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Time: November 23rd, 2023
Wi-Fi 7 , also known as 802.11be, is currently named IEEE 802.11 EHT by the protocol group, where EHT stands for Extremely High Throughput (in contrast to 802.11ax being HEW , High-Efficiency WLAN). Wi-Fi 7 is the next-generation Wi-Fi standard.
Building upon Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi 7 introduces technologies such as 320MHz bandwidth , 4096-QAM, Multi-RU, multi-link operation, enhanced MU-MIMO, and multi-AP cooperation. These advancements allow Wi-Fi 7 to offer higher data transmission rates and lower latency compared to Wi-Fi 6. Wi-Fi 7 is anticipated to support throughput of up to 30Gbps, approximately three times that of Wi-Fi 6.
Talk about Wi-Fi 6 to Wi-Fi 7
When exploring the prospects of Wi-Fi 7, i t's essential to revisit the current state and features of Wi-Fi 6. In the era of Wi-Fi 6, fierce competition emerged between 5G technology and Wi-Fi 6. Although 5G has been introduced, it hasn't led to the demise of Wi-Fi technology. The survival of a technology depends not just on its competitors but also on the evolution of its own protocol.
Wi-Fi 6 focused on the performance and optimization of networks in dense AP scenarios. Its core technical highlights included OFDMA and MU-MIMO technology, along with optimization under a single AP. In simpler terms, experiencing the new features of Wi-Fi 6 only required a router upgrade.
However, with the advent of Wi-Fi 7, Wi-Fi scenarios are gradually shifting from single AP to multiple AP. From the ongoing protocol specifications, this transition is evident. Wi-Fi 7 signifies the possible integration of Wi-Fi technology with communication technology, especially in multi-AP scenarios. This also implies that to experience Wi-Fi 7 technology, multiple Wi-Fi 7 routers need simultaneous replacement, and these routers require wired interconnection. Despite many users having NAS systems at home for higher Wi-Fi speeds, the majority of market users lack this demand.
We foresee future Wi-Fi deployment resembling the installation of central air conditioning, becoming a basic setup in houses. This is due to the increasing demand for networks, yet the current cost of commercial Wi-Fi deployment is high, and the demand isn't particularly urgent. However, with the arrival of Wi-Fi 7, this trend may gradually form. The changes brought by Wi-Fi 7 have already started to manifest in home applications (which weren't significant before Wi-Fi 6). In essence, Wi-Fi 6 was itself an optimization for commercial scenarios, and Wi-Fi 7 continues on that path.
Apart from its characteristics, Wi-Fi 7 brings higher speeds and bandwidth , crucial for large-scale high-speed data transmission such as HD video streaming, virtual reality ( VR ), and augmented reality ( AR ). Additionally, Wi-Fi 7 focuses on smarter, more flexible network management, which is particularly important as the number of IoT devices continues to increase.
However, the widespread adoption of Wi-Fi 7 may encounter some challenges, one of which is the standardization and proliferation of technology. While the introduction of new technology is always exciting, upgrading to an entirely new standard takes time and resources. For users, replacing all devices to accommodate the new Wi-Fi 7 standard might entail certain costs and an adaptation period.
In summary, the emergence of Wi-Fi 7 represents a pursuit of faster, smarter, and more flexible networks in the future. It will drive the progress of network technology, providing stronger connections and better user experiences for various application scenarios. Nevertheless, the proliferation of Wi-Fi 7 will take time, and its actual efficacy needs verification in real-world applications. Hence, Wi-Fi 7, as a trailblazer in the future of network development, will continue to receive attention and anticipation both in technological advancement and the market.
Is it necessary to upgrade the Wi-Fi 7 router ?
At the present moment, there isn't a compelling need to upgrade to Wi-Fi 7. Considering the typical timeline from the introduction of new technology to its widespread availability, it will likely take 2-3 years before Wi-Fi 7 products become accessible to the general public. Similar to the initial release of Wi-Fi 6 routers in 2019, their exorbitant prices rendered them impractical for most until around 2021. Considering this cycle, it seems unnecessary to wait. Investing in a Wi-Fi 6 router now will efficiently cater to usage over the next 2-3 years.
Additionally, purchasing a Wi-Fi 7 router doesn't guarantee an immediate experience of its benefits. To fully utilize Wi-Fi 7 technology, not only must one acquire a Wi-Fi 7 router , but computers need Wi-Fi 7 network cards, and mobile devices must support the Wi-Fi 7 protocol. Furthermore, the upgrade from Wi-Fi 4 to Wi-Fi 6 significantly improved with higher broadband speeds. If you consistently use 100M-200M, the router's quality won't noticeably enhance your experience.
Lastly, the approval of the frequency band corresponding to Wi-Fi 7 in some countries is pending. Even the 6GHz band used by Wi-Fi 6E hasn't yet been approved in some countries. Consequently, there won't likely be a massive launch of products based on this frequency band. For these reasons, waiting for Wi-Fi 7 routers is unnecessary. Currently, Wi-Fi 6 is only just starting to gain popularity, while Wi-Fi 6E is still on its way.
Therefore, discussing purchasing Wi-Fi 7 routers at this point seems premature. Instead of awaiting Wi-Fi 7 routers, it's advisable to opt for a high-quality Wi-Fi 6 router and consider an upgrade once Wi-Fi 7 becomes mainstream.

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