Intel intends to introduce Wi-Fi 7 (802.11be) to the commercial market, which provides next-generation high-speed data processing that is more than twice as fast as Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax).
The rollout will begin with laptops and spread to all PCs by the end of 2024, according to Eric McLaughlin, vice president of Intel’s wireless solutions division, as reported IT News of Korea“We expect it to be available in major markets in 2025.”
As McLaughlin explains, “Wi-Fi 7 nearly doubles the bandwidth of 802.11ax (170 MHz) to 320 MHz and doubles the speed of Wi-Fi.” He then states that with Wi-Fi 7 a year away, there is still more time to increase speeds further.
Intel also predicts that the use of Wi-Fi 7 will extend to high-end gaming, virtual reality, augmented reality and robotics. Qualcomm, Broadcom and MediaTek are also developing their own Wi-Fi 7 products, and Intel plans to work with other companies to provide them with Wi-Fi 7.
Analysis: Do you need Wi-Fi 7?
The FCC opened 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 four years passed between Wi-Fi 5 and 6, and six years between 4 and 5. As we can see, technology is moving at a rapid pace. But is it too soon?
Aside from those in the tech industry, how many average users are really keeping up with the rapid Wi-Fi upgrades? Will they know or care about the difference in bandwidth between 7 and 6 or even between the previous Wi-Fi 6 vs Wi-Fi 6E? What will motivate them to buy new products that support this if their current ones work fine?
Even among the most tech-savvy buyers, while laptops with built-in Wi-Fi 7 are enough to buy, constantly updating to best wireless routers every two to four years is an incredibly time-consuming and expensive job. Will the ongoing investment be worth the return?
These are questions that Intel should consider. While it is not an automatic 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.