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The Wi-Fi Alliance has officially confirmed the Wi-Fi 7 standard and is certifying devices

wi-fi 7 logo

Today, on the eve of CES 2024, the long-awaited Wi-Fi 7 standard is finally official. The Wi-Fi Alliance industry group has confirmed today that the standard is locked in, and it has started certifying devices that will support Wi-Fi 7.

Today's press release from the Wi-Fi Alliance claims that over 233 million devices will get the Wi-Fi 7 certification approval by the end of 2024. Of course, some Wi-Fi router companies like Amazon's Eero, NETGEAR, and others started selling Wi-Fi 7 products without official certification several months ago. If you see the Wi-Fi 7 Certified logo on a product, that's confirmation that it has passed the requirements of the standard from the Wi-Fi Alliance.

The press release added:

New use cases – including multi-user AR/VR/XR, immersive 3-D training, electronic gaming, hybrid work, industrial IoT, and automotive – will advance as a result of the latest Wi-Fi generation. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 7 represents the culmination of extensive collaboration and innovation within Wi-Fi Alliance, facilitating worldwide product interoperability and a robust, sophisticated device ecosystem.

wi-fi standard

The biggest new feature in Wi-Fi 7 devices is what's called Multi-link Operation or MLO. This allows those devices to download or upload data using two or more linked wireless bands. This is supposed to offer "increased throughput, reduced latency, and improved reliability" for Wi-Fi 7 connections, according to the Wi-Fi Alliance.

Other features include support for 320 MHz channels (6 GHz band), which is double the highest 160MHz bandwidth available on older Wi-Fi devices, Speaking of which, Wi-Fi 7 products are backward compatible with other devices that use the older Wi-Fi standards. You won't get the fastest speeds with those connections, but they will still work.

You can expect to see Wi-Fi 7 hardware inside a ton of new laptop PCs, along with smartphones, tablets, and VR/AR headsets over the next year. The Wi-Fi Alliance claims that 233 million Wi-Fi 7-based devices will be available by the end of 2024. That number is expected to expand to 2.1 billion devices by 2028.

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