First officially certified Wi-Fi 7 devices to launch next year

Mike Wheatley

The Wi-Fi Alliance has confirmed that the world’s first certified Wi-Fi 7 devices will launch in the first quarter of the new year, enabling much faster internet speeds with lower latency and more reliability.


The official launch was first announced earlier this week and first reported by Tom’s Hardware, with the Alliance saying it has now finalized the exact specification for Wi-Fi 7.

“Wi-Fi Certified 7, based on IEEE 802.11be technology, will be available before the end of Q1 2024," the Alliance said in an update on its website. “Wi-Fi 7 devices are entering the market today, and Wi-Fi Certified 7 will facilitate worldwide interoperability and bring advanced Wi-Fi performance to the next era of connected devices."

Consumers may have noticed that some devices already on sale claim to support the Wi-Fi 7 standard, but these are only based on the draft specification. But now the specification has been finalized, devices can start applying to be certified as being officially compatible with the new standard. As such, we can expect a deluge of new, Wi-Fi 7-supporting devices to launch. The Alliance anticipates that around 84 million such devices will be sold in 2024.

Wi-Fi 7 has been widely anticipated, as many believe it will be the first wireless connectivity standard to match the older, wired Ethernet cables in terms of internet speed. However, while Intel and some other companies claim top speeds of 46 gigabytes per second, the Alliance says users can expect speeds of a minimum 30Gbps, up to a maximum of 40 Gbps.

Theoretically, that makes Wi-Fi 7 almost as fast as the 48Gbps bandwidth of the HDMI 2.1 standard, but the reality may be somewhat different. Various constraints of home Wi-Fi routers mean that users are unlikely to achieve such speeds in practice.

Nonetheless, the technology is a big improvement on older Wi-Fi standards. The new specification makes use of Multi-Link Operation technology that helps keep latency to below 5 milliseconds while improving the stability of connections. It’s designed to enable 4K and 8K content streaming, video game streaming and smooth augmented reality and virtual reality experiences. It does this by aggregating multiple channels across different frequencies, including 2.40 GHz, 5 GHz, and 6 GHz, to provide an uninterrupted information flow that’s impervious to network congestion or interference. As a result, users can expect to see more reliable connectivity with increased bandwidth, the Alliance says. In addition to better quality video streams, gaming and internet speeds, users should also experience superior wireless surround sound at home.

To take advantage of Wi-Fi 7, users will need to purchase a device that supports the new standard. While we don’t expect to see too many new TVs launched in 2024 come with support for Wi-Fi 7, Samsung Electronics has traditionally always been an early adopter, so keep an eye out to see if any of its new TVs next year adopt the specification. Generally though, TV makers tend to be a bit slower on the uptake than other kinds of device makers, meaning that 2025 is a more realistic time to expect widespread adoption by smart TVs. On the other hand, we could see some new streaming devices, many of which launch later in the year than TVs, adopt Wi-Fi 7.

No doubt, many of the first devices to support Wi-Fi 7 will be announced at the 2024 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next month.