What is it and how fast will it be?
While Wi-Fi 6E will still feel heart-pounding in early 2022, demonstration of the upcoming Wi-Fi 7 standard shown transfer rates could make Ethernet cables obsolete. Let’s take a look at the proposed specification and what it promises.
What is Wi-Fi 7? How fast is it?
The most notable feature of Wi-Fi 7 is that it can make wired Ethernet connections obsolete for a certain class of home users and professionals alike. Wi-Fi 7 can theoretically support bandwidth of up to 30 gigabits per second (Gbps) per access point, which is just over three times faster than the maximum 9.6 Gbps speed of Wi-Fi 6 (aka 802.11ax) . The concept authors call this ‘Extremely High Throughput’ or EHT.
Currently, the widely available wired Ethernet technology is up to 10 Gbps (10GBASE-T), although it basically doesn’t exist in consumer devices at this point. And although higher speeds (such as Terabit Ethernet) exist in specialized environments such as data centers, the arrival at the home or in small businesses – if it ever happens – is probably far away. So for current users of both Gigabit and 10 Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 7 can replace the need for wired connections under optimal conditions.
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What else is cool about WiFi 7?
Aside from the theoretical potential of Wi-Fi 7’s blazing-fast speeds, the Wi-Fi Alliance plans to include other notable improvements in the Wi-Fi standard. We’ll cover a handful below:
Backwards compatibility: The Wi-Fi 7 draft specification describes backwards compatibility with older devices in the 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and 6 GHz bands, meaning you don’t need completely new devices or hardware to connect to a wifi network 7 compatible router. 6 GHz: full use of the new “6 GHz band” (actually 5.925–7.125GHz), supported first in Wi-Fi 6E. The 6GHz band is currently only occupied by Wi-Fi applications (although that may change), and their use results in dramatically less interference than the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz bands. Lower latency: The draft Wi-Fi 7 specification focuses on “lower latency and higher reliability” for: time sensitive networking (TSN), which is essential for cloud computing (and cloud gaming). It is also an essential requirement for replacing wired Ethernet connections. MLO: Wi-Fi 7 Deals Multi-Link Control (MLO) with load balancing and aggregation that combines multiple channels on different frequencies to provide better performance. This means that a Wi-Fi 7 router can dynamically use all available bands and channels to speed up connections or avoid high-interference bands. Upgrades to 802.11ax: Under the draft specification, Wi-Fi 7 provides direct enhancements to Wi-Fi 6 technologies, such as 320 MHz channel width (versus 160 MHz in Wi-Fi 6), which enables faster connectionsand 4096 quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) technology that makes it possible more data per crammed into every hertz.
When will Wi-Fi 7 be available?
According to a press release from MediaTekwho claims to already have demonstrated With the maximum Wi-Fi 7 speed mentioned above, Wi-Fi 7 products are expected to hit the market in 2023 article in IEEE Spectrum mentions 2024 as a possible availability date.
In the meantime, you can already buy routers that support Wi-Fi 6 (and Wi-Fi 6E), which is still impressive compared to previous Wi-Fi standards. We’ve written a guide to the best routers on the market. Whichever way you choose, it’s clear that exciting times lie ahead for wireless networks.