What you need to know
- MediaTek says it is "one of the first adopters of Wi-Fi 7 technology" and will show the standard in action at CES 2022.
- We could see official Wi-Fi 7 standards in mid-2022.
- Wi-Fi 7 reportedly will be 2.4 times faster than Wi-Fi 6 and 6E.
While we've only just begun to see an influx of Wi-Fi 6E routers in 2021, chip and modem companies are already hard at work on the next big thing. During MediaTek's annual developer summit, the company announced it would demo a Wi-Fi 7 network at CES 2022.
But speed increases are only one of the future benefits of Wi-Fi 7. Chen also explained (without any concrete details) that this new standard will significantly reduce latency, which will help significantly for applications like gaming where every millisecond counts. And intriguingly, he said that Wi-Fi 7 would "play nice" with your neighbor's Wi-Fi 7 networks, using new technology to reduce interference from signals outside of your home.
Though MediaTek is demoing the tech at CES 2022 in January, Chen specified that the Wi-Fi Alliance is still "very early in the Wi-Fi 7 standardization process" and that he couldn't disclose the specific date that Wi-Fi 7 standards will be finalized. But he did suggest that, while the standard is "still in evolution," we could see a "Q2 2022 release" of the Wi-Fi 7 standards. We'd expect a 2023 rollout of the technology on that timetable.
The question will be which devices support Wi-Fi 7. One of the biggest downsides to buying a Wi-Fi 6E router in 2021 is that not too many devices support 6GHz networks. New devices are more likely to support it, but will companies also future-proof to Wi-Fi 7 support, or is that too forward-thinking?
The best Wi-Fi 6E router
Asus ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000
Why wait for 7 when 6E is so good already?
The Wi-Fi 6E ROG Rapture can hit up to 4804Mbps at 5GHz or 6GHz and 1148Mbps at 2.4GHz, making it one of the fastest routers available today. It has four gigabit LAN, one gigabit WAN, and a 2.5Gbps LAN port, making it a premium router for gaming or any other needs you may have.
Michael spent years freelancing on every tech topic under the sun before settling down on the real exciting stuff: virtual reality, fitness wearables, gaming, and how tech intersects with our world. He's a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves running, D&D, and Star Wars. Find him on Twitter at @Michael_L_Hicks.
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