What is WiFi 7? Here’s What You Need to Know
Home & Business Internet Blog | MATE | 24 May 2023
As wireless technology continues to evolve, the potential for increasingly sophisticated Wi-Fi standards is becoming more of a reality. With enhanced connectivity, multi-user support and faster speeds in mind, Wi-Fi 7 emerges as the latest iteration in wireless networking set to revolutionise the way we live, play and work. In this blog, we take a deep dive into the new Wi-Fi standard and get you up to speed on its features, benefits and what it means for the current Wi-Fi 6 standard.
WiFi 7: The basics
Wi-Fi 7, also known as 802.11be, is the latest iteration of Wi-Fi technology that promises to deliver faster speeds, improved latency and better overall performance. It builds upon the foundations laid by the current wireless standard, Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E, and brings several innovations to enhance our connected experience even further.
WiFi 7 features
Enhanced channel bandwidths
Wi-Fi 7 introduces an impressive 320MHz channel bandwidth, doubling the bandwidth offered by its predecessor, Wi-Fi 6E. This increase in channel width paves the way for massive throughput gains, allowing for peak data transfer rates of over 40 Gbps.
Advanced multi-link options
Wi-Fi 7 incorporates several multi-link capabilities to improve throughput and reduce latency. Among these options, the most powerful is the High-Band Simultaneous Multi-Link technology. This feature employs two Wi-Fi radios operating concurrently in high-frequency bands (5 or 6 GHz) to establish an aggregated data pipeline, ensuring optimal performance even in congested areas.
Next-Generation modulation techniques
Wi-Fi 7 implements a cutting-edge modulation scheme known as 4K QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation). This advanced technique significantly increases peak data rates, throughput, and capacity compared to systems that use the previous 1K QAM modulation standard.
Adaptive channel utilisation
Wi-Fi 7 utilises a technique called preamble puncturing to bypass channels experiencing interference, allowing for the use of wider channels and enhancing overall performance.
WiFi 7 benefits
Increased speed and extremely high throughput
Wi-Fi 7’s adoption of 320MHz single channel bandwidth and the 6 GHz spectrum results in a greater maximum speed and higher throughput for connected devices. This leads to an overall enhanced user experience, making it possible to support more demanding applications and services.
Wi-Fi 7 employs various techniques, such as Multi-Link Operation (MLO), to serve more data requests with minimal delay. MLO enables devices to maintain multiple online connections across different bands simultaneously, improving the responsiveness of latency-sensitive applications such as gaming and video conferencing.
Enhanced multi-user support
The technology known as MU-MIMO (Multi-User, Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output) plays a significant role in Wi-Fi 7’s improved performance. The maximum number of supported spatial streams for client devices increases from eight to 16, allowing more capacity to be utilised in a smaller space. This enhancement ensures that a greater number of devices can be connected and served efficiently.
Superior access point coordination in mesh networks
Wi-Fi 7 improves coordination between access points, enhancing the efficiency of mesh networks that have become common in larger properties. This advancement ensures that more devices can be connected to faster internet speeds consistently, even as they move throughout the property.
Better performance in high-density environments
Wi-Fi 7 addresses network congestion and Wi-Fi interference, delivering improved connectivity experiences in areas with high device density and overlapping networks. This improvement is particularly significant in environments such as office buildings, shopping centres, airports, and other large venues.
WiFi 7 release date
With the 802.11be standard having been in development since 2021, WiFi 7 looks to be right around the corner with an expected release in 2024. However, it may take some time for Wi-Fi 7 routers and devices to become widely available on the market.
WiFi 7 routers and compatibility
As with any new wireless standard, the release of Wi-Fi 7 will bring a new generation of WiFi 7 routers and devices that support the technology. It is essential to remember that while Wi-Fi 7 will be backward compatible with previous Wi-Fi standards, upgrading to a Wi-Fi 7 router and compatible devices will be necessary to take full advantage of the increased speeds and performance offered by this new standard.
WiFi 6 vs 7
While Wi-Fi 7 promises substantial improvements, it is important to bear in mind that Wi-Fi 6 (and 6E) still stands as the current best Wi-Fi standard on the market. With improved data rates, increased network capacity and better power efficiency than the previous WiFi standard—WiFi 5—there’s no real need to start scouting for a new WiFi 7 router just yet.
The value of Wi-Fi 6 and MATE’s TP-Link VX230v Modem
As we eagerly await the arrival of Wi-Fi 7, it’s essential to highlight the benefits of Wi-Fi 6 and how MATE’s TP-Link VX230v Modem can still go a long way in elevating your internet experience. Not only does a MATE TP-Link VX230v modem promise a seamless plug-and-play experience, but you’ll also enjoy:
- Guaranteed compatibility with any nbn technology
- Internet speeds of up to 350Mbps
- Dual-band WiFi 6 (AX1800) offering:
- 1201Mbps via 5GHz
- 574Mbps via 2GHz
- Enhanced wireless experience with multiple device support
- Robust hardware interface:
- 1× DSL port
- 1× Gigabit WAN port
- 3× Gigabit LAN ports
- 1× FXS port
- 1× USB 2.0 port
- Support for VoIP calls simply by connecting the device to your existing telephone set
- Advanced security options, including WPA/WPA2/WPA3-PSK
By choosing MATE’s TP-Link VX230v Modem when signing up to one of our unlimited data nbn internet plans, you can enjoy the benefits of Wi-Fi 6 while also preparing for the arrival of Wi-Fi 7.
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best plan for a small family (2-4 users)
typical busy period download speed*speeds may be lower on FTTN/B, FTTC
Wi-Fi 7 is set to revolutionise the way we connect to the internet, offering faster speeds, improved latency, and better overall performance. But with the next WiFi standard still in development, WiFi 6 is still the best choice for those looking to upgrade their internet experience for seamless streaming, gameplay, browsing and the like.
Frequently asked questions
What are the main differences between Wi-Fi 7 and the previous Wi-Fi standards?
Wi-Fi 7, or 802.11be, builds on the foundation of Wi-Fi 6 and 6E, offering faster speeds, improved latency and better overall performance. Key differences include enhanced channel bandwidths, advanced multi-link options, next-generation modulation techniques and adaptive channel utilisation. These improvements allow Wi-Fi 7 to better support multiple users and provide higher throughput for demanding applications.
Will my current devices work with Wi-Fi 7?
Wi-Fi 7 will be backward compatible with previous Wi-Fi standards, so your current devices should still be able to connect to a Wi-Fi 7 network. However, to fully take advantage of Wi-Fi 7’s increased speeds and performance, you’ll need to upgrade to a Wi-Fi 7 router and compatible devices.
What does maximum channel bandwidth mean and how does it affect Wi-Fi performance?
Maximum channel bandwidth refers to the width of the frequency band used to transmit data in a wireless network. A wider channel bandwidth allows for more data to be transmitted simultaneously, resulting in faster speeds and higher throughput. Wi-Fi 7 introduces a maximum channel bandwidth of 320MHz, doubling the bandwidth offered by the previous Wi-Fi standard, Wi-Fi 6E, and enabling peak data transfer rates of over 40 Gbps.
When can I expect to see Wi-Fi 7 routers and devices on the market?
Wi-Fi 7 is expected to be released in 2024. While the standard itself may be available by that time, it may take additional time for Wi-Fi 7 routers and devices to become widely available on the market.
Is it worth upgrading to Wi-Fi 6 now or waiting for Wi-Fi 7?
Wi-Fi 6 (and 6E) remains the current best Wi-Fi standard on the market, offering significant improvements over Wi-Fi 5 in terms of speed, network capacity and latency. Upgrading to Wi-Fi 6, such as with MATE’s TP-Link VX230v Modem, can provide substantial benefits and improve your internet experience. While Wi-Fi 7 promises even greater enhancements, it’s still in development, and it may take some time for the technology to become widely available.