together the foci of the optical fiber community (e.g. the speed race for more bit/s) and of the radio world (e.g. the interoperability, QoS in multiuser networks).