Everything you need to know about Wi-Fi 7

As networking devices with Wi-Fi 6 are becoming widely available and relatively affordable, tech companies are already looking ahead to implement Wi-Fi 7 in their products and services.

This new standard — currently known as  802.11be —focuses on Extremely High-Throughput (EHT) that can aid real-time apps with high data speeds. The IEEE working group said it’ll help services in virtual reality, augmented reality, gaming, and remote working.

In its current form, here’s how Wi-Fi 7 will compare to Wi-Fi 6 (and even Wi-Fi 6E).

For the uninitiated, Wi-Fi 6 is the standard current standard present in many routers that support 9.6Gbps data transfer speeds — as compared to 3.5Gbps of Wi-Fi 5 — and higher throughput. While Wi-Fi 6E is largely based on the Wi-Fi 6 standard, it brings support for the 6 GHz spectrum, and high-bandwidth channels to cater to more devices on a single high-speed network. You can read more about it here.

Keep in mind that the standard is in the draft stage, and the final specifications might be different when they’re published.

Wi-Fi 6 vs. Wi-Fi 7

Don’t worry if you don’t immediately grasp every spec below, I’ll explain them all in a second.

  • Data transfer speed: 9.6Gbps vs. 46Gbps (approx)
  • Channel bandwidth: 160MHz vs. 320MHz
  • Number of full-bandwidth channels: 7 vs. 6
  • Spatial streams for multi-user MIMO: 8 vs. 16
  • Data transmission: 1024-QAM vs. 4096-QAM