Unlocking the Future of Connectivity: The Marvel of Wi-Fi 7

When it comes to technology, evolution is an ongoing process. And today we are closer to it than ever. From the very first Wi-Fi standard proposed back in 1999 to the smartphones we keep in our pockets, the advancements have been leading us to a future where we will be interconnected like never before. At the very core of it is the IEEE 802.11 wireless networking protocol standard, known as ‘Wi-Fi’, which keeps us connected, from our phones and our video-gaming consoles to our laptops and PCs. With the acceleration of technology, the need for faster, more reliable wireless connectivity has also grown. Enter the era of Wi-Fi 7.

Wi-Fi 6 Vs. Wi-Fi 7: A Leap Forward

The Arrival of Wi-Fi 6

Wi-Fi 6 (launched in 2019 with speeds up to 9.6 Gbps, 2×2/4×4 and 2.4 GHz/5 GHz support) was an important incremental step over its predecessors. But it wasn’t a quantum leap. Nearly a year later, Wi-Fi 6E arrived (6 GHz bands) and set our connectivity potential higher.

The Dawn of Wi-Fi 7

Wi-Fi 7, formally known as 802.11bn, takes things to the next level: it has theoretical peak speeds of up to 46 Gbps, making it significantly more powerful than Wi-Fi 6. In tests with an Intel laptop equipped with Wi-Fi 7, the speeds in practice averaged out at 5.8 Gbps. The possibilities are mind-blowing: it would eventually become possible to stream 8K video without issues, or download 15GB files in just 25 seconds.

Unveiling the Features of Wi-Fi 7

Enhanced Channel Size and Connection Stability

Wi-Fi 7 increases the transmit channel between devices by a factor of two, so a given amount of data can get transmitted over the air in half the time. That could mean quicker responses to input in cloud gaming, and better performance with AR and VR apps. And Wi-Fi 7 supports twice the number of connections per space without slowing down. That should be useful for the growing number of homes and offices filled with devices.

The Innovative Multi-Link Operation

One standout feature of Wi-Fi 7 is known as Multi-Link Operation. This enables a device to be connected to multiple bands simultaneously. This was already possible with phones, but now it’s expanded to the network as a whole and will allow twice the throughput, improved reliability, and a significant reduction in network congestion.

Puncturing: A Solution to Interference

A new feature called ‘puncturing’ (so named because it punches holes in the signal) can limit the impact of interference to a small portion of the channel, rather than the whole of the channel being affected. If the network is crowded (by other sites, lots of devices or other Wi-Fi signals), and the Wi-Fi signal is bouncing around all of that interference, then things might become highly unstable. Puncturing a segment of the channel allows the signal to be sent along unaffected, helping ensure a faster and more reliable network with fewer spurts of instability. This is especially handy for high-throughput mesh router systems, where users would otherwise suffer from disruptions to their speeds.

Embracing Wi-Fi 7: What You Need to Know

For you as a user to use all the perks of Wi-Fi 7, you need a compatible router and devices, including your phone, your gaming console, and everything else. This upcoming network is likely to come with the price tag, but the enhanced connectivity and speeds as well as more devices, sensors and services that this new wireless protocol is able to support, makes Wi-Fi 7 an inviting prospect for the future world of connectivity.

The Role of Phones in the Wi-Fi 7 Era

But in the age of Wi-Fi 7, smartphones will play an even bigger role. Phones have long included the ability to switch between the 2.4 GHz band and the 5 GHz band, and with Wi-Fi 7 they will experience the biggest gains from the benefits of Multi-Link Operation and puncturing. Whether for 8K video streaming, faster downloads or pill-sized cloud gaming, phones will lead a new generation of faster, more connected living.

In conclusion, Wi-Fi 7 is a revolutionary wireless technology, providing unprecedented speeds, lower latency, and more stable connections; all for a rapidly increasing array of devices. Part of the future of the human experience is embracing it for the benefit – and in the service – of our digital lives, with our phones taking the lead.

Jun 15, 2024
<< Go Back