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Wi-Fi 7 demo reveals near wired speeds — here's when to expect it

MediaTek 5G chip
(Image credit: MediaTek)

While Wi-Fi 6 and now Wi-Fi 6e may feel like they just arrived, the march of progress continues and Wi-Fi 7 is just around the corner. 

MediaTek recently conducted the first live demo of Wi-Fi 7, based on the IEEE 8.02.11be standard. The company boasts that this will "mark the first time that Wi-Fi can be a true wireline/Ethernet replacement for super high-bandwidth applications" (via SlashGear).

Wi-Fi 7 is naturally faster than Wi-Fi 6, up to 2.4x faster according to MediaTek, due to its utilization of 320Mhz, 2.4Ghz, 5GHz and 6GHz frequencies and 4K quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) technology.

While that speed will be the headliner for many, the reduced latency and superior handling of network congestion may be the more compelling point for some. Whether you are looking at home or office environments, the vast array of devices that we use can bog down a network pretty quickly now. Wi-Fi 7 promises to combat this with its multi-link operation (MLO) technology. MLO aggregates channels across different frequencies to enable flawless performance for multiple devices on the same congested network. 

For increasingly common high bandwidth activities like 4K (and eventually 8K) video streaming, online gaming, game streaming services, and VR, these upgrades will be vital. 

MediaTek projects that the first products with Wi-Fi 7 will reach the market in 2023, so while it will likely take a few years for it to become pervasive, you'll be able to dip your toes in the fast-moving Wi-Fi 7 stream next year. 

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.