Qualcomm’s Wi-Fi 7 has been officially revealed. Qualcomm emphasizes that this new technology will necessitate a comprehensive overhaul of traditional business models within the industry.
Wi-Fi 7 is positioned as a game-changing technology. Over the next five years, the rollout of next-generation Wi-Fi 7 and 6 GHz spectrum connectivity is expected to unlock improved performance and enhance the user experience.
Qualcomm has highlighted four trends that underscore the importance of rolling out the Wi-Fi 7 chips. The first trend is supported by the finding of Deloitte’s 2022 Connectivity and Mobile Trends Survey, which revealed that the average household had a total of 22 connected devices.
The second trend stems from growing demands for bandwidth by network operators due to the widespread adoption of bandwidth-intensive activities like 4K and 8K media streaming, video calls, livestreaming, online gaming, and virtual reality (VR), among others. Qualcomm notes that some of these applications require as much as 2Gbps for streaming, putting pressure on existing Wi-Fi networks.
The third trend identified by Qualcomm is closely related to growing demands for bandwidth – remote work. The company believes that as remote and hybrid work models become the norm, both employees and businesses will increasingly require higher quality and reliable connectivity that has no blind spots or areas of weak coverage.
Lastly, the fourth trend points to a rising demand for faster broadband speeds, as highlighted in Deloitte’s 2022 Connectivity and Mobile Trends Survey. The survey indicates that 15% of home internet users have upgraded to more expensive broadband packages in pursuit of faster internet speeds, and 44% of the survey respondents admitted to purchasing Wi-Fi extenders and Wi-Fi mesh equipment to boost their signal strength.
Qualcomm’s Wi-Fi 7: Expectations
Qualcomm is committed to delivering outstanding network flexibility, offering support for quad-band and 16 streams, empowering operators to handle a wide range of wireless connections and devices simultaneously. Qualcomm’s Wi-Fi 7 is expected to seamlessly operate across the 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and 6 GHz spectrum bands, ensuring a robust and versatile wireless experience.
Qualcomm’s Wi-Fi 7 chips will also boast the capability to achieve a peak aggregate wireless system capacity of up to 33 Gbps, highspeed connectivity for demanding applications and users. It will also facilitate the implementation of advanced Wi-Fi 7 features, such as 320 MHz channel support, 4K QAM, multi-link operation, and adaptive interference puncturing, further enhancing its performance and reliability.
Additionally, the technology incorporates the Qualcomm Automated Frequency Coordination (AFC) Solution, simplifying frequency management, ensuring seamless and stable network with Qualcomm MultiLink Mesh technology, and elevating the user experience through Qualcomm Service Defined Wi-Fi technology.
Qualcomm’s Wi-Fi 7 is poised to revolutionize the industry by transitioning to a software-defined gateway. This big shift is expected to increase the flexibility of Wi-Fi systems through software, enabling internet providers to exert better control over the quality of service they deliver to their customers, and foster innovation.
By decoupling the hardware (the physical device) from the software (the programs that run on it) within the Wi-Fi system, Qualcomm wants to free operators from being locked into a single set of software tools, granting them access to a range of value-added services. This approach is expected to support more adaptability and customization.
Qualcomm believes that by adopting this software-based approach, which can be managed remotely through the cloud, next-generation Wi-Fi gateways will be better equipped to quickly adapt to changing conditions. Operators will now have the ability to collect data from both the network and the connected devices, making it easier to understand what problems the network might be having and why.
Qualcomm concluded its announcement by emphasizing the importance of adopting its Wi-Fi 7 chips by network operators. It claims that failure to do so may result in slower and less reliable Wi-Fi for companies clinging to legacy infrastructure, hindering their ability to introduce new value-added services and efficiently manage their systems.
This means you, as a customer, might get a worse internet experience if your internet provider doesn’t embrace Qualcomm’s Wi-Fi 7, and it could hurt the internet company’s reputation and competitiveness.
Time will reveal how these developments will reshape the way we experience wireless connectivity and how Qualcomm’s competitors will respond to this bold move.