Intel plans to introduce Wi-Fi 7 (802.11be) to a commercial market, which will feature next-generation high-speed data processing that is more than twice as fast as Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax).
The rollout will begin for laptops and will extend to all PC products by the end of 2024. According to Eric McLaughlin, vice president of Intel’s wireless solutions division, as reported by Korea IT News“We expect it to appear in key markets in 2025.”
As McLaughlin explains, “Wi-Fi 7 nearly doubles the frequency bandwidth from 802.11ax (170 MHz) to 320 MHz and doubles the speed of Wi-Fi.” He then states that within the year of the release of Wi-Fi 7, there is still more time to further increase the speeds.
Intel also predicts that Wi-Fi 7’s applications will expand to high-end games, virtual reality, augmented reality and robots. Qualcomm, Broadcom and MediaTek are also developing their own Wi-Fi 7 products, with Intel planning to partner with other companies to provide them with Wi-Fi 7.
Analysis: is WiFi 7 necessary?
The FCC opened up Wi-Fi 6E to the masses in 2020, which is a fairly recent development. And before that, Wi-Fi 6 was introduced in 2018, another two-year gap. But between Wi-Fi 5 and 6 were four years – and 4 and 5 were six years. As we can see, technology is advancing at a rapid pace. But is it going too fast?
How many average users, other than those in the tech industry, really keep up with the fast Wi-Fi upgrades? Would they know or care about the difference in frequency bandwidth between 7 and 6 or even between the previous ones? Wi-Fi 6 vs Wi-Fi 6E? What would drive them to buy new products that support it when their current ones work just fine?
Even among the most technologically savvy buyers, while laptops with built-in Wi-Fi 7 are enough to buy, constantly upgrading to the best wireless routers every two to four years is an incredibly time consuming and expensive undertaking. Would the constant investment be worth the return?
These are questions Intel should consider. While it is not automatically negative for technology companies to continue to innovate and improve in these areas, there must be a solid foundation for introducing these technologies to the general public.