To us, Wi-Fi 6 still feels like the new kid on the block but it would appear that Wi-Fi 7 is just around the corner. In fact, MediaTek has already been demonstrating its Wi-Fi 7 technology to “key customers and industry collaborators.”
But what will this mean for the tech that you care about? Join us as we find out.
What Wi-Fi 7 promises
- 2.4x faster than Wi-Fi 6 on 2.4GHz, 5GHz and 6GHz
- Up to 40Gbps speeds
- Wider bandwidth and lower latency even in congested environments
The Wi-Fi 7 standard, which is also known as IEEE 802.11be, will essentially be capable of much higher speeds than its predecessor, as well as bringing lower latency and more stable connections in difficult environments.
Wi-Fi 7 can handle at least 30 Gbps and potentially up to 40Gbps. That’s up to the same speed as Thunderbolt 3 or four times faster than 10 Gigabit Ethernet – all without wires.
Now, we know what you’re thinking, your internet provider can’t give you anything close to those speeds, but that’s not the full story.
Firstly, if it proves to deliver on all of its claims, Wi-Fi 7 could spell the end of costly wired ethernet installs by offering equivalent or faster connectivity over the air.
Secondly, it could have a massive impact on how we use our local area networks.
One especially cool example is that Wi-Fi 7 could allow for wireless uncompressed 4K video streams for untethered VR and AR experiences.
Qualcomm’s Andy Davidson said, “Immersive, realistic XR (extended reality) experiences require exceptionally high-quality video with very high refresh rates that demand very high speeds and bandwidth.”
“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.”
On the more practical side of things, imagine accessing a NAS over the Wi-Fi but with Thunderbolt 3 equivalent transfer speeds, blissful.
Qualcomm’s Wi-Fi 7 tech will use “High Band Simultaneous Multi-Link” that will allow devices to operate simultaneously on multiple bands in order to avoid congestion and lower the latency.
It will also use some clever technology to work around interference in Wi-Fi channels, Qualcomm calls this “Preamble puncturing”.
Traditionally, if there was interference in the desired channel, devices could only take advantage of the spectrum up to where the interference is occurring, and not beyond it.
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“Preamble puncturing” allows devices to use the spectrum beyond the interference, resulting in more available bandwidth in tricky environments.
In practice, this means that Wi-Fi 7 promises to alleviate struggles of connecting in particularly congested environments and will provide much higher speeds and lower latency once connected.
When will Wi-Fi 7 products be available?
- To be certified by IEEE in 2024
- Compatible products may ship by 2023
The bad news is that as of right now, Wi-Fi 7 is just a draft specification and it isn’t expected to be certified by the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) until 2024.
On the other hand, MediaTek believes that the first consumer products capable of supporting the Wi-Fi 7 standard could ship by 2023.
Whatever the case may be, we’ve got a while to wait, but the future sure is looking bright for wireless data transmission.