Wi-Fi 6 Is Here—But What Comes Next?

Wi-Fi 6 Is Here—But What Comes Next?

Now that Wi-Fi 6 has arrived, we’re already gearing up for what’s next in Wi-Fi: 802.11be. Learn about the series of updates that are coming, and why 802.11be may turn into Wi-Fi 7

Wi-Fi 6, also known as 802.11ax by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), is now going strong. This new Wi-Fi iteration was rolled out in 2019 and brought faster speeds, more bandwidth, and greater network capacity, among other updates that impact both efficiency and quality.

And these updates are necessary, as businesses and individuals alike depend more and more on staying connected in more demanding network environments. As of October 2019, nearly 4.5 billion people were using the internet worldwide, Statista reports. By 2022, the number of public Wi-Fi hotspots around the globe will reach 549 million and, of all IP traffic, 51 percent will be on Wi-Fi, according to the Cisco Visual Networking Index.

In the ever-changing world of tech, we’re always looking forward. So, what’s next after Wi-Fi 6? The answer is 802.11be, which will likely become known as Wi-Fi 7.

802.11be will probably be Wi-Fi 7

A series of updates to the Wi-Fi standards was termed Extremely High Throughput (EHT), and then became known as 802.11be. These changes include better transfer speeds—up to 30 gigabits per second (four times the speeds that Wi-Fi 6 can reach)—and will provide improved video streaming, better range, and improvements to congestion, according to CNET. As the name suggests, higher throughput is a big priority for developers of the new Wi-Fi standard.

But 802.11be is now simply a series of upgrades that will be made to existing Wi-Fi 6—it will most likely not become the full-fledged “Wi-Fi 7” until 2024. In fact, the Wi-Fi Alliance, which created the naming conventions for recent standards (Wi-Fi 4 [802.11n], 5 [802.11ac], and 6), hasn’t yet committed to calling 802.11be Wi-Fi 7.

But those in the Wi-Fi realm expect that this iteration will be the one getting the name.

What will change in Wi-Fi 7?

First up in the series of changes to Wi-Fi 6 will be greater capacity, followed by speed updates in 2022. Then, in 2024, a host of updates is expected to bring out the complete version of 802.11be.

The capacity updates are likely coming because both the U.S. and Europe will be releasing a new radio frequency band: 6GHz. This band will only be accessible to devices using Wi-Fi 6 and later. The newer Wi-Fi will be able to support 320 MHz channels, and it will likely be able to operate on different bands simultaneously. Devices will be capable of transferring data using either the 2.4GHz or 5 GHz band plus possibly 6GHz at the same time.

These changes will become even more necessary in the coming years, as the numbers of devices, users, and online activity continue to grow rapidly. MarTech Advisor predicts that by 2030, there will be 15 devices per person, and the Internet of Things (IoT) market will reach $561 billion by 2022.

Managing Wi-Fi with 7SIGNAL

Whatever changes the new Wi-Fi standards bring, you need wireless network monitoring solutions that keep you informed, and your network updated. 7SIGNAL offers a range of tools in its solution that give you transparency into your network at all times, including the crucial end-user perspective.

The 7SIGNAL wireless network monitoring platform assists with WLAN configuration and addresses co-channel and radio interference, coverage, congestion, throughput, packet loss, and much more. The Mobile Eye Module is the first and only Wi-Fi performance agent just for mobile devices, and it helps keep your devices connected at all times.

The Sapphire Eye Module is a Wi-Fi hardware sensor that helps you and your team find and resolve Wi-Fi issues. Data collected by these devices is then displayed in the cloud-based dashboard, where you can see the full picture in a simple interface.

7SIGNAL provides effective solutions for a range of organizations and businesses—from hospitals and universities to large enterprises and manufacturing and distribution centers.

7SIGNAL® is a leader in enterprise Wireless Network Monitoring. The 7SIGNAL platform is a cloud-based Wireless Network Monitoring (WNM) solution that continuously troubleshoots the wireless network for performance issues – maximizing network uptime, device connectivity, and network ROI. The platform was designed for the world’s most innovative organizations, educational institutions, hospitals, and government agencies and is currently deployed at Booz Allen Hamilton, IBM, Kaiser Permanente, Walgreens, Microsoft, and many others. 7SIGNAL continuously monitors the connectivity of over 4 million global devices. Learn more at www.7signal.com.

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