In previous WiFi generations, including WiFi 6 and WiFi 5, a device can only connect to one WiFi band - either the 2.4 GHz band or 5 GHz band. The latest WiFi 6E products now also connect to 6 GHz.
However, only one WiFi band is available for a client. Let’s take a typical WiFi 6 AX3000 router, with maximum WiFi speeds of 2402 Mbps on the 5 GHz band and 574 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band, as an example. If you connect your phone to the WiFi, you’ll find that only the 2402 Mbps on 5 GHz or 574 Mbps on 2.4 GHz are accessible for every connection. This means that one band goes unused, or you might limit your speeds by choosing the slower band.
Multi-Link Operation (MLO) solves this dilemma. It enables devices to simultaneously send and receive data across different frequency bands and channels.
With MLO, WiFi 7 supports establishing multiple links between the Station (STA, such as your phone) and WiFi access point (AP, such as your router). Connecting to the 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and 6 GHz bands simultaneously increases throughput, reduces latency, and improves reliability. It is ideal for emerging applications like VR/AR, online gaming, remote office, and cloud computing.