After the Wi-Fi 5 or 802.11ac standard, which remained the most relevant for quite a long time, allowing manufacturers to release more affordable equipment, the Wi-Fi Alliance seems to have broken through, and the relatively new Wi-Fi 6 has been replaced by Wi-Fi 6E, and now it’s the turn Wi-Fi 7 (802.11be). At least Intel and Broadcom have already demonstrated their work, reaching a network speed of 5 Gbit/s. It is worth noting that Wi-Fi 7 has not yet been formally certified, but such demonstrations show that it will happen soon.
Wi-Fi 7 was designed with speed in mind and is 5 times faster than Wi-Fi 6 and 2.5 times faster than the newer Wi-Fi 6E. Developers may even be able to increase the speed before the standard is certified.
To demonstrate the capabilities of Wi-Fi 7, Intel and Broadcom used three laptops that were respectively connected to Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi 6E, and Wi-Fi 7 access points. The latter two technologies in addition to the usual bands 2, 4, and 5 for users GHz also use the 6 GHz band. This allows Wi-Fi 6E to reach twice the network speed of Wi-Fi 6 at 2 Gbps, but as mentioned above, Wi-Fi 7 is much faster at 5 Gbps.
In addition to faster data transfer, Wi-Fi 7 developers promise that it will better handle multiple simultaneous connections by using the 6GHz band with a wider 320MHz channel width. It will also include MLO (Multi-Link Operation) technology, which dynamically assigns different channels and frequencies to provide better speeds with less latency and less interference.
Intel and Broadcom have said that Wi-Fi 7 will be well-suited for augmented and virtual reality due to its lower latency and ability to transmit multiple high-resolution video streams simultaneously. The reduction in lag time is something that gamers will be able to take advantage of as well.
Wi-Fi 7 is expected to be certified as early as 2023, and the first commercial devices with the new standard will most likely appear in the second half of it. As with other versions of Wi-Fi, the new standard will be compatible with previous ones.