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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  • dontlistentome - Tuesday, January 9, 2024 - link

    For those who care (we Europeans tend to due to £/€), these use about twice the power of the 6 pro.
    Huge throughput (1.5Gb/s) on Wifi 7 clients though - quite a few tests already on YT.
  • HaninAT - Tuesday, January 9, 2024 - link

    It's hard to understand Ubiquiti's thoughts on these products based on the features. Why wouldn't this U7Pro have all of the features of the U6Pro along with he WiFi 7 enhancements? You've just orphaned all of the U6Pro users that need BT support for the other UI devices that REQUIRE it. Does this mean there will be a U7Pro+/++ or U7Ultimate?

    And this behavior of claiming feature capabilities that are not included at the product release needs to stop. These sorts or promises/claims rarely come to reality and if they do, they're almost always cut down or in someway different from the full specification. UI is really bad about this, but we keep believing their marketing.
  • dontlistentome - Tuesday, January 9, 2024 - link

    True re the BT stuff. They also did it for U6 -> U6+ change. Bonkers.
  • Maltz - Tuesday, January 9, 2024 - link

    They dropped BT with the U6+ line, even. Ubiquiti is pretty clearly in the process of abandoning the products that require Bluetooth in the APs, like the Protect Sensors. If you just need BT for adoption, rather than all communication, I think you can still do that if you're setting up via the mobile app.

    This is kind of Ubiquiti's standard MO for products and product lines outside their core networking stuff, so I can't say I'm surprised.
  • phoenix_rizzen - Tuesday, January 9, 2024 - link

    This really should be called the U7-Lite or even just U7. Replaces the U6/U6+/U6-Lite.

    A 4x4 version should be the U7-Pro. Replaces the U6-Pro.

    And a high-density optimised version should be the U7-Enterprise. Replaces the U6-Enterprise.

    But, that makes too much logical sense, something the UI marketers seem to be lacking the past few years. Any kind of cohesive branding, naming, product lineup is missing at UI these days.
  • blandead - Thursday, January 25, 2024 - link

    It really depends on the band and client connectivity. For 2.4Ghz the Wi-Fi 6/6E series is mostly all 2x2 and only supports MU-MIMO in one direction (send only).

    It's about time 2.4 Ghz band gets some love again.

    Considering you can have 320 wide channels you are essentially getting the same speed on 2x2 320-wide channel vs a 4x4 160 wide channel

    Combine that with MLO and you essentially have the equivalent of 6x6 Wi-Fi streams per client (2x2 streams on EACH band simultaneously). All while lowering congestion and latency..

    I would not be surprised to see 4x4 or 3x3 streams on the eventual Wi-Fi 7 enterprise model
  • RedGreenBlue - Friday, January 19, 2024 - link

    The multi-link-operation may not need to be delayed, but the hardware is capable of it and it’s a great way to take advantage of the different frequency bands’ strengths. It might be because there’s a detail related to it that hasn’t been finalized in the IEEE 802.11be set to be finalized in the coming months. Maybe it would interfere with an aspect of their software or they want to update their apps to take it into account. It’s not a Ubiquiti feature. It’s a Wifi 7 feature that will be updated when the committee agrees on the details of how to use it. I’m more frustrated this AP is not 10G. If it’s an entry-market AP then I guess it’s fine for longer range use that will always be limited by 2 walls such that the 2.4 and 5 bands can populate it. But it’s otherwise crippled by a bottlekneck. I’m fine with a 2x2, but not with a 2.5gbe.
  • PeachNCream - Wednesday, January 10, 2024 - link

    Networking hardware does not generally require frequent replacement. My internal wifi is still running on 802.11b and it wo
  • PeachNCream - Wednesday, January 10, 2024 - link fine. Stupid keyboard. Aside from some operating systems losing their mind over WEP. Looking at you Windows.
  • johanpm - Thursday, January 18, 2024 - link

    Yeah but you have zero security with WEP. So unless you live in the middle of nowhere, anyone can surf on your connection or attempt to connect to anything inside your network.

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