Perspective: Intel has revealed a timeline for bringing Wi-Fi 7 PCs to market, promising a more stable and significantly faster connection for more wireless devices. Several other companies are already trying out Wi-Fi 7, although its final specifications are yet to be finalized.

- Advertisement -

Intel this week disclosed that by 2024 or 2025 it should have Wi-Fi 7 capable desktops and laptops ready. The latest wireless standard, also called 802.11be, can offer connections twice as fast as Wi-Fi 6 and 6E. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) expects to finalize Wi-Fi 7 specifications in 2024, but some manufacturers are currently working on draft specifications.

- Advertisement -

Eric McLaughlin, Intel Vice President for Wireless Solutions at a press briefing confirmed company plans.

“[Wi-Fi 7] will be installed in PCs such as laptops by 2024…we expect it to hit major markets in 2025,” he said.

- Advertisement -

Wi-Fi 7 speed can reach 5.8Gbps. It provides a faster connection that can transmit devices with less interference by using the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency bands simultaneously, as well as the newer 6GHz band. In addition to the 20, 40, 80, and 160 MHz channel bandwidths, Wi-Fi 7 can use 320 MHz. Compatible devices should provide intelligent band switching for better traffic management.

“With 320MHz channels, we’re likely to see new ways to use Wi-Fi, where you can do things like find out if there’s someone in the room, how many people are there, whether they’re moving or not,” McLaughlin said. “With the right technology, you can even tell if someone is breathing or not.”

The current modern Wi-Fi 6 standard is barely two years old. It originally used the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands to improve accessibility over Wi-Fi 5, but Wi-Fi 6E later added 6GHz compatibility to help with traffic congestion. Unfortunately, the rollout of Wi-Fi 6E was not timely, as supply chain shocks due to the pandemic made it difficult to build the necessary equipment.

A little manufacturers can skip it in favor of Wi-Fi 7, but reports from last year suggest that the iPhone 14 will support Wi-Fi 6E when it launches this fall, and that could shift the needle for the rest of the market. Previously, there were rumors that the iPhone 13 would have a standard, but this did not materialize. Apple’s upcoming mixed reality headset is rumored to also use Wi-Fi 6E.

Qualcomm has been talking about Wi-Fi 7 since 2019, when the company said it could beat the speeds of wired networks. At this year’s MWC in March Qualcomm disclosed Wi-Fi 7 enabled FastConnect 7800 chip designed to be included in most wireless devices.

Chinese network company H3C announced Magic BE18000 Wi-Fi 7 router last month. It may be the first standard modem available. Depending on the frequency range, the maximum PHY speed ranges from 1148 Mbps to an impressive 11530 Mbps.