Wi-Fi 7

What is Wi‑Fi 7

Wi-Fi 7 (IEEE 802.11be) is the next-generation standard from the Wi-Fi Alliance that defines new features. Wi-Fi 7 builds on Wi-Fi 6E (uses the 6 GHz band) and increases data rates through the use of 320 MHz channels.

  • Wi‑Fi 7 explained
  • What is the difference between Wi‑Fi 7 and Wi‑Fi 6E?
  • Is Wi‑Fi 7 the same as 802.11be?
  • Will Wi‑Fi 7 work outdoors?
  • Benefits of Wi‑Fi 7
Wi‑Fi 7 explained

Wi‑Fi 7 explained

Wi-Fi 7 delivers features based on the new 802.11be standard and extends the capabilities of Wi-Fi 6E.

  • 320 MHz bandwidth channels
  • Multi-link operation (MLO) for channel aggregation across different bands and failover
  • 4096 QAM (4k QAM) for higher peak data rates
  • Spectrum puncturing to better accommodate interference in wide channels
What is the difference between Wi‑Fi 7 and Wi‑Fi 6E?

What is the difference between Wi‑Fi 7 and Wi‑Fi 6E?

Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 7 both take advantage of the 6GHz band. However, Wi-Fi 7 is based on the IEEE 802.11be standard while Wi-Fi 6E is based on IEEE 802.11ax.

Wi-Fi 7 also features:

  • 320 MHz bandwidth channels
  • Multi-link operation (MLO) for channel aggregation and failover
  • 4096 QAM for higher peak data rates
  • Spectrum puncturing to better accommodate interference in wide channels
Is Wi‑Fi 7 the same as 802.11be?

Is Wi‑Fi 7 the same as 802.11be?

Wi-Fi 7 is the name the Wi-Fi Alliance has designated for 802.11be (which is defined by the IEEE). Both Wi-Fi 7 and 802.11be refer to the same set of capabilities.

Will Wi‑Fi 7 work outdoors?

Will Wi‑Fi 7 work outdoors?

Like Wi-Fi 6E, Wi-Fi 7 will rely on the use of an Automated Frequency Coordination service (AFC) to protect 6GHz incumbents outdoors and will need to be approved for Standard Power operation by local regulators. Until both the AFC and regulatory approvals are in place, organizations will not be able to leverage Wi-Fi 7 (or Wi-Fi 6E) outdoors.

Benefits of Wi‑Fi 7

Benefits of Wi‑Fi 7

Wi-Fi 7 takes advantage of the 6 GHz band for more capacity and provides:

  • Higher peak data rates with wide channels
  • Link robustness in the presence of interference
  • Improved user experience with 4K QAM for 20% higher transmission rates

Wi‑Fi 6E vs Wi‑Fi 7

 

Wi-Fi 6E
Wi-Fi 7

Corresponding IEEE standard

802.11ax

802.11be

Use of 6GHz band

Yes

Yes

Key features

  • Up to 1200 MHz additional unlicensed spectrum*
  • Up to seven 160MHz channelsDependent%20on%20local%20regulations
  • Up to 1024 QAM data rates
  • WPA3 required

All the features of Wi-Fi 6E plus:

  • Maximum 320MHz channels
  • Multi-link operation (MLO) for aggregating channels
  • Spectrum puncturing to minimize channel interference

Target audience

Enterprise and consumer

TBD

What you should know

  • Not all countries have adopted 6GHz
  • Europe has opened 500MHz vs 1200 in most other countries
  • Standard Power, which is required for outdoor use, is pending approvals
  • Not all countries have adopted 6GHz
  • Europe has opened 500MHz vs 1200 in most other countries
  • Standard Power, which is required for outdoor use, is pending approvals
  • Use of 4096 QAM data rates require a high signal-to-noise (SNR) and require very close proximity to an AP (several feet)
  • AP coverage models simply do not allow for enough available channels to support 320MHz

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