Skip to main content

Almost everything you need to know about Wi-Fi 7 (IEEE 802.11be)

We have looked at Wi-Fi 7, a.k.a. IEEE 802.11be earlier. The technology is still undergoing standardization with a final release expected in 2024. A recent IEEE Spectrum article details speed evolution of IEEE 802.11. 

Wi-Fi went mainstream with the 802.11g standard in 2003, which improved performance and reliability over earlier 802.11a/b standards. My first 802.11g adapter was a revelation when I installed it in my ThinkPad’s PC Card slot. A nearby café jumped on the trend, making a midday coffee-and-classwork break possible. That wasn’t a thing before 802.11g.

Still, 802.11g often tried your patience. Anything but an ideal connection left me staring at half-loaded Web pages. I soon learned which spots in the café had the best connection.

Wi-Fi 6, released in 2019, has maximum speeds of 600 megabits per second for the single band and 9,608 Mb/s on a single network. That’s nearly 40 percent as fast as the Wi-Fi 5 standard and more than 175 times as fast as the 802.11g connection I used in 2003.

Those figures, while impressive, don’t tell the whole story. Peak Wi-Fi speeds require support on each device for multiple “spatial streams”—that is, for multiplexed channels. Modern Wi-Fi can support up to eight spatial streams, but most consumer-grade Wi-Fi adapters support just one or two streams, to keep costs down. Fortunately, Wi-Fi 6 boosts the performance per stream enough to lift even entry-level Wi-Fi adapters above gigabit speeds.

Wi-Fi 6E, released in 2020, further improves the standard with a 6-gigahertz band that appears as a separate connection, just as 2.4- and 5-GHz bands have appeared separately on prior Wi-Fi networks. It’s early days for Wi-Fi 6E, so device support is limited, but the routers I’ve tested were extremely consistent in hitting the peak potential of gigabit Internet.

Wi-Fi 6 already reaches a level of performance that exceeds the Internet service available to most people. Yet the standard isn’t letting off the gas. MediaTek plans the first demonstration of Wi-Fi 7 at CES 2022 (the standard is expected to be released in 2024). Wi-Fi 7 is expected to boost maximum bandwidth up to 40 gigabits per second, four times as fast as Wi-Fi 6. Such extreme bandwidth is obviously overkill for Web browsing, but it’s a necessity for streaming augmented- and virtual-reality content.

In a recent NTT Technical Review article, NTT said that they have been researching and developing high-efficiency Wi-Fi technologies to optimize the network within a venue and provide stable throughput with an eye to creating new viewing styles and new types of events. For example, these technologies will enable the flexible allocation of communication resources in accordance with network demand per unit area and the provision of flexible networks that can improve throughput at particular locations such as premium seating and press galleries. These wireless technologies have been given the group name Cradio® [4], which they plan to continue to research and develop towards their implementation of the Innovative Optical and Wireless Network (IOWN) vision.

The wireless resource control technology derives an optimal combination of Wi-Fi parameters such as the operating frequency channel, bandwidth, and transmission power of each AP depending on the radio-interference conditions among multiple APs (Fig. 1). It derives, in particular, an optimal channel combination that avoids interference between APs through iterative optimization processing using a genetic algorithm. Carrying out this processing dynamically enables the parameters of each AP to be controlled in accordance with changes in the environment.

Giovanni Geraci from Univ. Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain has a fantastic tutorial explaining Wi-Fi 7 in less than an hour. It is embedded below:

We are sure to be revisiting this topic as and when more interesting details are available.

Related Posts

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

IEEE 802.11be Extremely High Throughput (EHT), a.k.a. Wi-Fi 7

We have been writing about Wi-Fi for a long time, weather it's to do with indoor connectivity , competition with 5G or just a name change to something simpler. When we last wrote about WiFi 6, a.k.a. 802.11ax, we were expecting a quick adoption of the technology in the industry. We are still not there yet.  You know what's strange? None of the new @madebygoogle gadgets from yesterday support Wi-Fi 6. Not the Pixel 5, not the Pixel 4a 5G, not the Nest Audio, and not the new Chromecast. pic.twitter.com/QtJ8iB9FeO — Ry Crist (@rycrist) October 1, 2020 Take for instance the new iPhone 12 supports Wi-Fi 6 in all their models as one would expect but none of the new Google Pixel phones (4a, 4a 5G and 5) support it. In fact none of the new Google devices support it. Which is rather bizarre. While we are still looking forward to Wi-Fi 6 becoming widespread, IEEE has already started working on the successor of 802.11ax, 802.11be - Standard for Information technology--Telecommunicati

High-level Architecture Introduction of Mobile Cellular Networks from 2G to 5G

Here is an old tutorial explaining high level mobile network architecture, starting from GSM and then looking at GPRS, UMTS, LTE & 5G. Slides and video below High-level architecture of Mobile Cellular Networks from 2G to 5G from 3G4G Related links : Free 2G, 3G, 4G & 5G Training Videos 5G (IMT-2020) Wireless 5G vs 4G: what is the difference?

CSI-RS vs SRS Beamforming

In an issue of Signals Flash by Signals Research Group (SRG), they talked about 2 different types of MIMO. Quoting from their journal, "CSI-RS versus SRS. Those operators that have tested or made token use of MU-MIMO leverage a flavor of MU-MIMO that is based on CSI-RS. The MU-MIMO network we tested was based on SRS, which makes it far more likely to observe sixteen spatial layers (versus eight)." I reached out to Emil Björnson, Visiting Professor at KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Associate Professor at Linköping University to see if he has explained this in any of his videos. Here is what he said: " I'm not talking about 3GPP terminology in any of my videos. But you can listen to the slides that starts around 12:40 in this video (embedded below) . If you are looking for CSI-RS vs SRS based MU-MIMO, then jump to around 12:40 in this video where you can see CSI-RS being referred to as "grid of beams" and SRS is similar to the other option, which is t