The Beacon

Wi-Fi 7 market momentum: Wi-Fi 7 is here – is your network ready?

March 12, 2024
Chris Hinsz

Wi-Fi 7 brings advanced Wi-Fi® performance to the next era of connected devices. In this new blog series, we’ll explore how Wi-Fi 7 enables innovation across various market segments. 

Wi-Fi 7, the most recent advancement in wireless technology standards, was designed to address several challenges faced by its predecessors and offers significant advancements in speed, capacity, and efficiency. But with any new technology, new risks and challenges arise. To benefit from all Wi-Fi 7 has to offer, organizations need to prioritize offerings that include comprehensive security and AI-powered IT operations tools.  

The many advantages of Wi-Fi 7 in enterprise environments  

One of the primary challenges Wi-Fi 7 tackles is the increasing demand for higher data rates. With the proliferation of bandwidth-intensive applications, such as 4K video streaming and multi-user collaboration tools, Wi-Fi 7 provides blazing-fast data transfer speeds reaching up to multiple gigabits per second to deliver faster downloads, seamless streaming, and low latency connections. These ensure a positive user experience, even in environments with many connected devices.  

Wi-Fi 7 addresses network congestion and enhances overall network performance through improved channel and spectrum utilization. New multi-link technology allows concurrent connections and data to use multiple channels across single or multiple frequency bands, aggregating bandwidth for greater performance. This allows items such as videoconferencing systems to keep low power association on 2.4 GHz while potentially leveraging other bands for high data throughput. It is also vital in helping to address some of the challenges of operational technology (OT) and Internet of Things (IoT) convergence in the modern campus. 

“Puncturing” is another Wi-Fi 7 technology designed to improve transmission channel usage. It allows a Wi-Fi 7 access point to transmit in portions of a channel that aren’t in use, even if the channel is being used by others. This also allows for more efficient use of spectrum in environments experiencing interference from other devices. By pairing this with Multiple Resource Unit (MRU) capabilities, the same client device can still leverage this “split” channel. This becomes even more important as Wi-Fi 7 can support a 320 MHz channel, which is double the width of Wi-Fi 6.  

While Wi-Fi 7 isn’t the first standard to incorporate enhanced security features such as Wi-Fi CERTIFIED WPA3™, any technology change that leads to device updates is positive. As older devices age out, improved authentication mechanisms and encryption algorithms will become more prevalent to ensure a more secure wireless communication environment, safeguarding sensitive data from unauthorized access and potential cyber threats.  

Deploying Wi-Fi 7 alone isn’t enough 

The advantages of Wi-Fi 7 are critical for today’s businesses, especially those that rely on connected devices and bandwidth-hungry applications. But it’s essential to remember that few technological advances can be deployed without impacting other legacy systems. While assessing Wi-Fi 7 advantages, remember that it may be necessary to upgrade your network to support the new wireless standard.  

First and foremost, the exponential growth in data consumption and the proliferation of bandwidth-intensive applications necessitate a network that can handle higher data transfer speeds. Wi-Fi 7, with its ability to deliver multi-gigabit speeds, requires that the underlying network can keep up with the escalating demands of data-intensive tasks. This is particularly crucial for healthcare, financial services, and educational industries, where large datasets and real-time applications are integral to daily operations. 

At the same time, the increased device density in modern workplaces—primarily driven by the adoption of IoT and mobile devices—calls for networks with enhanced capacity. While Wi-Fi 7 enables more efficient handling and higher bandwidth of numerous concurrently connected devices, the rest of the network must also be able to handle that additional load. This is especially vital for organizations where network reliability directly impacts productivity and operational efficiency.  

Reduced latency and improved channel utilization result in faster response times, benefiting applications for videoconferencing, cloud-based collaboration tools, and other latency-sensitive processes. But those advantages can be made less effective if the rest of the network cannot keep up. 

Is your network security fast enough? Probably not 

Decrypting and inspecting encrypted traffic is the Achilles’ heel of most security devices, and increased traffic speed and volume will only make matters worse. And as threats become more sophisticated, new issues like inspecting rich media and streaming video to detect deep fakes or embedded malware are beyond the capacity of nearly all the cybersecurity appliances on the market that have not yet been augmented with custom processors.  

Staying ahead of today’s threat actors requires deploying robust security measures on devices designed to meet new performance and throughput demands. High-performance network security devices, like advanced hybrid mesh firewalls, are crucial to safeguarding sensitive data, ensuring optimal user experience, and maintaining the trust of clients and partners. 

Wi-Fi 7 must be part of a larger strategy 

Networking infrastructure must keep up with the performance benefits of Wi-Fi 7 and the increased demands of today’s applications. Switches and related technologies within your network should not become a bottleneck once Wi-Fi 7 is in place. 

In today’s business environment, upgrading to Wi-Fi 7 is a strategic imperative for organizations looking to stay competitive and resilient in a digitally driven world. The advantages of higher speeds, increased capacity, network efficiency, and enhanced security collectively position Wi-Fi 7 as a transformative technology that aligns with the evolving needs of modern businesses. Organizations must ensure the rest of their networks, especially security solutions, can keep up. 

Learn more about Wi-Fi 7 from Fortinet here.  

The statements and opinions by each Wi-Fi Alliance member and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions or views of Wi-Fi Alliance or any other member. Wi-Fi Alliance is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information provided by any member in posting to or commenting on this blog. Concerns should be directed to

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Chris Hinsz

Chris Hinsz is Senior Director of Products and Solutions Marketing for Fortinet. He brings more than 20 years of experience in the networking industry to his role at Fortinet, where he is responsible for marketing the company’s LAN Edge portfolio, including Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and AI-driven network operations products.