Will Wi-Fi Kill Wired Connections Before 2030?

Will Wi-Fi Kill Wired Connections Before 2030?

The Ethernet has been, for decades, the best option for connect a computer to the internet. The cables guarantee zero latency in our local network, and a stability that the Wifi cannot guarantee. However, WiFi can be faster than wired connections, and there are companies that are beginning to consider a future without ethernet cable.

We talk about MediaTek. The company, as we gathered a few days ago, affirms that it has managed to reach 24Gbps speeds through the WiFi 7 standard. However, in the future they believe that the 30Gbps with this standard, and may even reach the 40Gbps.

Up to 40 Gbps: is cable necessary?

These figures are not through a single device, but refer to the maximum capacity that a router can support through several connections. However, what is certain is that thanks to standards such as the WiFi 6E or to the future Wi-Fi 7, speeds of several Gbps are possible with a single device. In fact, in some SmartTV More speed is achieved by WiFi than by Ethernet, since WiFi 5 offers better performance than the 100M Ethernet ports that some televisions incorporate.

To do that with a Ethernet cable need to have a port 2.5G or 10G. The former is becoming more common in high-end computers and motherboards, but 10G is only available in ultra-high-end computers and motherboards. In the case of wanting such a port on a computer, it is necessary to spend 60 or 70 euros.

For these reasons, Alan Hsu, corporate vice president and general manager of MediaTek’s intelligent connectivity business, states that “the launch of Wi-Fi 7 will mark the first time that Wi-Fi can be a true replacement for Ethernet cable for high-end applications. bandwidth”.

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Independent channels: keys in the WiFi

And reason is not lacking. With standards like WiFi 4 without MU-MIMO, the router had a single data channel to offer the connection to the devices that were connected. Thus, if there were, for example, several people streaming at home, and we wanted to play online, the latency and jitter were increasing because the data channel is not stable, so packet loss may occur.

With current standards, we find dedicated data channels for each device. For example, if we have a router with 4 antennas, one of those antennas can be dedicated to our computer, so we have a single and stable data channel with which we do not have packet losses or speed drops, assuming of course that the coverage is good.

Thus, the WiFi may not replace Ethernet directly at home, or at least not through a single access point. What we will see is, for example, having a WiFi repeater on each floor of a house or in rooms very far from the main router, and it is not necessary to have an Ethernet cable to each room. For this reason, WiFi 7 is not going to replace Ethernet, but it can be an essential complement to avoid having to carry a cable to the final device in the coming years.