Using cable connections to connect devices in the local network is slowly becoming a thing of the past. Wireless connectivity technologies, which allow people to share data from various devices with high efficiency, are what the future holds. And in this article, we'll try to lift the veil by sharing some interesting information about Wi-Fi 7 with you.
What is Wi-Fi 7
Similar to the development of cellular technology, where 4G has already been superseded by 5G, so the development of Wi-Fi does not stand still. Wi-Fi 7 (or IEEE 802.11be) is the latest version of wireless Internet connectivity technology that manufacturers are set to release to replace Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), which appeared in the world in September 2019.
According to the developers' claims, this standard will differ from the previous one in its ability to support:
- Three frequency bands (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, 6 GHz).
- Channels of 320 MHz width instead of 160 MHz. And a new type of bandwidth will increase flexibility and reduce congestion.
- 16 spatial streams that operate simultaneously, based on CMU-MIMO technology (instead of 8 streams based on MU-MIMO).
- A modulation scheme of 4096-QAM instead of 1024-QAM, enabling each character to hold 12 bits of data (rather than 10, as with Wi-Fi 6).
- Multi-RU (Multi Resource Unit) and Multi-Link technologies. Multi-RU implies that the 320 MHz channel can be made up of 80, 80, 160 MHz channels rather than a solid channel, allowing for a more rational use of the frequency range. While Multi-Link in Wi-Fi 6 operated on the principle of Multi Link Single Radio (i.e. in 2 x2 MIMO mode the two channels could only operate alternately), the new Wi-Fi 7 standard will use the Multi-Link Multi-Radio principle, allowing the two channels to operate simultaneously.
Features of Wi-Fi 7
From a practical point of view, the value of the Wi-Fi 7 standard can be judged by the range of features it is capable of delivering:
- A more than fourfold increase in maximum nominal data transfer rate (from the 9.6 Gbit/s that Wi-Fi 6 theoretically provides, to 46 Gbit/s). This progress in speed is due to a combination of the above-mentioned features of the new technology.
- More Wi-Fi devices will be connected thanks to a denser connection channel. At the same time, the operation of the devices in such conditions will remain reliable.
- Reduced congestion in home and office wireless networks.
- Reduced latency in transmitting and receiving data, which is important in online gaming and virtual reality interactions.
- Coordinated operation of access points. Wi-Fi 7 is planned to allow access points from different manufacturers to coordinate transmission schedules with each other in order to reduce mutual interference.
How Wi-Fi 7 will benefit
You're probably wondering how Wi-Fi 7 could change the lives of Internet users. We tell you.
So, the full implementation of the new technology will allow:
- Watch streaming video in 4K or 8K resolution to more people at the same time.
- Work remotely and participate in real-time video conferences.
- Immerse yourself in virtual and augmented reality.
- Organise cloud games and the industrial Internet of things.
- Connect to the meta universes.
When to expect Wi-Fi 7 enabled devices
Preparations are underway to release routers, laptops and other devices that support Wi-Fi 7. Certification for the Wi-Fi 7 standard is expected in 2023. If this is the case, the approximate timeframe for devices supporting this technology to reach the market is the second half of 2023.
Intel, which has already successfully demonstrated the technology in partnership with Broadcom, expects Wi-Fi 7-enabled laptops to hit the market in 2024. As innovations are constantly evolving, the standard's capabilities could expand even further by then.