IEEE 802.11be, also known as Extremely High Throughput (EHT), is the forthcoming amendment to the IEEE 802.11 standard, set to be designated as Wi-Fi 7. This new standard builds upon its predecessor, 802.11ax, and is designed for both indoor and outdoor WLAN operation across the 2.4, 5, and 6 GHz frequency bands, catering to stationary and pedestrian mobility.
The core focus of IEEE 802.11be is on achieving incredibly high data transfer speeds. The theoretical maximum speed is expected to reach a remarkable 46 Gbit/s, although real-world performance will typically be lower.
Development of this standard is ongoing, with an initial draft released in March 2021, and a final version anticipated by early 2024. Even during the development phase, numerous products based on draft standards were announced in 2022, with retail availability slated for early 2023.
Key features of IEEE 802.11be include 4096-QAM for increased transmission rates, flexible channel utilization to combat interference, Multi-Link Operation (MLO) for improved capacity, reduced latency, and support for up to 16 spatial streams with Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) enhancements.
Candidate features being considered include Multi-Access Point Coordination, enhanced link adaptation, compliance with regulatory rules specific to the 6 GHz spectrum, and integration of Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) protocols for low-latency real-time traffic.
Beyond these, additional features include improved forward-compatible frame formats, optimized channel sounding, and more flexible channel utilization, further enhancing the capabilities and performance of Wi-Fi 7. This standard is poised to revolutionize wireless communication, and the global Wi-Fi 7 market is projected to grow significantly, reaching an estimated 24.2 billion USD by 2030