Integration of LiFi communication in C-ITS architecture for Smart Cities environments

What does a media company have to do with LED street Lighting? If this question intrigues you, then read on. The Spanish Media Company Optiva Media Spain is offering an industrial doctorate position for you to investigate how to take advantage of broadcasting content using public illumination.

In Europe all households are already supposed to have replaced their energy consuming bulb illumination with energy saving alternatives like Light Emitting Diode lightning, better known as LED. Many European cities are now in the transition from an illumination based on bulbs (incandescent) to LED as well. Optiva Media Spain is interested in exploring how to leverage this transition.


LED can be digitally controlled. Hence, it is possible to broadcast data using public illumination. This is called Light Fidelity (LiFi - WIFI using Light). According to the magazine Techworld, LiFi reaches much faster speeds, up to 224 gigabits per second. LiFi, born a few years ago and still in a research and development phase, is optical wireless communication (OWC) evolved from VLC (Visual Light Communication). In contrast to 5G, that transports data both downstream and upstream on the same channel, LiFi can manage data transports via different channels in both down- and upstream. Currently, LiFi is becoming more important in the wireless communications area.

Optiva Media is planning to exploit LiFi Communication in the framework of the C-ITS architecture of CALM standard defined by ISO 21217. The C-ITS platform is a European initiative to support the creation and delivery of services. C-ITS is the architecture that Smart Infrastructures will use due to sturdiness and security characteristics. This OWC, together with the architecture described, will create the platforms of the Smart Infrastructures of the future.


The evolution of the cities’ infrastructures is an ongoing process. This evolution is made possible by technology deployment and has to be affordable, hence the interest in decreasing CAPEX by leveraging on existing infrastructures. It will improve the life of the actors in everyday life: pedestrians, drivers and vehicles, buildings, government. The evolution shall comply with privacy and security requirements, hence the goal of using C-ITS platform improving it as needed.

LiFi has many features that can improve urban Infrastructures, including a potential high bandwidth. However, LiFi is a line-of-sight communication: that on the one hand is a limiting factor but on the other hand may be an advantage. For example, when two cars are standing in front of a traffic light, both can exchange quickly relevant information provided each is equipped with a LiFi receiver and transmitter. This is called “vehicle to vehicle communication” (V2V). A more realistic scenario might be a car parked on a road within the reach of a lamp post receiving information transmitted from the lamp post in a broadcast mode. This would only require a receiver on the car dashboard.

The inclusion of LiFi in the C-ITS platform will support a progress in the “Smart environment” and it will satisfy the need to extend the types of communications supported by the C-ITS architecture.


The objective of the thesis is implementing LiFi communication in the C-ITS architecture. The Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) has experience in researching this kind of platform. Combining this experience with the support of Optiva Media, it will be possible to develop this platform.

To reach this goal, it will be necessary to take the following steps:

  • Design & Development LiFi communication according the 802.15.7 standard and the newest standard 802.15.13
  • Design & Development of a platform based on the C-ITS architecture, based on the regulation ISO 21217, the CALM standard.
  • Integration of LiFi communication and C-ITS platform: LiFi communication will be added to the C-ITS platform in order to monitor the compatibility with others communications to avoid interferences and safeguard interoperability between communications.
  • Test the platform in a real environment to ensure that the development can fit concrete application and the first and second steps obtained have met the requirements.

Expected outcome

The main outcome of this project will be the integration of LiFi communication on the platform based in C-ITS. Both technologies will work for the implementation of one of the most popular standards of Digital Infrastructures and the development of a new kind of communication. Furthermore, Optiva Media will enter the market to exploit this system. For this reason, it will be developed an exploitation plan in order to achieve the desired outcome of the project.


The doctoral student involved in this programme will share its time between the Co-Location Centre of the EIT Digital Madrid Node and the premises of Optiva Media Spain. A three to six-month mobility in a European University/Research Center/Company will be also part of the programme.


  • Industrial partner: Optiva Media Spain
  • Academic/research partner: Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
  • Number of available PhD positions: 1
  • Duration: 4 years
  • This PhD will be funded by EIT Digital and OPTIVA Media


Those interested in applying should send an e-mail to, including a CV, a motivation letter, and documents showing their academic track records.

Please apply before 7 July, 2018.

© 2010-2020 EIT Digital IVZW. All rights reserved. Legal notice