The Wi-Fi Alliance has announced a major milestone for the next generation of wireless networking, Wi-Fi 7. Originally planned for late 2024, the final specifications are now expected to be finalized before the end of the first quarter of this year.
This means that Wi-Fi 7 could be officially certified as early as 2024, paving the way for its widespread adoption in business environments and ushering in a new era of connected devices. Wi-Fi 7 promises significant improvements over previous generations, with the potential for speeds of up to 40 Gbit/s.
This incredible speed can make it a viable alternative to traditional wired Ethernet connections for most users. To achieve these speeds, Wi-Fi 7 uses three frequency bands: 2.40 GHz, 5 GHz and 6 GHz, along with a wider 320 MHz channel and 4096-QAM modulation.
In addition, it builds on the advancements of Wi-Fi 6 and 6E, including MU-MIMO and OFDMA for further improved connection speeds. Overall, this represents a 4.8x improvement over Wi-Fi 6, significantly increasing wireless performance and capacity.
While there are already many Wi-Fi 7-labeled routers and adapters available, they currently operate under draft specifications. This does not significantly affect user usage, and most devices will support the full standard through firmware updates when available.
However, for companies operating in fully commercial buildings, certified Wi-Fi 7 devices are essential due to strict frequency regulations.
Potential for AR/VR applications
One of the most exciting aspects of Wi-Fi 7 is its potential for AR/VR applications.
With its ability to deliver direct wireless connections, Wi-Fi 7 can overcome the limitations of current technologies in this area. "Wi-Fi 7 supports superior connectivity for new use cases with a high level of interactivity and immersion," states the Wi-Fi Alliance.
"As user demand for high-capacity, low-latency technologies such as AR/VR/XR, cloud computing, and industrial IoT grows in various market segments, Wi-Fi 7 devices will deliver optimized performance, even in densely populated environments within 2.4 to 5 GHz." For countries that have access to the 6 GHz band, the Wi-Fi 7 experience will be truly transformative.
The Wi-Fi Alliance is highlighting this as the most significant jump in wireless network speeds since the introduction of Wi-Fi 5 in 2013. The arrival of Wi-Fi 7 marks a new era in wireless connectivity. With its promise of blazing fast speeds, reliable performance and support for new technologies like AR/VR, Wi-Fi 7 will undoubtedly play a major role in shaping the future of our connected world.