Tech News Wi-Fi 7: What Is It, and How Fast Will It Be?


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Apr 24, 2016
Although Wi-Fi 6E still feels bleeding edge at the start of 2022, a demonstration of the upcoming Wi-Fi 7 standard showcased transfer speeds might make Ethernet cables obsolete. Let’s take a look at the proposed spec and what it promises.

Wi-Fi 7 is a new specification for Wi-Fi devices currently in the works. It’s based on the draft 802.11be standard, published in May 2021, that has not yet been finalized or approved by the FCC.

The most show-stopping feature of Wi-Fi 7 is that it might make wired Ethernet connections obsolete for a certain class of both home users and professionals. Wi-Fi 7 can theoretically support bandwidth up to 30 gigabits per second (Gbps) per access point, which is just over three times as fast as the maximum 9.6 Gbps speed of Wi-Fi 6 (also known as 802.11ax). The draft authors call this “Extremely High Throughput,” or EHT.

Currently, commonly-available wired Ethernet technology maxes out at 10 Gbps (10GBASE-T), although it’s basically non-existent in consumer devices at the moment. And although higher speeds (such as Terabit Ethernet) exist in specialist settings like data centers, its arrival in the home or small business setting—if it ever happens—is likely far off. So for current users of both Gigabit and 10 Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 7 might be able to replace the need for wired connections under optimal conditions.

Aside from the theoretical potential of blazingly fast speeds of Wi-Fi 7, the Wi-Fi Alliance plans to include other notable improvements in the Wi-Fi standard. We’ll cover a handful below:
  • Backward Compatibility: The Wi-Fi 7 draft spec spells out backward compatibility with legacy devices in the 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and 6 GHz bands, which means you won’t need all-new devices or hardware to connect to a Wi-Fi 7-enabled router.
  • 6 GHz: Full utilization of the new “6 GHz Band” (actually 5.925–7.125 GHz), first supported in Wi-Fi 6E. The 6GHz band is currently only occupied by Wi-Fi applications (although that might change), and using it results in dramatically less interference than the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz bands.
  • Lower Latency: The draft Wi-Fi 7 spec aims at “lower lateness and higher reliabilities” for time-sensitive networking (TSN), which is essential for cloud computing (and cloud gaming). It’s also a critical requirement for replacing wired Ethernet connections.
  • MLO: Wi-Fi 7 offers Multi-Link Operation (MLO) with load balancing and aggregation that combines multiple channels on different frequencies to deliver better performance. This means a Wi-Fi 7 router will be able to utilize all bands and channels available dynamically to speed up connections or avoid bands with high interference.
  • Upgrades to 802.11ax: According to the draft spec, Wi-Fi 7 will offer direct enhancements of Wi-Fi 6 technologies, such as 320 MHz channel width (up from 160 MHz in Wi-Fi 6), which allows faster connections, and 4096 quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) technology that allows more data crammed into each hertz.
According to a news release from MediaTek, which claims to have already demonstrated the maximum Wi-Fi 7 speed mentioned above, Wi-Fi 7 products are expected to hit the market in 2023. An article in IEEE Spectrum cites 2024 as a potential availability date.

Source: Wi-Fi 7: What Is It, and How Fast Will It Be?


Level 16
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Oct 13, 2019
I can imagine real world usage for Wifi7 routers (when a lot of users share the router e.g. cafe's, pubs, restaurants, camp sites, airports, hotels and events with free Wifi), but when 10Gbase-T in business environments never felt the need for more wired speed, why would a portable/mobile device need so much bandwidth than Wifi6?
One aspect of improvement is the crazy high throughput but the other benefit here are the other improvements (reverse multiple channel aggregation more similar to LTE/5G, as well as the time sensitive networking low latency improvements)

Plus, wifi is a shared capacity medium. 9.6gbps air speed most likely is 5gbps real world speed at best. That will only get you today's 500-600mbps Wifi 5/6 style speeds to 10 clients at best, and these wifi 7 APs will be more expensive.

I already deploy 2 to 3 Wifi 6 APs at home for working from home, just because wifi channels saturate much quicker than my gigabit home connection.


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Aug 17, 2014

Wi-Fi 7 home mesh routers aim to hit 33Gbps​

The Wi-Fi Alliance, which makes Wi-Fi standards and includes Qualcomm as a member, has said that Wi-Fi 7 will offer a max throughput of "at least 30Gbps," and on Wednesday, Qualcomm said its Network Pro Series Gen 3 platform will support "up to 33Gbps." These are theoretical speeds that you likely won't reach in your home, and you'll need a premium broadband connection and Wi-Fi 7 devices, which don't exist yet. Still, the speeds represent an impressive jump from Wi-Fi 6 and 6E's 9.6Gbps.

The next-gen tech is aimed at network-intensive applications, like virtual and augmented reality, video streaming at 4K and higher, and cloud computing and gaming. By making changes to the physical (PHY) layer and medium access control (MAC), Wi-Fi 7 should allow you to enjoy these applications with less latency and jitter.


Level 5
Aug 19, 2022
Eh considering this is my current wifi speed on my 2 gig AT&T fibre connected to a brocade switch and 5 brocade AP throughout the house then I am happy. This is my wifi speed as per Pixel 6 pro in a bedroom about 10 meters away from a bathroom placed ceiling AP.


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Level 9
Dec 7, 2021
Sounds a great idea, at the moment I still use ethernet for two PC's as superior to my present Wi-Fi - Not sure when those who use ISP supplied routers will be able to use it though often a secondary router can be deployed. How higher frequencies deal with a home environment with brick walls etc, RSJ's remains to be seen ??


Level 43
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Nov 10, 2017
Time to gird your browsers, y’all — Wi-Fi is getting another upgrade very soon. That’s right: about four years after Wi-Fi 6 debuted and two years after Wi-Fi 6E followed it up, Wi-Fi 7 is picking up the baton. And as someone who got his start reviewing routers, I am so tired.

Okay, but seriously — Wi-Fi 7 could be an even bigger speed boost than Wi-Fi 6E was, thanks in part to the wide open spaces of the 6GHz band that 6E unlocked. It’s also supposed to deploy other tricks for speeding things up and bring new ways to cut through interference and drop the latency of your network.

Does all of that sound familiar? Probably because the big headlining features of both Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E have been their interference-busting abilities and — particularly in the case of 6E — increased speed (assuming you have a compatible device).

The good news is that Wi-Fi 7 will still work fine with your older stuff

If you’re not happy about the idea of replacing all of your devices for the promise of a stable network, the good news is that Wi-Fi 7 will still work fine with your older stuff. And as you replace your phones, computers, and other wireless doodads down the line with ones that support the new standard, certain things should get much better. Whether you should buy a Wi-Fi 7 router now or wait is another question.

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