The forthcoming Wi-Fi 7 standard, its anticipated features, and its potential impact on various sectors. It also compares the current Wi-Fi 6 and 6E standards, discussing how the new standard might affect their market traction.
The Wi-Fi Alliance, an industry group that sets Wi-Fi standards and drives the adoption and evolution of the technology, has hinted at the certification of Wi-Fi 7 by the end of the first quarter of 2024. This next-generation wireless networking standard promises advanced performance to connected devices worldwide.
“The future of wireless networking is set to be revolutionized by Wi-Fi 7, promising greater speed, efficiency, and versatility.”
Cutting-Edge Capabilities of Wi-Fi 7
Wi-Fi 7 is expected to bring cutting-edge capabilities to applications requiring high throughput, lower latency, and excellent reliability. Such applications include augmented, virtual, and extended reality, immersive 3D training, and ultra-high-definition video streaming. Wi-Fi 7 offers significantly increased speeds over Wi-Fi 6 and 6E. The key differentiating feature of Wi-Fi 7 is its support of extremely high throughput, reaching speeds up to 46 Gbps, a significant leap from the maximum 10 Gbps of Wi-Fi 6E.
The Advantage of Dynamic Band Switching
One of the most anticipated features of Wi-Fi 7 is the multi-link operation. MLO is set to resolve the spectrum congestion challenges currently faced by consumers and enterprises by improving spectrum efficiency. It enables the aggregation of multiple radio links to form wider channels. Another critical benefit of Wi-Fi 7 is that it allows access to the recently released 6 GHz band, effectively doubling the available spectrum and capacity in the U.S.
Wi-Fi 7 Gaining Market Traction
Wi-Fi 6 and 6E have been gaining traction in the market since their introductions in 2019 and 2021, respectively. However, Wi-Fi 7 is expected to see rapid traction due to its many new features and the demand for additional network capacity. While Wi-Fi 6 demand will continue, Wi-Fi 7 is poised to compete directly with Wi-Fi 6, especially 6E, offering dramatically higher bandwidth.
Slow Market Integration
While the anticipation for Wi-Fi 7 is high, gaining certification from the Wi-Fi Alliance is just the beginning of the market journey for Wi-Fi 7. The time it takes for a new Wi-Fi standard to be incorporated into the market varies, but widespread adoption typically takes two to three years. Factors affecting adoption include device availability and cost, perceived benefits of the standard, and how marketing builds awareness of the standard.
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