pureLiFi's Kitefin system

US Army invests $4.2M in large-scale LiFi deployment

May 5, 2021
pureLiFi will provide a secure wireless communications system based on technology that uses light rather than radio frequencies to transmit data.

pureLiFi, a global expert in LiFi technology, has announced a new deal to supply the US Army with its Kitefin platform, a next generation optical wireless communication system using LiFi for secure data transmission without radio frequencies.

The cutting-edge deployment by United States Army Europe and Africa (USAREUR-AF) is based on pureLiFi's wireless technology which uses light rather than radio frequencies to transmit data. According to the company, by harnessing the light spectrum, LiFi technology can unleash more reliable wireless communications with unparalleled security, compared to conventional technologies, such as cellular, WiFi and Bluetooth.

As explained by a pureLiFi statement:

The deal with USAREUR-AF is the world's first large scale deployment of LiFi. The deployment consists of thousands of certified office and field-deployable LiFi units in real tactical and strategic environments. Kitefin is a newly developed system with unique features for defense use cases.

The use of Radio Frequencies (RF) in secure and defense environments causes many challenges; mainly, as RF is a technology that can be detected and targeted. Kitefin eliminates this risk as it cannot be detected outside of its defined cone of coverage. The Kitefin system also allows for rapid setup and positive logistical impact saving time, money and lives on each deployment.

An initial pilot of pureLiFi’s technology with USAREUR-AF took place in 2019, convincing key US Army stakeholders that LiFi would play a vital role in the future of defense communications, which resulted in the largest-ever purchase of LiFi technology.

CW5 Andrew Foreman, USAREUR-AF Chief Technology Officer, commented:

"Including optical wireless in the commander’s toolbox is imperative to the survival of communications, command and control systems and, more importantly, soldiers. Leadership within the Department of Defense are at a major transitional crossroads for communications and mission command systems and must make a critical decision: Start deploying LiFi and FSO and explore other optical wireless communications technologies, or continue to subject the warfighter to increased emission by continuing to field highly detectable RF systems to the tactical edge, thus putting soldiers and systems in dire straits."

The deal comes on the back of pureLiFi’s recent £18 million series B investment to take LiFi technology mainstream. In 2019, pureLiFi launched gigabit components designed for integration into mobile phones and consumer electronics.

Alistair Banham CEO of pureLiFi, explained the importance of this inflection point in the adoption of LiFi technology:

“New technology that eventually ends up in the hands of consumers is often evaluated adopted and used first by the defense sector, who traditionally lead the way with new and proven secure technology innovation. This largest real-world deployment of LiFi with the US Army Europe and Africa is a testament to the benefits that LiFi can offer and the technology’s usability.

If one of the most significant and advanced defense organizations in the world can rely on LiFi for the most critical of communications, LiFi can offer unprecedented benefits to the consumer. LiFi, like so many technologies before it, is on a classic journey of adoption in defense to wide-spread acceptance in the consumer market, and eventually LiFi in everyone’s home.

Since offering our gigabit components to the market we have developed some very innovative proof of concept integrations with some of the world’s largest consumer electronic and mobile phone brands. We are closer than ever to seeing consumers having LiFi in their homes and their pockets. This first major deployment with the US Army Europe and Africa is just the beginning.

LiFi not only offers military grade security to everyone -- it can provide faster speeds [and] highly reliable connections, enhancing home connectivity in an age when privacy is paramount, and everyone is seeking faster, more reliable internet connections."

The first units of  in the US Army's Li-Fi deployment will ship in spring 2021.

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