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What to expect from Wi-Fi 7 (IEEE 802.11be)?


Wi-Fi 7

The development of WLAN technologies has resulted in an increasing reliance on Wi-Fi for network access in homes and businesses. Emerging applications demanding both high throughput and low-latency are also proliferating. There are a wide range of these applications, such as 4K and 8K videos, augmented and virtual reality, online gaming, remote offices, and cloud computing. In spite of its commitment to improving the user experience in high-density scenarios, Wi-Fi 6 cannot meet these high requirements.


Wi-Fi 7 is the next generation of Wi-Fi, based on IEEE 802.11be - Extremely High Throughput (EHT). The IEEE 802.11be (Wi-Fi 7) standard aims to achieve much faster and larger-capacity data transmission compared to the Wi-Fi 6 (IEEE 802.11ax).


By introducing new technologies such as 320 MHz channel bandwidth, 4K-QAM modulation, enhanced MU-MIMO (up to 16 spatial streams), multi-resource units (RU), multi-link operation (MLO), and multi-access points (AP) coordination, Wi-Fi 7 delivers extreme data speeds, lower latencies, and increased network capacity. It is expected that Wi-Fi 7 will support a throughput of up to 30 Gbps, about three times faster than Wi-Fi 6.


The figure below shows key features of Wi-Fi 7:

Key Features of Ei-Fi 7

Multi-Link Operation (MLO) in Wi-Fi 7 allows devices to send and receive data simultaneously across different frequency bands and channels, increasing throughput, reducing latency, and improving reliability in emerging applications, such as AR/VR, gaming, remote offices, and cloud computing.


To achieve efficient utilization and balanced allocation of radio resources, multi-access point (AP) coordination optimizes channel selection and adjusts loads between access points. Coordinated scheduling between multiple access points in Wi-Fi 7 involves inter-cell coordination in the frequency and time domains, inter-cell interference coordination, and distributed MIMO. This greatly improves the utilization of air interface resources and enhances the performance of the system by reducing interference between access points.


In Wi-Fi 7, more than one resource unit (RU) can be assigned to a single STA to increase throughput, prevent interference, and optimize frequency usage. With Wi-Fi 7, the data rate per symbol increases by 20% over Wi-Fi 6 thanks to the addition of 4K-QAM (4096-QAM) modulation.


Now, let us take a brief look at the state-of-art of the Wi-Fi 7. The chart below shows the innovation trend in the Wi-Fi 7 technology. A significant rise in the patent filing trend can be seen from 2018.

Innovation trend in Wi-Fi 7 technology space based on patent filing activity

The chart below shows the key market players in the Wi-Fi 7 technology. In terms of market leadership, Huawei and LG seem to lead the way, followed by Qualcomm and Intel.

Top patent filers in Wi-Fi 7 technology space

The chart below shows the innovation hubs of the Wi-Fi 7 technology. In terms of innovation activity, the US leads other jurisdictions.

Innovation hubs in Wi-Fi 7 technology space based on patent filing activity

Conclusion: Wi-Fi 7 can increase throughput, latency, and/or reliability using multi-link operation (MLO). Therefore, many emerging applications such as virtual reality, augmented reality, industrial internet of things, cloud gaming etc. can greatly benefit from Wi-Fi 7.


Please note that all the charts shown above are based on raw data. To draw more insights a deeper investigation/manual filtering of the patent data would be required. For a detailed analysis report, please contact us at support@intricateresearch.com.

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