TP-Link has unveiled the world’s first Wi-Fi 7 devices for consumers, enterprises and internet service providers (ISPs) to further solidify its leadership position in the WLAN market. These devices will potentially change the way we use the internet and interact with technology and TP-Link is set to capitalize on its first-mover advantage in this segment.
Wi-Fi 7 uses the 802.11be IEEE standard which provides superior speed to support extremely high throughput and low latency. Wi-Fi 7 will cater to all different existing and emerging consumer needs and enterprise sector requirements with respect to the number of devices that can connect on a network, higher speeds (MultiGig) and ultra-low latency. Wi-Fi 7 operates in three bands (2.4GHz, 5GHz and 6GHz) and has an ultra-wide 320 MHz channel. It uses multi-link operation (MLO) for providing superior performance and more reliability.
TP-Link’s announcement of its Wi-Fi 7 product portfolio is a pioneering move to deliver a true gigabit experience. These new Wi-Fi 7 devices add to TP-Link’s popular series of consumer routers, gaming routers, mesh systems and enterprise access points (APs).
Wi-Fi 7 fuels up consumer router segment
The need for high-performing broadband customer premise equipment (CPE) has increased as the COVID-19 pandemic recedes. TP-Link’s new Archer BE series of routers has next-generation Wi-Fi 7 devices that are intricately designed to look good and perform better. The routers have an innovative v-fold design and a metallic body. The Archer BE series has 12 antennas that can support more than 24 Gbps over 16 streams.
The novel 6GHz band can transmit without overlapping with legacy bands, making it a congestion-free frequency. Powered by the 4096-QAM modulation scheme, this latest Wi-Fi standard promises the fastest speeds and responses that are quicker than human reaction, allowing consumers to enjoy gaming and immersive AR/VR experiences without any lags and one-click streaming of 4K/8K videos with no buffering. It allows the user to take full advantage of smart home devices.
Apart from the new technological advancements, there have also been improvements in additional features such as compatibility with Alexa and Google Assistant, upgraded parental controls and a private IoT network setup. The Archer BE900 – Quadband Wi-Fi 7 router will cost $699.99 in the US and will be available as early as Q1 2023.
Gamers and the gaming industry have not only played a significant role in driving demand for high-speed broadband but have also contributed to a lot of innovations in the broadband industry. TP-Link’s new Wi-Fi 7 gaming router Archer GE800, tailor-made for new-age gamers, will redefine the gaming experience. The router boasts true 10G speeds, abundant gaming accelerating functions and a new game panel. The GE800 has a 2.5G LAN gaming port that prioritizes the ‘gaming traffic’ and a dedicated gaming band that strives to provide a wired internet experience in a wireless setup.
Wi-Fi 7 improves Deco experience
The increasing use and availability of smart home products has led to more devices being connected to a home network. Although higher frequency bands offer higher speeds and enhanced capacity, their propagation through household premises is lower. Consequently, the popularity of mesh Wi-Fi systems has soared in the last couple of years. TP-Link’s latest Wi-Fi 7 Deco offering extends the capabilities of networking equipment to a different realm.
The Deco series promises gigabit connectivity for the entire house and is capable of optimized performance through AI-driven mesh which allows seamless connectivity to other satellite units and smart home devices. The Deco BE95 – Quadband Mesh System (2 Pack) will cost $1,199.99 while the Deco BE85 – Triband Mesh System (2 Pack) will be priced $999.99 in the US and will be available from Q1 2023.
TP-Link’s efforts to make the mesh experience an other-worldly one is reflected in the advancements that the Deco system has to offer. The devices offer high operational efficiency through wired and wireless backhaul, and provide whole-home coverage enabled by seamless AI-drive mesh to easily integrate and operate IoT devices. The mesh system makes IoT device onboarding hassle-free by detecting and setting up Tapo and Kasa devices. Deco’s implementation of the matter protocol and provisioning to create a thread network using a dongle intends on unifying the smart home ecosystem.
Minimum effort, maximum benefit: Helping ISPs enable Wi-Fi 7
TP-Link has launched several Wi-Fi 7 offerings to support internet service providers (ISPs) through its Aginet sub-brand. With Aginet, TP-Link aims to offer more pragmatic and agile solutions catering to the needs of ISPs. The fixed wireless access (FWA) market has been rising in 2022, especially after 5G was launched in key regions such as North America, Europe and the Middle East. TP-Link is the first major OEM to unveil a 5G Wi-Fi 7-enabled FWA device in the market, which is expected to be available early next year.
TP-Link also unveiled an industry-first Wi-Fi 7 GPON device for internet providers looking to offer a premium experience to high-data plan customers. The device is capable of offering speeds up to 10 Gbps and offers hybrid ports for fibre and copper internet connections. The company also showcased a Wi-Fi 7 router and a Wi-Fi 7 whole-home mesh solution for ISPs.
For the enterprise market, the company launched two Wi-Fi 7-based access points, EAP780 and EAP770, which can deliver speeds up to 22Gbps and 11Gbps, respectively. The devices feature the company’s Omada Cloud SDN which enables remote management for enterprise internet connection.
HomeShield gets more secure with version 3
TP-Link’s native router management app HomeShield received a comprehensive update in its third iteration. The app now offers more online security, an ad blocker for unwanted apps and a personal VPN for a safer web experience. The app generates a detailed report about web browsing history and also displays the time spent on a website by a user.
The HomeShield app offers comprehensive security for all the linked IoT devices connected to the internet by constantly scanning them for network threats. HomeShield also offers security outside the home premises with the support of Norton 360, protecting mobile devices from vulnerabilities on open internet and mobile connections.
TP-Link also offers enhanced parental control for children’s safety. The Kid Shield app helps parents monitor their child’s usage of their mobile devices. It offers geo-fencing and real-time location support to monitor their kid’s movement. The app offers restrictions on certain websites, limits certain devices’ internet usage and also disallows certain downloads.
- The emphatic digital shift that modern-day society has witnessed, underpinned by work-from-home setups and distance learning, has been complemented by upgrades in networking devices across the architecture, from the core to the CPE.
- Consequently, ISPs and OEMs are evolving their networks to meet greater demand for speed, and are deploying Wi-Fi 6 and 6E devices to replace the Wi-Fi 5 ones.
- Mature broadband markets like North America, Europe, Japan and South Korea have seen a greater demand for Wi-Fi 6/6E devices. Meanwhile, Wi-Fi 5 offerings are enough to cater to the needs of emerging markets such as Middle East and Africa, India and Latin America.
- From a technological perspective, the release of Wi-Fi 7 devices is a welcome move. However, with ISPs and consumers still learning about the full potential of Wi-Fi 6/6E, mainstream Wi-Fi 7 deployments will take time. It could gather significant momentum by the end of 2023.
- Broadband is a price-sensitive and performance-oriented market. With the market currently lacking Wi-Fi 7 compatible devices, TP-Link’s new releases can very well incentivize other OEMs and device manufacturers to roll out products sooner to start gathering early acceptance of Wi-Fi 7.
- The Wi-Fi 7 era has just begun. The offering at hand is just a glimpse of the true power this latest release holds. However, the ecosystem must move forward together. Currently, Wi-Fi 7 devices will only cater to the premium segment of the broadband industry and the early adopters.
- To use the Wi-Fi 7 products to its full extent, ISPs need to consistently provide MultiGig speeds to their consumers. Presently, there are high levels of investments pouring into the development of the Wi-Fi 7 technology as well as to achieve strong broadband penetration to conquer the digital divide.
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