Last year saw the WiFi Alliance announce the latest version of WiFi6 called WiFi6E – E referred to as ‘killer WiFi’ or ‘extended’. Wi-Fi 6 Extended offers the ability to leverage the 6 GHz band for unlicensed Wi-Fi operations. But there is a new Wi-Fi all ready to compete and displace the other versions with the premise of promising higher data bandwidth and lower latency.
Officially Wi-Fi 7 is 802.11be is engineered to power and support multi-band/multi-channel aggregation and operation and deliver a higher spectrum with higher power efficiency, better interference mitigations, higher capacity density, and higher cost-efficiency. The seventh generation of Wi-Fi is also called Wi-Fi Extremely High Throughput due to its 30Gbps speeds almost three times faster than that of its predecessor Wi-Fi 6. WiFi7 promises to utilize more radio spectrum, making it faster. The throughput also doubled, with the channel size nearly doubled from the already existing 160Mhz in WiFi6 to 320Mhz.
Wi-Fi 7 will support 160+160MHz, 240+180MHZ, and 160+80MHz channels to combine non-contiguous spectrum blocks. Earlier, Wi-Fi 5 standards were used to support 256-QAM, and Wi-Fi 6 standards supported 1024-QAM, carrying almost 25 percent more raw data. This projected that Wi-Fi 7 would support 4096-QAM, meaning that the throughput would increase nearly 20 percent.
WiFi 7 Features:
|Maximum transmission rate||30 Gbps|
|Frequency band||2.4Ghz, 5Ghz, 6Gh|
|Channel Bandwidth||up to 320 Mhz|
|Modulation Mode||4096-QAM, OFDMA|
|MIMO||16*16 UL/DL MU-MIMO|
Enabling exciting new experiences and use cases with Wi-Fi 7
Wi-Fi 7, apart from elevating the performance of applications that we use today, will also enable many new experiences. Consider the most advanced Extended Reality (XR) applications, which are extremely latency-sensitive to the point where these devices become non-functional unless very low latency metrics are achieved. Immersive, realistic XR experiences require exceptionally high-quality video with very high refresh rates that demand very high speeds and bandwidth. Additionally, the network needs extreme capacity to support many users simultaneously using such applications. Cloud gaming, social gaming, and Metaverse are additional applications that will test the boundaries of wireless technology and for which Wi‑Fi 7 will deliver ample performance.
In enterprise networks, the intelligence and value are moving toward the edge. Edge-cloud is a fundamental component of enterprise digital transformation. With Wi-Fi being the last hope for many enterprises’ use cases, the low latency and bandwidth that Wi-Fi 7 can provide, even in dense, high-traffic scenarios, will become vital for many business-critical applications. It goes without saying that Wi-Fi 7 is destined to quickly become a prerequisite to support high-traffic use cases like offices, entertainment venues, and others.
Wi-Fi is already geared up to meet various use cases with many emerging technologies in place. For enterprises, the Wi-Fi 7 will benefit the Internet of Things (IoT) and IIoT applications such as industrial automation, surveillance, remote control, AV/VR, and other video-based applications. End users will see the benefit of Wi-Fi 7 in gaming AV/VR in a big way. In the medical field, Wi-Fi will be used significantly at remote locations to perform operations by robots and machines in case of emergencies, primarily because it provides very low latency and high bandwidth.
Unlike previous Wi-Fi standards, the Wi-Fi 7 makes a giant technological leap and is backward compatible and considers other spectrums like 2.4G, 5G, and 6G. With the all-new 320 MHz channels present in Wi-Fi 7, there will be less bandwidth and will support more channels. The number of parallel streams on multiple devices increases with the increase in speeds in connection with low latency. The expected launch of Wi-Fi 7 looks set for the following year. Vendors like STL already provide tailored solutions called dWiFI and help customers monetize Wi-Fi effectively. To learn about STL’s dWiFi, click here.