Not long after Wi-Fi 6 products first arrived in 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) made a decision that turned Wi-Fi 6 into a thing of the past. By releasing an additional 1,200 megahertz of spectrum for unlicensed use, the FCC made Wi-Fi 6E technology accessible for consumers. New Wi-Fi 6E routers and other products were finally revealed at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in early 2021.
“Despite several larger OEMs and Internet Service Providers pulling back from physically attending, CES saw some interesting device launches for wireless routers by key industry leaders,” Counterpoint Research said in a blog post shortly after CES 2021.
And now we have our first look at Wi-Fi 7.
MediaTek gave the first demonstration of its Wi-Fi 7 technology on Wednesday at CES. According to TechRadar, the Taiwanese chipmaker plans to debut its first Wi-Fi 7 products under the Filogic brand in 2023. The Wi-Fi Alliance has not yet released its standards for Wi-Fi 7.
The report stated that Wi-Fi 7 will be able to support speeds of up to 40 GB per second, which is more than twice as fast as Wi-Fi 6 and 6E. It will be able to use all frequency bands—2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz—while also serving virtual reality technologies in the future.
MediaTek will utilize what it calls multi-link operation (MLO) technology. According to MediaTek, MLO technology will aggregate multiple channels on different frequency bands in order to smoothly manage network traffic.
In addition to enhancing general internet use, the technology is meant to deliver faster streaming speeds.
“The rollout of Wi-Fi 7 will mark the first time that Wi-Fi can be a true wireline/Ethernet replacement for super high-bandwidth applications,” said Alan Hsu, a MediaTek executive.
Hsu added that “MediaTek’s Wi-Fi 7 technology will be the backbone of home, office, and industrial networks.”
Mario Morales, a vice president at International Data Corporation, noted that “faster broadband Internet access and more demanding applications such as higher resolution video streaming and VR gaming are driving demand for Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi 6E, and soon Wi-Fi 7.”
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.