18 August 2015
Visible light communication market to more than double annually to $113bn in 2022
The global market for visible light communications (VLC) - an emerging technology that uses visible light (between 400 and 800THz of electromagnetic spectrum) from light-emitting diodes (LEDs) as a communication medium - will rise from $267.6m in 2014, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 109.2% from 2015, to $113,273.4m by 2022, forecasts Transparency Market Research in its report 'Visible Light Communication Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2015 – 2022'. North America was the largest market in 2014, accounting for 43.4% of revenue.
Swelling demand for radio frequency communication resulting in spectrum constraint is fueling demand for visible light communication as a complementary technology. Features such as safety, higher energy efficiency and minimal interference are cementing the growth of the visible light communication market, says the market research firm. In particular, the visible light communication market has lately witnessed increasing demand for VLC solutions in the retail industry, due to its use in targeted advertisements and location-based services.
The Asia Pacific region is expected to be the fastest-growing market for visible light communication in terms of revenue during the forecast period. Growth in this region is attributed primarily to increasing R&D investment in countries such as Japan, China and Korea, which are expected to pave the way for novel applications. Further, the energy efficiency of VLC networks is expected to drive demand for visible light communication in emerging regions.
The expected rise in adoption of VLC across all the regions would help to augment the growth rate in the near term with marginal steadiness reflecting the mid to long term of the forecast period. The Asia Pacific is estimated to dominate in terms of growth rate, while North America will see higher revenue contribution throughout the forecast period, the report forecasts.
Collaboration by vendors with research institutions for extensive R&D is the key trend seen in the market, says the firm. Likewise, LED OEMs in the visible light communication market are focusing on partnering with VLC solution developers and vice-versa.
Such collaborations will help to overcome existing barriers in the market such as the lack of standardization and the difficulty in upgrading existing LED lighting for VLC communication, reckons the report. Researchers are constantly testing new solutions and overcoming the existing barriers, which is further expected to boost demand for VLC solutions in the near future.
In 2014 in terms of revenue, the largest market segment by end-user application was retail indoor positioning, contributing 57.5%. By data rate and by reach, the market was dominated by the segments up to 1Mb/s and up to 10m, each accounting for about 80% of revenue.
In terms of communication type, due to challenges in uplink communication, the bidirectional visible light communication market has not been able to see as swift adoption as that of unidirectional communication. However, with technical advances negating the impact of these challenges, the bidirectional segment is expected to overtake the unidirectional visible light communication market over the forecast period.
The bidirectional VLC market should also see demand surge with growing implementation across connected devices.
Connected devices are expected to form the highest-growing segment over the forecast period as mobile companies are striving to integrate visible light communication technologies in their smartphones. So, with new opportunities emerging across the VLC market, lighting companies are also exploring their options to tap into the lucrative growth potential provided, adding to long-term VLC market growth.
Light-based Internet communication was the emerging VLC application in 2014, with major activity seen in Japan and the USA, accounting for 39.2% of global VLC market revenue. However, the penetration of visible light communication technology is currently quite low and is expected to rise with the increasing adoption of LED lighting applications.
In order to leverage the potential revenue opportunities, leading players are focusing on offering bidirectional high-speed visible light communication solutions covering large distances in various applications, notes the report.