Something to look forward to: Wi-Fi 7 will support the same frequency bands as the Wi-Fi 6E standard ratified in 2020, including 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and 6 GHz. However, it should come with a slew of new features improving speeds, latency, and reliability. Some of the most noteworthy improvements include support for 320 MHz-wide channels (Wi-Fi 6E supports channels up to 160MHz-wide), 4096-QAM, and Multi-Link Operation, allowing devices to connect to two separate bands simultaneously.
TP-Link just announced its new Wi-Fi 7-enabled product lineup, including the Archer series of routers, the Deco lineup of home mesh systems, and even a few access points designed for enterprise use.
It's worth noting that the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is still working on the 802.11be standard, which will likely be named Wi-Fi 7 when the final spec lands in 2024. However, that isn't stopping companies from releasing products based on early drafts.
Sitting at the top of TP-Link's consumer lineup is the Archer BE900, a quad-band router with a touchscreen and a grid of LEDs. It supports link rates up to 1,376 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band, 5,760 Mbps on each of its 5 GHz bands, and a whopping 11,520 Mbps on the 6 GHz band.
Wired connectivity is impressive for an all-in-one unit, as it comes with two 10 Gbps ports (one RJ45 port and an RJ45/SFP+ combo port), four 2.5 Gbps ports, one 1 Gbps port and two USB connectors. The flagship Archer BE900 comes in at $699 and will start shipping in the first quarter of 2023.
TP-Link also talked about some lower-end Archer products with Wi-Fi 7 support. The tri-band Archer BE800 drops the maximum aggregate link rate to 19 Gbps and lacks touchscreen functionality, while the Archer BE550 tops out at a combined 9.2 Gbps and only has 2.5 Gbps ports. Meanwhile, the Archer GE800 is aimed at gamers and comes with a revamped software interface, with TP-Link claiming it can help prioritize gaming traffic, likely through a QoS algorithm.
The company also unveiled three new home mesh systems. The high-end Deco BE95 supports up to 33 Gbps across four bands and comes with multiple 10 Gbps ports. However, these speeds won't come cheap, as it'll cost $1,199 for a 2-unit bundle. The tri-band Deco BE85 will start at $999 and supports aggregate link rates up to 22 Gbps, while the Deco BE65 sports speeds up to 11 Gbps and only has 2.5 Gbps ports.
All the products TP-Link announced today will start shipping throughout the first half of 2023. That's also when we should start seeing the first Wi-Fi 7-enabled devices, likely in the form of flagship phones equipped with the latest modems.