The Future of Wi-Fi: From Wi-Fi 6 to Wi-Fi 7

Wireless technology acts as the front door to a network’s user experience. With the multitude of wireless devices today, the importance of that first impression can sometimes get lost. A seamless and automatic connection is ideal, while a slow and creaky connection can be frustrating.

Current State: Wi-Fi 6

Today, we primarily use Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), which offers significant improvements over previous generations, including faster data rates, increased capacity, and better performance in dense environments. Wi-Fi 6 operates in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, and its introduction has paved the way for more robust wireless experiences.

The Next Leap: Wi-Fi 7

With the 6 GHz spectrum opening for commercial use via Wi-Fi 6E and the upcoming Wi-Fi 7 (802.11be), there is a massive opportunity to move more data faster. Wi-Fi 7 is set to revolutionize wireless connectivity with capabilities that support high-bandwidth and low-latency applications, such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). This leap could lead to developing new device categories and innovative usage scenarios.

Key Features of Wi-Fi 7:

  • 4x Higher Data Rates: Theoretical throughput of approximately 46 Gbps, compared to Wi-Fi 6’s 9.6 Gbps.
  • Multi-Link Operation (MLO): Allows devices to associate and exchange traffic on multiple bands, increasing speed, reducing latency, and enhancing reliability.
  • Enhanced Spectral Efficiency: Features like multiple resource units (MRUs) and preamble puncturing improve channel and bandwidth use.

Impact on Various Industries


Wi-Fi 7 can transform retail experiences, allowing customers to seamlessly connect to store networks and use VR to view product dimensions and details in real time. This could lead to more efficient inventory management and increased sales volume.


In healthcare, faster and more reliable connections can improve patient experiences and provider efficiency. Wi-Fi 7 could also facilitate global collaborations on data-intensive research projects.


Wi-Fi 7 could enhance educational experiences with high-quality, targeted learning applications. Students could interact with realistic 3D projections and virtual models, revolutionizing the way they study and learn.

Planning for Wi-Fi 7

As Wi-Fi 7 specifications are still being finalized, businesses can start preparing by:

  1. Designing for the Future: Use current data and wireless-device analytics to build a strong foundation.
  2. Defining Wi-Fi’s Impact: Identify which parts of the business can benefit from improved wireless technology.
  3. Dreaming Big: Envision how Wi-Fi 7 can enhance customer experiences and operational efficiency.

While the full adoption of Wi-Fi 7 may be a year or two away, businesses that plan now will be better positioned to leverage its transformative potential. Leaders who focus on improving their network’s front door will give their organizations a competitive edge in the fast-moving world of wireless technology.