The first preliminary Wi-Fi 7 specifications have appeared
The transition to Wi-Fi 6, which started in September 2019, is still underway, but researchers are already publishing preliminary characteristics of the next version. In a document on ArXiv, employees from Nokia Bell Labs in Dublin and Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona described the first specifications of the Wi-Fi 7 (802.11 be) wireless standard.
The first draft version of the standard is due in May 2021, the second in March 2022, the third in November 2022, and the fourth in November 2023. The final version will be published in 2024.
Wi-Fi 7, according to the authors, will be able to provide a three-fold increase in data transfer speed — from the current 9.6 Gbit/s to 30 Gbit/s. Of course, we are talking about the theoretical maximum speed, but the real values will be lower.
The plan is to double both the bandwidth (up to 320 MHz) and the number of spatial streams in MI-MIMO, which increases the nominal bandwidth by four times. With the addition of higher-speed modulation and encoding schemes coming from 4K-QAM (compared to 1024-QAM). A 20 percent improvement in nominal bandwidth is also expected, which means that Wi-Fi 7 can provide a maximum nominal bandwidth of 46 Gbit / s. Again, these are theoretical highs.
"802.11 be will focus on increasing the capacity and bandwidth of channels in the WLAN, as well as improving their latency and jitter," said Giovanni Geraci, associate Professor at UPF Barcelona and one of the co-authors of the paper. — "In other words, increasing peak throughput is the main goal."
According to Geraci, this will bring other benefits: "One example might be operations with multiple channels, where you can potentially use more bandwidth at the same time, but do it more flexibly, which can improve end-user interaction."
The researchers note that this will contribute to the development of new applications, including augmented and virtual reality, games, and cloud computing, which require reducing the delay time to less than 5 MS.
It is expected that the first draft of the 802.11 be specifications will include support for working with multiple channels. In the new model, devices will have features such as detecting and configuring multiple channels, displaying their traffic, and more efficient power management capabilities.
In the second draft of specifications, you can increase the maximum number of supported single-user MIMO (SU-MIMO) and multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) spatial threads to 16. Hybrid automatic repeat request (HARQ) is also expected to be implemented to increase the probability of successful decoding and support various methods to reduce latency and improve AP coordination.
In April, the Federal Communications Commission of the United States (FCC) approved the transfer of a Wi-Fi band of 6 GHz, which is partially used for satellite communications. The new spectrum will offer seven channels that will run in parallel. The European conference of postal and communications administrations (CEPT) allowed the opening of this range for private wireless networks.
Wi-Fi Alliance has already prepared a specification for the corresponding Protocol — Wi-Fi 6E.