Wi-Fi 7: How Fast is It and When Will It Arrive on the Market?


With the increasing demand for faster and more reliable wireless networks, the industry continuously introduces new standards to meet this demand. The latest of these standards is Wi-Fi 7, also known as 802.11be. In this article, we’ll look at what Wi-Fi 7 is, its features, and when it will arrive on the market.

What is Wi-Fi 7?

Wi-Fi 7 is the newest wireless networking standard that promises to deliver faster transfer speeds, lower latency, and increased network capacity for clients. With speeds up to 46 Gbps and support for wider channels up to 320Hz, Wi-Fi 7 is almost five times faster than its predecessor, Wi-Fi 6E (9.6 Gbps).

The Wi-Fi version builds on the foundation laid by Wi-Fi 6E. It supports the 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz wireless bands, making it backward compatible with all previous Wi-Fi standards.

Wi-Fi 7 routers and client adapters are not yet available on the market. Still, you can start preparing to upgrade your network by ensuring your devices are compatible with Wi-Fi 6E.

Wi-Fi Standards At A Glance (Comparison)

Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax) Wi-Fi 7 (802.11be)
Release Year 2013 2019 2023 (expected)
Wireless Bands 2.4GHz, 5GHz 2.4GHz, 5GHz, 6GHz 2.4GHz, 5GHz, 6GHz
Max Channel Width 80MHz 160MHz 320MHz
Max Data Rate (theoretical) 3.5 Gbps 9.6 Gbps 46 Gbps
MIMO 4×4 8×8 16×16
Modulation 256 QAM 1024 QAM 4K QAM
TWT N/A Supported Supported
Multi-Link N/A N/A Supported
Backward Compatible 802.11a/b/g/n 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax

How Fast is Wi-Fi 7?

Wi-Fi 7 offers significant speed improvements over its predecessor, Wi-Fi 6E. With a theoretical maximum data rate of 46 Gbps, Wi-Fi 7 is almost five times faster than Wi-Fi 6E’s maximum data rate of 9.6 Gbps. This increase in speed is due to the adoption of 4K QAM, a more efficient modulation scheme that translates data packets into wireless signals. Wi-Fi 7 also supports channels up to 320MHz, an increase over the previous generation’s 160MHz, allowing more data to be transmitted simultaneously.

An analogy for the difference between Wi-Fi 6E’s 160MHz and Wi-Fi 7’s 320MHz could be the difference between two and four-lane highways as a four-lane highway can handle more traffic simultaneously, Wi-Fi 7’s 320MHz channel width allows for more data to be transmitted at once, resulting in faster and more efficient data transfer.

320 MHz bandwidth and 4K QAM

Image Credit: Intel

This means that users can stream higher-quality video, make faster transfers for heavy files, and enjoy a smoother overall internet experience. Additionally, the increased channel width allows for better network congestion management, improving overall network reliability and reducing latency.

When Will Wi-Fi 7 Arrive on the Market?

While several companies have announced Wi-Fi 7 routers and client adapters, none are available for purchase yet. H3C announced its Magic BE18000 last summer, but it’s not for sale in North America, and we have yet to see it for sale anywhere else, either. TP-Link announced half a dozen Wi-Fi 7 routers, two of which are already up on Amazon and due to ship in a few months. Asus and MSI also announced their Wi-Fi 7 routers which are expected to launch later in 2023.

Regarding the availability of Wi-Fi 7 devices, it’s important to note that routers are just one part of the equation. While several companies have announced Wi-Fi 7 routers and client adapters, there still needs to be more clarity around the availability of Wi-Fi 7 adapters, laptops, or motherboards. Without these devices, the benefits of Wi-Fi 7 are limited, and it’s difficult to take advantage of the new standard fully.

What are the Benefits of Wi-Fi 7?

In addition to faster speeds and lower latency, Wi-Fi 7 features Multi-Link Operation (MLO) and Multi-RU Puncturing, two new features that improve network performance.

MLO allows routers to connect to a Wi-Fi 7 client via multiple wireless bands and channels simultaneously as a single aggregated connection, which lowers latency, significantly increases the data rate, improves load balancing across bands, and increases network reliability by duplicating packets across multiple links.

Image Credit: Intel

Multi-RU Puncturing allows multiple Wi-Fi 7 clients to simultaneously transmit data to a router without causing interference, improving network efficiency and performance. These features, combined with the wider channels and faster speeds of Wi-Fi 7, make it a significant upgrade over previous wireless networking standards.

Image Credit: Intel

Can I Use Wi-Fi 7 with My Current Devices?

Wi-Fi 7 is backward compatible with all previous Wi-Fi standards, including Wi-Fi 6E, Wi-Fi 6, and Wi-Fi 5. So, don’t be hasty and throw out all your present wireless gear if you purchase a new Wi-Fi 7 router. However, to enjoy all the performance perks of Wi-Fi 7, you’ll have to connect to the routers with a Wi-Fi 7-based client.

Wi-Fi 7 FAQs

Will Wi-Fi 7 require new hardware, or can it be updated through a software upgrade?

Wi-Fi 7 will require new hardware. To take advantage of the performance benefits of Wi-Fi 7, you will need to purchase a new router and client devices that are compatible with the new standard.

Does Wi-Fi 7 have any battery-saving features for mobile devices?

Yes, Wi-Fi 7 has several new features designed to save battery life on mobile devices. One of the main features is called Target Wake Time (TWT), which allows devices to schedule when they will wake up to transmit or receive data. By reducing the time, a device spends actively transmitting or receiving data, TWT can significantly reduce power consumption on mobile devices.

Glossary of All Things Wi-Fi

What is channel bandwidth?

Channel bandwidth is the radio frequency spectrum allocated to transmit data on a wireless channel. A wider channel bandwidth can provide faster data transfer rates but can also be susceptible to interference from other wireless networks.

What is modulation?

Modulation is the process of encoding digital data onto an analog signal for transmission over a wireless channel. Higher-order modulation schemes like 1024 QAM and 4K QAM can achieve higher data transfer rates by encoding more data in each signal.

What is Multi-Link Operation?

Multi-Link Operation (MLO) is a feature of Wi-Fi 7 that allows routers to connect to a Wi-Fi 7 client via multiple wireless bands and channels simultaneously as a single aggregated connection. This enables higher data transfer rates, lower latency, and improved network reliability.

What are spatial streams?

Spatial streams refer to the number of independent data streams transmitted simultaneously on a wireless channel. More spatial streams can provide higher data transfer rates and better network performance.

What is TWT?

Target Wake Time (TWT) is a feature of Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 7 that enables devices to schedule specific times for transmitting and receiving data. This helps reduce power consumption and extend battery life, especially for devices that only need to transmit small amounts of data periodically.



Wi-Fi 7 is a significant advancement in wireless networking that promises to deliver faster speeds, lower latency, and increased network capacity for clients. While we still have to wait for the routers and client adapters to become widely available, it’s worth staying informed about the latest developments and keeping an eye on manufacturers’ announcements.

So, if you’re considering upgrading to Wi-Fi 7, it’s essential to ensure that your existing devices are compatible and that your network infrastructure is up-to-date.

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