The market launch of Ubiquiti's first Wi-Fi 7 product in their UniFi lineup has been hotly anticipated since its FCC filings became public late last year. Unlike traditional consumer gear, Ubiquiti's UniFi lineup of software-defined networking products targets prosumers, businesses, and enterprises by splitting the functionality of a traditional home Wi-Fi router into separate gateways, switches, and access points. This allows end-users to update different components at different points in time based on requirements. This makes sense for many large-area deployments, as the pace of technological advancements in the wireless space and wired space are quite different.

Ubiquiti's UniFi lineup is generally not known for being on the cutting-edge, which makes it suitable for scenarios where stability and scalability are more important than raw performance. Wi-Fi 7 products have been around for a while, even from vendors operating in the same space as Ubiquiti Networks. Ubiquiti is taking a very different approach to Wi-Fi 7 by introducing an affordable model first up.

The U7 Pro, priced at just $189, eschews the 4x4 radio configurations driving up the price of other Wi-Fi 7 APs / wireless routers. Instead, it opts for 2x2 radios in 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and 6 GHz bands, allowing it to retail at a sub-$200 price point. This ceiling-mount AP covers up to 1500 sq. ft, and supports more than 300 clients. It is equipped with a single 2.5 GbE port and uses the same port for power. A PoE+ switch is required on the uplink side, as the U7 Pro has a maximum power consumption of 21W.

The 2x2 configuration in each radio allows up to 688 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band, 2882 Mbps on the 5 GHz band, and up to 5765 Mbps on the 6 GHz band. The 6 GHz band supports the high throughput thanks to the use of 240 and 320 MHz-wide channels as per the 802.11be (Wi-Fi 7) standard.

The UniFi U7 Pro utilizes a Qualcomm Wi-Fi 7 chipset - most likely the Networking Pro 620 series with the IPQ9554 WiSoC (quad-core Cortex-A73 @ 1.5 GHz) and the QCN9272 / 6272 Waikiki series of radios. There is an Immersive Home Wi-Fi 7 platform from Qualcomm with similar radio support for 6 streams, but using a quad-core Cortex A53 @ 1.5 GHz. We have reached out to Ubiquiti to confirm the actual platform, though our educated guess leans towards the Networking Pro 620.

The U7 Pro requires either a UniFi Console running UniFi OS v3.2+ with UniFi Network application v8.0.7 or newer, or a self-hosted controller running UniFi Network v8.0.7+. Bluetooth is notably absent from the specifications, which may be an impediment to some users who have adopted Ubiquiti's line of Bluetooth-enabled sensors that rely on APs with BT support to integrate with the rest of the UniFi network. Another aspect to keep in mind is that the 2x2 operation in the 5 GHz band means that the theoretically available bandwidth in that spectrum (2882 Mbps) is lower than the equivalent in the U6 Pro (which has a 4x4 configuration in the same band for 4.8 Gbps). This may influence deployment choice based on the mix of client devices expected to connect to the AP. Multi-Link Operation (MLO), which is one of the key advantages of Wi-Fi 7 over Wi-Fi 6, is also scheduled to appear only in a later firmware update even though the product is available for purchase today.

Source: Ubiquiti Networks

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  • blandead - Thursday, January 25, 2024 - link

    Are you talking about wpa2/3 mixed mode issues? Because WEP hasn't been supported for a while (it's not PCI compliant)
  • Bob Todd - Thursday, January 11, 2024 - link

    Ubiquiti was the obvious choice for bullet proof home networking gear for many years. Now TP-Link is eating their lunch with the Omada line.
  • HaninAT - Wednesday, January 17, 2024 - link

    Indeed! Omada and EnGenius's Fit network control systems are definitely on the path to make the dream UI teased us with a reality. I do hope both TP-Link and EnGenius can rival some of UI's non-network "toy" lines as well. Seamless control of lights, door access and HVAC from a single pane is lovely.

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