WI-FI 7 (802.11be): another improvement or a new era in wireless technology?



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We're about to unravel the coolness of the latest Wi-Fi Alliance standard, also recognized as 802.11be, expected to be released in 2024 and see how it's shaking things up in a world where IoT devices are multiplying like rabbits! Get ready for some serious speed boost with Wi-Fi 7 – we're talking 4.8 times faster than Wi-Fi 6 and a whopping 13 times speedier than Wi-Fi 5! Say goodbye to sluggish connections and hello to the lightning-fast world of data transfer – it's the need for speed, like never before!


What is Wi-Fi 7?

With the ever-increasing number of Wi-Fi devices and the demand for faster and more efficient wireless networks, Wi-Fi 7 emerges as the solution to meet these needs. Its unprecedented speed, reduced latency, increased capacity, and innovative technologies make Wi-Fi 7 the future of wireless technology. Whether you're a tech enthusiast, a casual user, or a professional, Wi-Fi 7 brings us one step closer to a world of limitless possibilities.


Wi-Fi 7 offers many benefits

 Advanced features include: 


1. 320 MHz channels: available in countries that make the 6 GHz band available to Wi-Fi, ultra-wide channels double today’s widest channel size to facilitate multigigabit device speeds and high throughput

2. Multi-Link Operation (MLO): allows devices to transmit and receive data simultaneously over multiple links for increased throughput, reduced latency, and improved reliability

3. 4K QAM: achieves 20% higher transmission rates than 1024 QAM 

4. 512 Compressed block-ack: improves efficiency and reduces overhead 

5. Multiple RUs to a single STA: improves flexibility for spectrum resource scheduling to enhance spectrum efficiency 

6. Triggered Uplink Access: optimizes Wi-Fi 6 defined triggered uplink access to accommodate latency sensitive streams and satisfy QoS requirements

7. Emergency Preparedness Communication Services (EPCS): provides a seamless National Security & Emergency Preparedness (NSEP) service experience to users while maintaining the priority and quality of service in Wi-Fi access networks




New Features of Wi-Fi 7

Wi-Fi 7 marks a significant evolution over its predecessors, boasting several new features that propel wireless connectivity to new heights. In the accompanying figure, we illustrate the key advancements in the evolution of Wi-Fi generations, showcasing the cutting-edge features that set Wi-Fi 7 apart and contribute to an enhanced wireless experience.


MLO (Multi-Link Operation)

Unlocking a new era in connectivity, Wi-Fi 7 introduces Multi-Link Operation, revolutionizing the way devices communicate by efficiently utilizing multiple links or channels simultaneously for enhanced speed and reliability.

Wi-Fi 7 works on 3 frequency bands: 2,4 GHz, 5 GHz and 6 GHz at the same time.



This advancement in Multi-Link Operation in Wi-Fi 7 is especially beneficial for mesh networking, facilitating seamless communication between Access Points (AP to AP).

Beyond enhancing overall network performance, it contributes to reduced latency and promises heightened bandwidth for compatible clients. With support for this feature, users can expect optimal conditions for demanding applications like 4K/8K streaming and immersive experiences such as AR/VR/XR.


Wider Channel Bandwidth

Wi-Fi 7 supports three super-wide channel bandwidths. While the maximum channel width in Wi-Fi 6 and 6E is 160 megahertz, Wi-Fi 7 can support up to 320 megahertz, effectively doubling the capacity and increasing the speed to up to 46 Gbps, which is nearly 5 times faster than Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E. Additionally, these wider channels help reduce congestion.


4096K QAM (Quadrature amplitude Modulation)

Wi-Fi 7 introduces the remarkable 4096K QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation), a cutting-edge technology that significantly boosts data transfer rates by packing more information into each transmission. The QAM of Wi-Fi 7 is 4096k, four times the count of its immediate predecessor. The increased QAM will mean a 20% increase in the total throughput that results in higher capacity, data transmission speed, and overall higher efficiency. This means that watching 4K/8K videos, playing demanding online games without lag, or streaming live videos from a home computer has never been easier. The enhanced efficiency of data transmission ensures a seamless online experience, meeting the demands of today's high-performance digital activities.

16x16 MU-MIMO (Multi-User, Multiple Input, Multiple Output)
Elevate your wireless experience with Wi-Fi 7's groundbreaking 16x16 MU-MIMO, a technological marvel that not only enables networks to handle concurrent data streams for up to 16 devices but also doubles the spatial stream capacity compared to Wi-Fi 6/E. This ensures seamless connectivity and improved user experiences, though it's important to note that the full benefits require compatibility with MU-MIMO, which is typically supported by newer devices, while older devices may miss out on this efficiency boost.

Preamble Puncturing

Preamble Puncturing in Wi-Fi 7 takes connectivity to a whole new level by breaking free from the limitations imposed by continuous Resource Units (RUs) in Wi-Fi 6. Unlike its predecessor, Wi-Fi 7's Multi-RU feature allows for non-continuous RUs, providing a flexible and resilient approach to data transmission. Consider a scenario with a set of contiguous RUs, named RU1, RU2, RU3, and RU4. In Wi-Fi 6, if interference occurs with RU2, it affects the entire chain, leading to a 75% loss in efficiency. Enter Wi-Fi 7's Multi-RU Puncturing – when interference hits RU2, instead of compromising the entire sequence, Wi-Fi 7 intelligently adapts. By allowing RU3 and RU4 to remain accessible, even in the presence of interference, Wi-Fi 7 achieves a remarkable feat. This capability not only minimizes potential disruptions but also showcases Wi-Fi 7's ability to combine RUs, resulting in a substantial increase in transmission efficiency.





AFC (Automatic Frequency Coordination)

Let's discuss another quite new feature of Wi-Fi 7, 'Automatic Frequency Coordination (AFC)', a feature designed to prevent interference with incumbent services in the 6 GHz band, such as Public Safety and Fixed Satellite Services, Radio Astronomy, Earth Exploration, Cellular Backhaul, Microwave Radio Links, and TV Broadcast Services. AFC is essential for outdoor access points and indoor APs with external antennas, as they are more powerful and more likely to cause interference. These APs use built-in GPS to report their location and specifications to the AFC system, which then allocates approved frequencies and power levels to avoid interference. In the US, 13 providers including Google, Qualcomm, and Wi-Fi Alliance among others have been approved for AFC coordination, with other countries still in the approval process.


Restricted Target Wake Time

Wi-Fi 7 adds Restricted Target Wait Time (r-TWT) into the mix, optimizing battery life for devices by coordinating and minimizing wake intervals, ensuring a more efficient and energy-conscious wireless experience. r-TWT in Wi-Fi 7 offers a more advanced and flexible approach compared to Target Wake Time (TWT) in Wi-Fi 6. While TWT allows devices to schedule wake times for data transmission, r-TWT in Wi-Fi 7 introduces additional restrictions and coordination mechanisms.





The biggest beneficiaries of using Wi-Fi 7


Wi-Fi 7, what about Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise?

The new family coming in 2024 will launch several access points, part of the OmniAccess Stellar 15xx series. In Q2 2024 Alcatel-Lucent will deliver a new entry-level access point, the AP1511, and a mid-range one: the AP1521. High-end indoor and outdoor Access Points will follow later in the year.

Those upcoming products will bring more capacity for end-users, and lower latency with high-level security. And all that is based on the Distributed Control Architecture which is the foundation of the ALE OmniAccess Stellar product line.

Alcatel-Lucent sees Wi-Fi 7 as a real game changer for high-reliability wireless networks. It delivers deterministic and responsive operations for new classes of applications (AR/VR/XR, ultra-high definition 16K media streaming, and very high-density connected devices).

In the meantime, regulation is still evolving, and some countries are not yet enabling Wi-Fi 6E, but this is changing fast. For now Wi-Fi 6 will remain the main option for the next months with some Wi-Fi 6E deployments, and Wi-Fi 7 that will start to ramp up then.

Our existing Wi-Fi access points portfolio designed to address the dense growing capacity and IoT efficiency needs of next-generation enterprise wireless LAN networks will remain appealing to most of our customers in the short term. OmniAccess Stellar WLAN brings integrated Bluetooth®/Zigbee and dedicated Wi-Fi scanning radio technology to Wi-Fi 6 access points, providing a framework for expanded IoT, security, and location services.

You can find more information on our updated OmniAccess Stellar Matrix.


Source Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise and Wi-Fi Alliance



The OmniAccess Stellar Wi-Fi wireless solution will meet the needs of all customers

The OmniAccess Stellar Wi-Fi solution by Alcatel is designed to meet all customer needs, providing high performance with maximum scalability and easy installation. 
Adventus Solutions – Alcatel-Lucent's trusted partner in the Baltics for over 25 years – is ready to help you transition to the new Wi-Fi standards with minimal investment and zero financial risk. 💼🔝
We offer a full range of OmniAccess Stellar Wi-Fi 5/6/6e/7 solutions. Including the new Wi-Fi 7 access points AP1521, AP1511, which will be available for order in the Baltic market in July-August of 2024.
To receive more information, we invite you to consult our specialists.

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