WiFi 7

Why do we need WiFi 7?

Hugh Simpson explains why – even though you might not need it right away – WiFi 7 will be the wireless technology that all or most of us will migrate to eventually.

Why do we need WiFi 7?

For many businesses and individuals, the simple answer will be that we don’t. At least, not yet. Even so, some organisations will get benefits from using WiFi 7 almost immediately. What it will do for everyone who invests in the technology early, is future-proof their wireless connectivity.

In time WiFi 7 will be what you want to use and what you will use. But there’s no real hurry for most of us. There are not many devices that can make use of WiFi 7 just yet. That will begin to change later this year, when the first laptops, tablets and new smartphones capable of connecting to WiFi 7 are launched. Many more will appear in 2024 and as they find their way into the hands of users, having WiFi 7 will really begin to mean something – and make a difference.

Faster and better

This latest version of the WiFi standard is significantly faster and much better at supporting high densities of users and giving all of them a speedy, reliable and consistent experience. WiFi 7 is up to five times faster than WiFi 6/6E and will support many more users in dense environments i.e. where there are lots of users all crammed into one area, such as a sports arena or a concert hall, a train station or a school.

WiFi 7 can do this because it’s the first wireless standard to make extensive use of the 6GHz spectrum. While WiFi 6E was the first to use this frequency range, its utilization was limited. In addition, WiFi 7 has 4096 quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM). This enables more data to be sent over a single channel, expanding bandwidth. That means much higher transfer rates for rich content such as high-definition video. There’s a lot more technology that I could mention (and there is plenty of content available that explains it all), but the essential thing you need to know about WiFi 7 is that it’s much faster and will give you smoother and much more consistent connections, even in high-density environments.

Future proof

Chipmakers are now providing processors that support WiFi to mobile device vendors and Zyxel Networks is one of the very first specialist networking developers to launch a WiFi 7 access point. We’re doing this because we know that some of our customers will want to start testing WiFi 7 as soon as they can, because – as I said earlier – it will make a difference in many scenarios and, as more devices that support WiFi 7 come onto the market, it will make a real difference for more and more customers.

Our first WiFi 7 product – the WBE660S – will deliver speeds of up to 22Gbps, so customers can make use of WiFi 7’s very high performance as soon as possible. During 2024, we’ll significantly expand our WiFi 7 range, providing access points suited to different use cases and scales of deployment. It’s at this point – when more devices that support WiFi 7 come onto the market – that it will start to make a real difference and a compelling technology for every organisation that wants to future-proof its wireless connectivity.

Hugh Simpson is EMEA Marketing Development Manager – Wireless LAN, at Zyxel Networks;.

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