LED light bulbs will be used to provide high-speed wireless connectivity in a new network trial unveiled by mobile operator O2.

The cutting-edge trial, which is being held conducted in partnership with Edinburgh-based PureLiFi, uses LED lights to send large amounts of data, while appearing as white light to the human eye.

The move is the latest in a series of O2 network trials as it paves the way for its 5G launch in the UK.

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The system enables data to be transmitted from a LED light bulb and back at high speeds through adjustments in the bulb’s brightness.

The result is a "high-speed, bi-directional and fully networked wireless communication of data".

It is claimed the LiFi system “has the potential to serve as a serious contender to WiFi”, which uses radio frequencies.

Its reliance on the visible light spectrum aims to enable safer, more reliable and more secure wireless data communication than WiFi, while it also has the potential to reduce infrastructure complexity and energy consumption.

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Derek McManus, O2’s chief operations officer, said the initial Slough trial “shows how you can deliver high-speed connectivity to customers in new ways and is another example of how we're future-proofing our network as we pave the way for 5G in the UK”.

Alistair Banham, chief executive of PureLiFi, said LiFi is "capable of unlocking unprecedented and much-needed data and bandwidth".

PureLifi was formed in 2012 as a spin-out from the University of Edinburgh and has significantly grown its customer base around the world including partnerships with Cisco and Rolls Royce.