WiFi 7, evolution or revolution? The answer in 7 points.

Sarah Battoue (UK)
08 Jan 2024

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While WiFi 6 is rapidly penetrating the market as hardware is renewed, the WiFi-Alliance has announced the arrival of WiFi 7 in 2024. Just like its maximum speed of 46 Gbps (four times higher than WiFi 6), its arrival in 2024 remains theoretical for the moment. Much will depend on the finalisation of the specifications and the availability of compatible equipment. In the meantime, let's take a look at its key features to understand its full potential.



1. Faster transmission speed


One of the most obvious aspects of WiFi 7 is its considerably increased transmission speed. With speeds of up to several tens of gigabits per second, the potential for professionals is ultra-fast connectivity. Large file downloads, real-time data transfers and high-quality video communications promise to be greatly boosted, with the aim of improving operational efficiency. 


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2. Superior device management capability


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More and more devices are connected to the network. Whether it's laptops, smartphones, tablets, connected objects or industrial equipment, network bandwidth is crucial. WiFi 7 offers increased capacity to support a large number of devices simultaneously, improving connectivity in densely populated working environments.


3. Lower latency for real-time performance

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Latency is a critical element in many professional applications, such as video conferencing, virtual reality and industrial applications. By using several frequency bands simultaneously, WiFi 7 significantly reduces latency. Professionals will be able to collaborate more effectively, speed up decision-making processes and use latency-sensitive applications with exceptional ease.


4. Improvements to data security


Data security is a major concern for all businesses. WiFi 7 introduces enhanced security features, such as WPA3 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 3), which strengthens the protection of wireless networks against potential attacks. The key issue here is the strategic nature of the security of communications and sensitive data in the workplace. An extremely sensitive subject for Wifirst as an ISO 27001 certified operator.


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5. Optimised energy efficiency


Energy consumption is an increasingly important concern, even for professionals. WiFi 7 is designed to be more energy-efficient, since continuously connected devices will benefit from longer battery life. However, beware of network power consumption, as the WiFi 6E and WiFi 7 terminals transmit on a new frequency band, which still consumes more energy than a network deployed using WiFi 5 or 6.  From an economic and environmental point of view, it therefore seems wiser to maintain existing networks as long as possible. For new deployments, WiFi 6, which is being massively deployed on both access points and user equipment, still seems to be the best technology to deploy over the next few years. 


6. Reliable connectivity in dense environments


WiFi 7 excels in dense environments, such as offices, university campuses, shopping centres and stadiums, using advanced technologies like 1024-QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation) and enhanced MIMO (multiple input, multiple output), ensuring stable, high-speed connectivity even in crowded spaces. Its dynamic channel co-ordination and optimised beamforming capabilities reduce interference, resulting in a theoretically more stable user experience even with multiple devices operating simultaneously.


7. Compatible with the latest standards


WiFi 7 will be backwards compatible with previous WiFi standards, ensuring a smooth transition for businesses that decide to upgrade their network infrastructure. They will be able to enjoy the benefits of WiFi 7 gradually, as new compatible devices are integrated into their network.  However, experience has shown that the technology will probably start to be integrated by high-end terminals before spreading very gradually to entry-level terminals. In addition to the time it takes for the technology to spread to new handsets on the market, there is also the time it takes for users to renew their handsets. It is estimated that users renew their phones every 2 to 3 years (a period that is tending to increase) and their PCs every 4 to 5 years.


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WiFi 7 thus offers revolutionary theoretical advances. But this advance is only possible under exceptional conditions: in direct sight of the AP (with no barriers between the user and the access point) and with little interference. In a residential context, for example, the fact that APs have to be placed in corridors means that the very high modulation provided by WiFi 7 just can't be used.
Another example: for our day to day lives, 2 data streams are more than enough for our needs. This is even truer for mobile terminals, because adding additional data streams means adding extra antennas and transmitter/receiver channels. This costs money, takes up space and consumes a lot of energy. To conclude, we can take up the famous Pirelli 2023 slogan "Without control, power is nothing" and advise you to choose your network operator carefully, because more than the standard, it is the expertise of the operator who deploys and operates the infrastructure that will enable you to obtain the service best suited to your needs.

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