Free is the only operator that offers Wi-Fi 7, but for how long?

Free is the only operator that offers Wi-Fi 7…

Providing stable and fast Wi-Fi has become a major challenge for operators. Indeed, after the price, Wi-Fi is the second most determining criterion when choosing an Internet box. Before all others, Bouygues Telecom understood the new importance for users of having good Wi-Fi.

It was the first operator to offer boxes with a vertical design for better propagation of the Wi-Fi signal, it was the first operator to offer several Wi-Fi repeaters without any additional cost and it was the first operator to offer a internet box compatible with the Wi-Fi 6E standard. As a result, it is the operator that offers the best Wi-Fi. By far.

But that might not last because in January 2024, Free was the first to offer the Wi-Fi 7 standard, with the new Freebox Ultra, but also with the Freebox Pop.

A PR stunt? Certainly. Because still very few devices are Wi-Fi 7 compatible. But in the coming months, Wi-Fi 7 will gain momentum, more and more devices will be compatible and it would not be surprising to see Free dethrone Bouygues Telecom and win the title of operator who offers the best Wi-Fi. Unless it is another operator.

…But for how much longer?

Indeed, as an article on the site of our partner Degrouptest reveals, a competitor to Free could soon launch Wi-Fi 7. It is not Orange nor Bouygues Telecom, but SFR. Not necessarily surprising then that it is the only operator not to offer a Wi-Fi 6E internet box.

In any case, this is what the work of Altice Labs, the laboratory of the parent company of SFR, based in Portugal, which is working on a nouveau modem XGS-PON compatible Wi-Fi 7 : the Fiber Gateway Wi-Fi 7, as it is called in the official documentation on the Altice Labs website.

Thanks to its XGS-PON compatibility, this new modem would allow fiber up to 10 Gb/s, as is already the case with the SFR Box 8X modem which is included with the SFR Fiber Premium offer.

But the most interesting thing is the compatibility of this new modem with the Wi-Fi 7 standard.

The document which reveals Altice’s work on this new modem dates from October 2023. Nine months later, it is still not marketed. And no one knows that this will be the case. But when it does, SFR’s Wi-Fi will enter a new dimension as the advantages of Wi-Fi 7 are numerous and will rival that of Free.

Source : PDF Altice Labs

What are the benefits of Wi-Fi?

Like Wi-Fi 6E, Wi-Fi 7 uses three frequency bands (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, 6 GHz). But unlike Wi-Fi 6E, Wi-Fi 7 is equipped with MLO technologies (Multi-Link Operation) which allows two frequency bands to be used simultaneously.

In addition, Wi-Fi 7 uses 320 MHz channels (compared to a maximum of 160 MHz with Wi-Fi 6E) and features another cutting-edge technology: 4K QAM. In practical terms, it’s as if movers used a semi-trailer rather than a van to transport boxes. And that the loading of the semi-trailer was optimized as much as possible.

With the key even faster Wi-Fi connections, with a theoretical speed of up to 46 Gb/s. And an even more stable and reliable Wi-Fi connection with almost non-existent latency.

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