wi-fi 7

Wi-Fi 7: What are the advantages and when will the first equipment start to arrive?

The next generation of wireless connection starts this year to be integrated into the first routers, later reaching computers and other connected equipment. Wi-Fi 7 promises to be four times faster than Wi-Fi 6. Discover the main features.

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Wi-Fi 7 (IEEE 802.11b and its technical standard designation) is planned to be massified in 2024-25, with the adoption of the final version of the specifications, but there are several brands that promise to offer products with the new connection technology during this year.

The new wireless network technology, targeted for indoor and outdoor use, operates in the 2.4, 5 and 6 GHz bands. On paper, connections can max out at 30 Gbps.

Wi-Fi frequency chart

The anticipation of technology is partly due to the launch of Qualcomm’s new SoC, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 which supports Wi-Fi 7 connection and the first smartphones are already using the chips, although they are not advertising the speed of the connections. TP-Link has also revealed its product lineup which includes routers with new connectivity technology. The company guarantees that its new Archer BE900 router can offer speeds of 24 Gbps at home, but more importantly it has demonstrated that the technology is mature and there is no frequency interference with other equipment.

In Intel’s roadmap, the first computers with its architecture hit the market in 2024, in line with the certification schedule provided by the Wi-Fi Alliance. And the potential for equipment manufacturers is huge, as it will allow not only to transfer data at a much faster speed but also to facilitate 8K video streaming experiences, the massification of wireless virtual and augmented reality, cloud gaming and others.

Media Tek demonstrated Wi-Fi 7 during CES 2022, demonstrating in practice the potential of the new connectivity technology and its importance above all in business spaces, offices, but also in home networks, an increasingly important aspect in the context of current telecommuting and hybrid work. But Qualcomm has also already presented its Wi-Fi 7 platform, promising a speed of up to 33 Gbps wireless, offering secure and scalable connections from the simple user to a large-scale coverage of a show.

And beyond entertainment, home appliances and IoT equipment, Industrial IoT, telesurgery and Industry 4.0. In practice, file transfers that take minutes become seconds, in a general performance experience very close to wired connections.

WiFi speed 7

What is the main difference between Wifi 7 and Wifi 6?

Wi-fi 6 ended up serving as an “upgrade” to Wi-fi 5, created mainly to respond to the growing number of wireless equipment available around the world. Wi-Fi 7, on the other hand, intends to provide higher speeds for each device, but with greater efficiency. It mainly aims to reduce line congestion, buffering and data transfer delays in wireless networks.

The increase in bandwidth and Multi-Link operations allow for speeds 4.8 times faster than Wi-Fi 6 and 13 times faster than Wi-Fi 5. It also promises a latency of 100 times lower than the previous generation.

What is the potential of the network with a bandwidth at a frequency of 6 GHz?

Wi-Fi 6E is restricted to the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies, meaning bandwidths of 20, 40, 80 and up to a maximum of 160 MHz. By introducing the frequency of 6 GHz, it is possible to obtain twice the bandwidth, that is, up to 320 MHz.

Another technical leap is the move from 1K QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation) to 4K QAM, allowing each signal to carry more data. Imagine the technology as if they were professional transporters who optimized the space of their trucks to carry more boxes.

What is Multi-Link Operation technology?

Equipment with Wi-Fi 7 connection technology will be able to be simultaneously connected to two bands (5 and 6 GHz). This allows for greater speeds through aggregation. On the other hand, both bands can be used in parallel, so that they share the redundancy and improve the connection. This causes latencies to be drastically reduced, promising to be ultra-low.

To understand better, going back to the analogy of trucks, it’s as if they used two highways to take more boxes to their destination faster. But more importantly, it is transporting identical boxes, stowed in different trucks, on each highway, ensuring that at least one arrives at its destination. In addition, this truck will always choose the fastest highway. In this way, data is delivered with optimized performance, even in the most congested areas.

multi link

Until now, a smartphone, for example, could only connect to one frequency, 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz at any one time. When devices that support Wi-Fi 7 reach the market, it will be possible to use multiple connections to the access point through Multi-Link Operation, across all frequency bands. This technology will allow wireless performances similar to those connected by wire.

How important is Automated Frequency Coordination (AFC) in Wi-Fi 7?

The wireless connection technology now features a new band with a frequency of 6 Ghz, being one of the novelties of the new generation. But the problem is that this frequency was already used and will not be exclusive to Wi-Fi connections. NASA itself uses the frequency, as do other US federal agencies. This means that there may be unwanted interference and this is where the AFC technology comes in.

The AFC is a system that coordinates the use of the spectrum in the 6 GHz frequency that was imposed by the FTC (Federal Communications Commission of the United States) and was created in a joint effort between different entities, including the Wireless Broadband Alliance, to help in the global adoption of the Wifi 7 in this new frequency, signed by several dozen countries.

This technology allows general equipment to operate outdoors as well, increasing capacity indoors, but ensuring that they do not interfere with existing services in the 6 GHz frequency, as explained by RCR Wireless.

TP Link
The technology analyzes existing signals on the frequency and patterns on the antenna to create a shared database that can be queried and used to avoid interference. Wifi uses low-energy access points indoors and standard outdoor units, which in this case are more prone to interference. AFC creates algorithms to help Wi-Fi 7 scale to more power while avoiding unwanted interference.

It is still early to experience the potential of connections through Wi-Fi 7, but if the previous generation had already been a huge leap forward compared to the previous one, it will not be difficult to imagine what the connectivity of the future could be like. Especially when there are more smartphones, computers and even smart appliances in our homes. It will certainly be easier and faster to get all the devices to speak the same language.

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