The long-awaited official launch of Wi-Fi 7 has finally happened, marking a significant leap forward in wireless connectivity. The Wi-Fi Alliance has announced that it is now ready to certify products with the final Wi-Fi 7 standard. Existing devices that support Wi-Fi 7 currently use a draft version of the standard and will likely receive a firmware update in the coming months.
The new wireless tech is official with faster speeds and lower latency
Wi-Fi 7, identified by the IEEE standard 802.11be, is a major upgrade over Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E. The latter two are essentially the same, with the only difference being the addition of a third 6GHz frequency band on 6E. It makes for less network congestion, improving the speed of short-range connections. The overall peak speeds and other specs are the same between the two 6th-gen Wi-Fi standards.
The new standard, meanwhile, brings a generational leap in almost every aspect of wireless internet technology. For starters, Wi-Fi 7 promises a theoretical peak speed of 46Gbps, five times higher than Wi-Fi 6’s 9.6Gbps. While practical speeds are much lower than that, you get the gist. Wi-Fi 7 enables significantly higher throughput, data transmission rates, and efficiency, among other things.
The addition of a 320Hz channel bandwidth brings two times higher throughput over Wi-Fi 6’s 160Hz maximum bandwidth. MLO or multi-link operation support allows devices to send and receive data simultaneously over multiple frequency bands and channels. This reduces connection interference and latency while improving the throughput and reliability of the network.
Wi-Fi 7 also quadruples QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation) from 1024 QAM to 4096 QAM. According to the Wi-Fi Alliance, this allows for 20% higher transmission rates. Other highlights include improved network efficiency and transmission overhead, enhanced spectral efficiency, optimized triggered uplink access, and a seamless National Security & Emergency Preparedness (NSEP) service experience.
Wi-Fi 7 adoption to grow over nine times in the next four years
With the final standard now available, Wi-Fi 7 adoption is projected to grow exponentially over the next few years. There are already many routers and devices in the market with Wi-Fi 7 support. The iQOO 12, which we reviewed recently, boasts the next-gen wireless technology. Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S24 Ultra is also expected to feature Wi-Fi 7.
The Wi-Fi Alliance estimated the number of Wi-Fi 7-enabled devices to cross 233 million by the end of this year. It expects the volume to grow over nine times in the next four years, reaching 2.1 billion devices by 2028. As the new wireless technology arrives on more devices around us, the faster our connected device ecosystem will get. As the Alliance puts it, Wi-Fi 7 will “fast-track the future of connectivity across home, enterprise, and industrial environments.”
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