back to article Throw away your Ethernet cables* because MediaTek says Wi-Fi 7 will replace them

MediaTek claims to have given the world's first live demo of Wi-Fi 7, and said that the upcoming wireless technology will be able to challenge wired Ethernet for high-bandwidth applications, once available. The fabless Taiwanese chip firm said it is currently showcasing two Wi-Fi 7 demos to key customers and industry …

  1. chivo243 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    You can pry the ethernet cable out of my cold dead hands!

    See title! For a desktop, always cables. I don't use a lappy much, and I like the challenge of cabling it all nice and neat! The missus thinks wireless rots brains! LOL

    1. Paul Herber Silver badge

      Re: You can pry the ethernet cable out of my cold dead hands!

      They'll be telling us next that we can throw away all those RS-232 and Centronics cables!

      1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

        Re: You can pry the ethernet cable out of my cold dead hands!

        I wonder how much thick Ethernet cable is still coiled under company's false floors.

        (For those unfamiliar, you could only tap off every 2.5 metres minimum).

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: You can pry the ethernet cable out of my cold dead hands!

          Socially distance ethernet... ahead of its time!

        2. Citizen99

          Re: You can pry the ethernet cable out of my cold dead hands!

          Thicknet Ethernet; wonderfully heavy and solid, especially when you had to successively move a project around various test establishments.

        3. Tim99 Silver badge
          Windows

          Re: You can pry the ethernet cable out of my cold dead hands!

          I think I remember last using 10BASE5 to connect 2 10BASE2 Novell networks in separate building a few hundred metres apart. I can’t remember what the adapters were though…

      2. vincent himpe

        Re: You can pry the ethernet cable out of my cold dead hands!

        you can have my 75/1200 modem when you pry it out of my cold hands ( or when i move to bora-bora to spedn the rest of my life on the beach , far away from anything IT)

      3. HildyJ Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: You can pry the ethernet cable out of my cold dead hands!

        RS-232 and Centronics cables

        Not dead yet. Still have those cables too.

      4. big_D Silver badge

        Re: You can pry the ethernet cable out of my cold dead hands!

        I still have a bunch on null-modems and gender-benders in my toolkit, along with some Ethernet T-connectors and terminators in the shape of a TIE-Fighter.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Naah - just press down on the little plastic latch

          That's an interesting shape for a Terminator to choose....

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You can pry the ethernet cable out of my cold dead hands!

        NEVER!!!!!!

    2. ShadowSystems

      Re: You can pry the ethernet cable out of my cold dead hands!

      Given how difficult it is for me to troubleshoot a network issue on WiFi, I'll stick to the simplicity, stability, reliability, & useability of a wired connection.

      Besides, the gremlins that like to screw up a WiFi connection get annoyed when they realize I don't have any, then sniff that my neighbors do, & scamper off to go screw with the neighbors instead.

      =-)p

      1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

        Re: & scamper off to go screw with the neighbors instead.

        The low hanging fruit.

        Is this scrumping brought into the current century?

        (Your use of the word scamper brought back childhood memories: not as happy as they could be though - those massive apples were Bramleys).

      2. Wade Burchette

        Re: You can pry the ethernet cable out of my cold dead hands!

        How to connect with an ethernet cable:

        1) Connect cable to device and then to a switch or router.

        2) Enjoy.

        How to connect with WiFi:

        1) Find wireless access point or router.

        2) Make sure signal is strong enough.

        3) Walk to access point and push WPS button.

        4) Walk back to device.

        5) Enter password anyway because the WPS button didn't work for some reason.

        6) Re-enter password because your fat fingers messed up.

        7) Enjoy.

        WiFi has a useful purpose, but replacing ethernet ain't one of them.

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: You can pry the ethernet cable out of my cold dead hands!

          1) find router.

          2) dig out card with default password on,

          3) Phone opticians to get reading glasses.

          4) Drop in pub on way back from opticians.

          5) sorted.

        2. AndrueC Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: You can pry the ethernet cable out of my cold dead hands!

          I fear that Sir might have missed some steps in the wifi connection procedure. Sir has neglected to mention the need for foul and abusive language :)

          I remember when I got Sky Q installed. The 'engineer' wanted to use wifi. I told him there was an ethernet cable ready and waiting but he said it would be easier to use wifi. So he asked me where my router was. I said it was upstairs but it wasn't a Sky router and anyway the wifi was disabled. I told him I use a wireless access point downstairs because it's a better signal for my laptop.

          At that point he decided to try the ethernet cable and "see if it works". He plugged it in, checked the box and was astonished to find that it had obtained an IP address and was all ready to go.

          After that he left. Sad to think that he probably still believes that it's easier and more reliable to connect a Sky Q box via wifi than ethernet. Hence the need for quotes around engineer :)

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: You can pry the ethernet cable out of my cold dead hands!

          The WPS button didn't work because the sysadmin is aware of pixiedust attacks.

      3. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: You can pry the ethernet cable out of my cold dead hands!

        From the article: allowing data to flow seamlessly even if there is interference or congestion on some of the bands.

        even in a neighborhood of single-family dwellings, there is considerable interference from AP devices on adjacent channels, etc.. Doing the multi-band multi-channel bonding thing is ONLY going to make YOUR router fast, at the expense of EVERYONE NEAR YOU. Or what would happen when EVERYBODY does this and streams high bandwidth content at the same time... ?

        I can't imagine how bad it would be in an APARTMENT BUILDING.

        1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

          Re: You can pry the ethernet cable out of my cold dead hands!

          All that happens is that over time a new system comes out that gives us more bandwidth - and that bandwidth gets eaten up by an increase in competing devices. Sooner or later we'll start seeing problems with 5.8G like some of us recall with 2.4G.

          Many years ago I was sent to visit a bosses friend in Monaco - hard life, someone's got to do it :-) When I looked at the wifi in use around his apartment, the list of APs was pages long - and this was when 5.8G gear was few and far between.

          And also many years ago, I recall reading a comment from someone in Korea. His problem was a UI one - there were so many WiFi SSIDs that by the time he'd scrolled down to find his - the UI refreshed the list and he had to start again !

          I'll take a wired connection any day for a static device. And not only does the ethernet cable reliably deliver the network without interference from the neighbours - it can also deliver power for some of my devices.

    3. big_D Silver badge

      Re: You can pry the ethernet cable out of my cold dead hands!

      The other thing is, Ethernet goes between floors here at full speed (cables between the cellar, ground floor and first floor), Wi-Fi struggles to achieve 10% of its theoretical speed.

      I have Unifi APs in the house and they were originally in a wireless mesh, but the floors here are all re-enforced concrete, which means the signals are a bit iffy at the best of times. The router is in the cellar and everything upstairs was getting, maybe, 1mbps from the repeater in the hall, but the signal quality 3M away, but upstairs, was around 1 - 2 bars. Throw in the waterbed and ordering new Kindle books at bed time was a challenge.

      Putting a repeater upstairs helped, a bit, we had a solid signal all over the house, but throughput was still dire. Running gigabit Ethernet to each of the APs means full speed wireless on each floor.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: You can pry the ethernet cable out of my cold dead hands!

        Oh how often I shook my head when, during lockdown, so many colleagues had extensions built or conservatories added or garden rooms constructed and these structures were then lined with that foil-coated Kingspan insulation board.

        "But the WiFi worked fine before..."

        Yes, BEFORE you built a Faraday cage and before you then grounded that cage with copper central heating and water pipes that were punched through it. Did you ask your builder to leave a little bit of duct space there for the subsequent wiring that you'd need to do?

    4. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: You can pry the ethernet cable out of my cold dead hands!

      Prying them from your cold dead hands is a piece of piss. Prying them from the other 45 cables in the box in the leopard cupboard is another matter. Bloody Phrygians were onto something.

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: You can pry the ethernet cable out of my cold dead hands!

        I worked with a chap once who said tangled cables and keys were all caused by entropy.

        Bloody entropy.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: You can pry the ethernet cable out of my cold dead hands!

          At one place I worked they were clearing out a room and in there was a large, grey, government surplus style metal cabinet. Inside were several racks made out of the strongest fecking square section hollow steel bars I've ever seen - very simple arrangement, front bar, back bar and joined at the far ends by crossmembers.

          I said to keep that one, and I then laid all the cables over the front bar with the end level with the next bar down, laid over the gap to the back bar then back out over the next front bar going down. It was a perfect size so that most cable lengths resulted in both connectors being at the front of the cabinet next to each other. Anything longer or shorter could be accommodated using some of the spare racks. The steel was just the right roughness that the cables never slipped sideways but could be pushed to the side if needed. The edges of the steel bars were also rounded, not sharp. It took every single cable from the half-dozen mixed boxes we had. I spent a whole day filling it up, with mains at the top, printer, VGA, coaxial, serial, scsi, other weirdness in the middle and networking of various flavours at the bottom, with space on the floor for a few plastic baskets for gender-benders and other convertors and adaptors.

          The cabinet must have been entropy proof. It worked beautifully for many years. Cables en masse can get VERY heavy, and these thick bars were rock solid. You could find the specific cable someone wanted in moments.

          I later discovered when a former employee paid a visit that it was the cabinet they used to hang the Linotype magnetic tape cassettes in. We didn't have any of the tapes left, but apparently they weighed an absolute tonne, and there was a whole library of different typefaces, one family to a cassette. Hence the incredible strength of the cabinet!

          Seems bizarre now that the entire library that was held by this bespoke metal box could easily fit ten times over on something the size of a grain of wheat now.

    5. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: You can pry the ethernet cable out of my cold dead hands!

      wireless can be:

      a) sniffed

      b) replay attacked or similar (these methods have been around for quite some time)

      c) cracked to gain illegal access

      d) abused to engage in illegal activity online

      e) DoS'd via RF interference (maybe a nearby arc welder?)

      no thanks for the ENTIRE network to be wireless. Just remote devices that might need it. Everything else gets a CABLE.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: You can pry the ethernet cable out of my cold dead hands!

        So you have NO portable devices at all? No devices incapable of taking a cable because they're designed for portability? Not even a phone (which BTW is designed to be sniffed on its cell network alone)?

  2. badflorist

    Still a radio

    If it's a radio, more problems will occur.

    While not related, some of the old 2.4/5ghz wireless phones could jam a old wifi signal when the remote (the phone) went into sending out a S.O.S to the base unit when the battery was low in the remote. I never figured it but, every time a certain phone I had would start beeping to let me know the battery was low, wifi would drop out until I hung it on the base unit... every time without fail.

    1. eldakka Silver badge

      Re: Still a radio

      That's a veru needed cordless phone. If you keep coddling it like that, giving it attention every time it feels a little run down, it's going to keep doing that. You need to give it some hard love.

  3. b0llchit Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Pre order now - WiFi 8 availability soon

    One brand new technology is already obsolete before it has been installed. What a speed of development.

    1 - Make new standard. 2 - Hype new standard. 3 - Produce and sell equipment with new standard. 4 - Make new new standard that is better than the new standard and announce equipment availability. 5 - Declare new standard obsolete i favour of new new standard. 6 - goto 2.

    We are just producing replacement for replacement's sake, aren't we? We must produce more, more, more and you must buy more, more, more! Faster they say. Speed up now, bigger profits await us all.

    1. vincent himpe

      Re: Pre order now - WiFi 8 availability soon

      ooh .oooh .. oooh .. i know something .. Wireless USB ! that went nowhere...

      Or Bluetooth. A technology that will replace all wires so you can send your pictures wirelessly to your printer. By the time it as ready we all had 3 megapixel cameras and it would take 1.7 minutes to send one image to the printer. Bluetooth is only good for earpieces and some small stuff. It was deemed problematic for mice and keyboards as it is a power hog. a bluetooth device could only run for about 2 months off a set of batteries. same batteries would run a 458MHz keyboard for 5 years ... ( bluetooth needs an always on radio link. only later revisions solved that ...)

      1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Re: Power hog?

        My bluetooth keyboard & mouse have off switches that I do not use because they last for several months on rechargeable batteries. The tiny irreplaceable batteries in my earphones are far more problematic.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pre order now - WiFi 8 availability soon

      Yeah, that title is literally true. Though mostly that will operate in a super high band that won't go through much in the way of walls, etc.

      I have no issue with them trying to keep standards moving forwards, and people shouldn't stress about hitting each and every update. Scheisters like Belkin want you to buy 2 or 3 routers for every WiFi generation, to hell with them.

      This is just a hardware company trying to goad other hardware companies into putting it's stuff in the stuff they make. We won't see enough uptake to worry about it for 2 years or so. Companies won't have enough of their fleet rotated out to justify spending big support it for another 2 years after that, which is also when the prices will drop.

      1. eldakka Silver badge

        Re: Pre order now - WiFi 8 availability soon

        > Yeah, that title is literally true. Though mostly that will operate in a super high band that won't go through much in the way of walls, etc.

        Thus requiring you to buy more base units, one for every room. Consumerism success!

  4. anthonyhegedus

    what's the betting that it won't offer 40Gbps if you're one room away, or you live in a crowded area, or your office is full of laptops? Even with Wifi 5 (802.11ac), the claimed "1300Mbps" only gives a throughput of about 250-500Mbps in absolutely ideal conditions.

    Anyway my gripe isn't so much that it's possibly not as fast as they say, the problem is that companies make new standards quicker than people will deploy them. Most kit is still Wifi 5, with Wifi 6 beginning to make inroads, and now they're talking about wifi 7?! I know we need progress, but releasing things slower, and when they're ready, would actually mean more uptake.

    1. SGJ

      As it's using 6GHz spectrum it won't be usable a room or two away but this means it will be usable in crowded urban areas!

      1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
        Coffee/keyboard

        @SGJ - "it won't be usable a room or two away but this means it will be usable in crowded urban areas!"

        In a crowded urban area, the walls of your room might be in touching distance, and the concrete wall between you and your lounge means you can't contact the AP there. Save the cost of a 2m ethernet cable by buying a $X Wi-Fi 7 router for every room!

        icon - Escape!

        1. phuzz Silver badge

          the concrete wall between you and your lounge means you can't contact the AP there

          It's ok, the plasterboard between you and the next flat will mean that you'll be swamped by their signal instead, and if current wifi networks are any indication, they'll be on the same frequency as all your neighbours, so nobody gets a good connection.

    2. Paul Kinsler Silver badge

      if you're one room away ...

      ... the solution will be to run some ethernet to that other room, and put a cabled-up wifi7 router in there :-)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: if you're one room away ...

        Your both mostly right, but material penetration for 6ghz vs 5ghz bands isn't in another universe. It will be slower than LoS with the access point, but probably about as fast a room or two over as your existing setup is now.

        However, for wireless to make it close to the over hyped "why would I ever use a cable again" putting one AP in each room and using an even higher band is the way to go. Cross talk between APs and other gear on the same channel/band is one of the big reasons that 2.4 is useless in much of the modern urban hellscape. Going to the 60ghz or whatever the next spec is pushing will mean the signal won't be able to get through a cardboard box, which means that your neighbors immersive AR hentai universe won't knock the UHD feed off your TV in the middle of a game.

      2. captain veg Silver badge

        joshing, but...

        To get the advertised speed out of most WiFi routers requires that your client device be positioned right next to them anyway. Might as well just patch in a cable.

        Ah, you say, my device has no ethernet port! I dare say that it doesn't have the particular kind of WiFi adaptor required to realise the router's advertised speed either.

        Still, 40Gbps WiFi sounds nice. Shame that your BT/OpenReach-supplied internet won't get much within one thousandth of that.

        -A.

    3. Annihilator Silver badge

      Not to mention, that xMbps will effectively be shared across the devices. Ethernet doesn't do that.

    4. badflorist

      You forgot to mention the "40gbs Approved" rating by specific vendors, all with different specifications.

    5. LDS Silver badge

      offering connections of at least 30Gbps*

      * tested with two devices one metre apart inside a Faraday cage installed on Voyager 1.

  5. Novex

    I'll Believe It When I See It

    IMHO I reckon that no matter how fast any wireless technology can be, its reliability will always be an issue. Also, the faster it gets the more difficult it becomes to get it to work through objects (like walls), I think that might be down to something called physics.

    When I want to know that my connection will work 99.999% of the time, I'll use a hardwire thanks, and wouldn't touch wireless with a barge pole.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: I'll Believe It When I See It

      I'm just waiting for the first all-wireless business / industrial site to be brought down by somebody with a couple of RF jammers* nearby.

      [*] could be legitimate RF kit, but for targeted malfeasant you can try a bit harder.

      1. Bitsminer Bronze badge

        Re: I'll Believe It When I See It

        Or, a microwave oven.

        My Samsung phone's Wifi becomes useless when the microwave is on.

        1. druck Silver badge

          Re: I'll Believe It When I See It

          You may want to check your door seals, or just buy a new one before you cook yourself.

          1. edjimf

            Re: I'll Believe It When I See It

            My phone Wi-Fi was rubbish when the microwave was in use.

            The microwave door had a small crack in the corner, so thinking of leaky waves being the problem, we bought a brand new microwave

            Phone Wi-Fi is still rubbish when the microwave is on.

            Probably a combination of acceptable micro transmission and Wi-Fi AP being upstairs and on the other side of at least 2 brick walls (108 yr old house)

          2. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: I'll Believe It When I See It

            FYI the Faraday cage that makes up the inside of your microwave is probably good for 40db attenuation at best. 100W may drop to 1W or 0.1W (60db) but 100mw is what a typical AP emits and so Mr. Microwave screams all over the band... even when it is perfectly safe for nearby humans.

            Also magnetrons drift around and so the affected channels are pretty wide. Radar systems need to use the outgoing signal applied to an AFC circuit to make sure they can receive the echo, as every pulse is likely to be on a different frequency within a relatively narrow range,

        2. Joe Drunk

          Re: I'll Believe It When I See It

          My Samsung phone's Wifi becomes useless when the microwave is on.

          Yea, used to happen to me too constantly with any WIFI device that connected to my router's 2.4GHz band when using the microwave. That problem disappeared now that I connect exclusively to my router's 5GHz band.

          I don't know how old your Samsung phone is but my Galaxy S3 can connect to 5GHz.

          Buy your own router, not your ISP provided kit. Even if your ISP provides modem/router combo, plug your router into their ethernet. Makes your wireless life much easier.

    2. F. Frederick Skitty

      Re: I'll Believe It When I See It

      I worked on a crane system for a warehouse project where for the first time we were having to use wireless networking. First time we tested it, the cranes got near the end of each aisle and stopped. The networking guys had tested while the shelving was empty - with full shelves the signal was too weak to reach the end of the high bay...

  6. redpawn Silver badge

    The answer is more power

    and then we will all learn to enjoy a high noise floor on every frequency just to allow a few of to work. Was hoping for some infrared or light based wireless using reflectors on the ceiling.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: The answer is more power

      Whatever happened to LiFi?

      1. Persona Silver badge

        Re: The answer is more power

        It was a dim idea. Especially if you were trying to use it in an adjacent room.

        1. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

          Re: The answer is more power

          It has great security features, though...

          1. that one in the corner

            Re: The answer is more power

            LiFi + more power + security features = sharks with frickin' lasers on their heads.

        2. Justthefacts Silver badge

          Re: The answer is more power

          Wait until you try 39GHz 5G then.

          Specially designed for people who absolutely must have 20Gbps when they’re walking around in the open air, but whose requirements drop to 2Gbps when inside any building or their car.

  7. iron Silver badge

    Does it go through brick walls?

    How well does it go through brick walls? Because if the answer isn't like a hot knife through butter then it won't ever become the backbone of my home or replace my ethernet cables.

    A solution that requires a buying expensive kit for every room is not a suitable replacement for cheap cable.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Does it go through brick walls?

      >A solution that requires a buying expensive kit for every room is not a suitable replacement for cheap cable.

      No that would be silly, how would you connect them ?

      The proper solution is a hammer drill and add some radio-wave access portals to the walls

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Does it go through brick walls?

        The proper solution is a hammer drill and add some radio-wave access portals to the walls

        The first time I've ever heard "install windows" suggested as a credible solution to an IT problem.

        1. Emir Al Weeq
          Coffee/keyboard

          Re: Does it go through brick walls?

          New keyboard please!

    2. Michael

      Re: Does it go through brick walls?

      Brick walls? I wish that was all I had to contend with. I've 800mm thick solid stone walls in parts of my house. I think I'll stick to the cat 6 cables.

      1. eldakka Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Does it go through brick walls?

        Are you an evil genius holed up in some old castle or something?

        1. DaemonProcess

          Re: Does it go through brick walls?

          I have 2' thick river stone and mortar walls holding up my chateau, internally as well as externally. Running 40m of cat 6+ along the attic from end to end with wifi repeaters is the only way to reach down to the ground floor.

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: Does it go through brick walls?

            You mean you've left the wine cellar?

        2. captain veg Silver badge

          Re: Does it go through brick walls?

          My small but old-ish (18th Century) house has 60cm external walls. They do a pretty good job of keeping out cell phone signals. On the plus side, I don't have to worry too much about WiFi security.

          -A.

    3. ITMA Bronze badge

      Re: Does it go through brick walls?

      "How well does it go through brick walls?"

      Never mind brick walls - how about reinforced concrete?

      WiFi often won't go through things you need it to to get to where you need it, while you can't stop it reaching everyone around you when you'd rather it didn't.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Does it go through brick walls?

        If reinforced concrete is your obstacle, then you're likely facing either a structural (load-bearing) wall or a firewall. Either way, you're basically screwed either way if "around" isn't an option.

  8. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    shared medium

    30Gbps sounds nice but don't you have to divide that by the number of stations thst are using it?

    1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

      Re: shared medium

      Worse, collisions.

      This is a horrible idea, now devices will use 3x the channels.

      This should never have been approved, wifi frequencies are few, and shared.

      1. bazza Silver badge

        Re: shared medium

        There's an interesting thing going on between the WiFi companies and the telecomms companies.

        WiFi dwells in ISM bands, or uses other people's bands with (having to ensure they don't interfere), and is being backed into a performance corner as a result. Sure, 40Gbps, but the chances of that being delivered over useful ranges with useful numbers of client machines in useful (i.e. with another network right next door) places is remote.

        Whereas the cellular network guys get reserved bandwidth, strong network management, much more transmission power, etc. With those advantages (which come at a cost - spectrum is not free), they have the ability to substantially outperform WiFi on range, or throughput, or both. Dedicated bandwidth pays dividends.

        Which begs the question, "Do we need WiFi?". If it comes to that, "Do we need Bluetooth?". 5G has fiddled with having a WiFi-esque profile. There was even talk of 5G having a Blue-tooth, Personal-Area-Network profile too. Both a wireless LAN and a wireless PAN would be better (from a purely technical performance point of view) with dedicated bandwidth. Why have WiFi when one could have something like WiFi, but better?

        I think that, basically, it comes down to branding. People are used to Bluetooth and WiFi, and it'd be a hard sell to get something different adopted.

        We probably should do away with major network standards using free / borrowed bands and have those network functions shifted to dedicated bands. However, there's no mechanism for making that happen. Companies have the liberty to develop products that use the ISM bands (or negotiate to borrow other peoples'). There is no governmental reason to say "no" to that. Also the market will always settle on whatever is good enough to sell, which is where WiFi and Bluetooth now are. So, we're probably never going to get useful functions like a wireless LAN put into dedicated bandwidth and be properly coordinated with other networks like celluar or PAN.

        I think it's interesting to look at the price we currently pay. For music to be delivered to a set of ear buds, these days that means data transport down and up the layers of the IP network stack, with the cellular network stack getting in the way there somewhere, followed by data transport down and up the layers of the Bluetooth stack. The cost is the complexity in running 3 stacks, the software to integrate the 3 stacks, and the battery power consumed.

        Ok, from an end consumer's point of view the battery power lost is modest.

        But the faff is incredible. Having that music come out of those ear buds via a different mobile / computer means pairing, setting up, logging into the Spotify account, etc. With today's networks, there's no way that the music can be addressed directly to those ear buds by the music provider.

        There's also no way that devices can learn about other permitted devices, unless a user goes through some sort of pairing process for each and every desired combination of pairings.

        Looked at this way, it all looks woefully non-joined up. Though I'm not convinced that this is enough to force improvements through.

    2. JerseyDaveC

      Re: shared medium

      No, it's worse than that. Collisions increase geometrically with the number of devices you connect.

      1. captain veg Silver badge

        Re: shared medium

        Isn't the same true of ethernet?

        -A.

        1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

          Re: shared medium

          Only on the yellow spaghetti CSMA

          Not if you are using a switch that has routing enough capacity.

          1. ITMA Bronze badge

            Re: shared medium

            Or in enterprise environments a properly designed multi-level switching topology with proper distribution grade switches handling the backbones and endpoint switches for devices.

  9. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Wired speeds*

    * Wired speeds when you're in less than 1m away and there are no obstructions. The only advantage I see in WiFi is not tripping over a patch cable. I still need lots of Ethernet cables to keep the WiFi APs in close range.

    1. ITMA Bronze badge

      Re: Wired speeds*

      "The only advantage I see in WiFi is not tripping over a patch cable"

      That is the ONLY problem WiFi solves, while bringing a shit load of new problems with it.

  10. cornetman Silver badge

    I don't believe any of the hype surrounding WiFi. It's radio and in the real world it is pretty appalling and unreliable.

    We recently moved into a new rented place and it has no wired networking, something that we enjoyed in our previous place.

    Not sure what the specific issue is, but wherever I put the network access point, you cannot get WiFi in half of the house, with no convenient way to wire up a repeater to the other half.

    We actually solved the problem with some of those Powerline networking plugs. For our situation, they're actually pretty sweet and we get a good reliable throughput, not Gbit mind, but good enough. Powerline from the router to a couple of remote places in the house and a Wifi repeater attached to one of them for WiFi coverage.

    1. LybsterRoy Bronze badge

      Very similar solution here but needed because of foil backed plasterboard. Occasionally the line back to the router goes titsup but I discovered that unplug the cable from the laptop, wait a couple of seconds and replug and things are fine.

  11. Tomato42

    Shared medium

    I'll take dedicated 1Gbps Ethernet over however many tens of gigs of shared WiFi.

    I like my pings fast and consistent.

  12. martinusher Silver badge

    All that glitters

    I haven't followed this version of the protocol but if it follows past form then the bandwidth advertisements will be based on coding rate which is invariably wildly optimistic. To explain. The WiFi packet is made up of a string of coded symbols, a packet consisting of a preamble, some low rate information followed by the packet data proper. The result is that many packets consist of a dozen symbols for framing and housekeeping information plus a string of data symbols coded for whatever the fastest rate you can get away with. If the packet is long then you can 'lose' the overhead of the initial symbols but most packets are not, they're comparatively short, so the actual data rate of a real world transmission is usually a lot lower than the advertised coding rate. Once you add in contention -- two or more nodes competing for the same bandwidth (remember they don't even need to be on the same network) then the effective transfer rate drops even more. Much ingenuity has gone into overcoming these limitations but realistically they will never compete with a 1000BaseT link (or even 100BaseT in most real world situations). This doesn't mean this new WiFi is useless, just that marketing people have form when it comes to overstating a technolgy's performance.

    (...and yes, if its using virgin bandwidth then it will scream along. But then everyone else + dog will move in and it will be back to normal)

  13. Zola

    40Gbps sounds amazing, but...

    I hope it uplinks to the network router or switch over something faster than 1Gbps Ethernet. Eventually there's going to be a wired Ethernet connecting the wireless access point to the backend, and 2.5Gbps/5Gbps/10Gbps ports are still not exactly commonplace (getting better, but still classed - and priced - as "premium" for some reason), even less so 40Gbps ports (maybe link aggregating multiple 10Gbps ports will work/be required).

    Feeding the 40Gbps WiFi7 beast sounds like it may be the more difficult nut to crack, in a world of predominantly 1Gbps wired connections.

    1. Piro Silver badge

      Re: 40Gbps sounds amazing, but...

      2.5 & 5 Gbps PoE needs to become popular and cheap, quickly. It's such a shame that there's an unmet need right in the middle of the market. The standards work, and they allow you to re-use a lot of existing cabling, whilst providing worthwhile performance increases.

      Where's all the gear?

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: 40Gbps sounds amazing, but...

        There's no market for anything faster than 1Gbps but slower than "the fastest feasible"

        Datacentre needs the fastest you can give it, but home and office usage is almost always practically limited by the Internet connection, which is currently almost always in the region of 40-500Mbps, and basically never faster than 1Gbps.

        Dunno if that was solved for 10

        As they're actually fallback symbol rates of 10Gbps, why sell at 2.5Gbps when you can sell it as 10Gbps

        Power delivery adds further complexity, I know the 2-wire Ethernet standards committees are currently trying to figure out how to do that. Dunno if that's solved for 10/5/2.5Gbps though.

        So, what are you going to do with 5Gbps?

    2. ITMA Bronze badge

      Re: 40Gbps sounds amazing, but...

      I've yet to see WOL working well enough (or at all) to be even worth looking at over WiFi.

      For remote estate management WOL is essential.

  14. bk109

    ... I see we're recycling the claims from the .11ad days

    Seriously, wasn't this almost verbatim the promise vendors were making when trying to fling their 802.11ad-capable devices (ie 'wireless' laptop docks)? At least WiGig had the 'excuse' that it was aimed at enterprise clients still using the bulkier docks of yesteryear (as if that's a bad thing) and was kinda positioned to make a lot of the cables redundant, by allowing the user to plop his or her device out of the way in a more "efficient" * way ... in the days before USB-PD made docks little bigger than USB hubs of old... and for a fraction of the price of the bloody WiGig docks :D Too bad that after enough procurement types bought into the hype and the overpriced stock people realized that the tech was glitchier than a 20$ Ninvento in its initial form to make .11ad NIC "upgrades" unsellable on business machines :D

    *Nothing has wasted more time, effort and nerves than some moronic efficiency drive nuking "good enough"... sometimes I wonder how popular a "strangers on a train" scenario would be for dealing with the higher ups that make IT work "interesting" :D

  15. Michael Hoffmann
    Facepalm

    If I had a dollar...

    ... for every friend, neighbour and family member complaining about their internet speed - while trying to use their single WAP in the house, tucked away in the furthest corner from all users, I'd be rich, they'd be poor and none of us would be on speaking terms anymore.

    As it is, I refer them to the "professional installers" who put the shite in, after running a speed test and showing them the perfectly fine results with a device plugged directly into their Internet modem/router.

    "But I don't want that ugly box sitting in the middle of the house! The installers said it would be fine to tuck it away!"

    Well then, ask your amazing installers to also install the WAP model with the round-the-corner-bending radio waves!

  16. vincent himpe

    nope.

    my whole house is wired and anything wifi is switched off. why ? so the neighbors can't bog down or leech off my network !

    That is the problem with wifi. you may have high bandwidth but there are only 11 , 15 or 16 channels in the spectrum. ( depending on where you live). I can see at least 20 different routers so some of these are 'sharing' a channel ( time multiplex) .

    1. Joe W Silver badge

      Re: nope.

      I have both, wired and wireless. I like the convenience of quickly checking emails on the phone or tablet, or just sitting down in a comfy chair with the laptop to do some stuff. I prefer a wired connection for work, media delivery, file storage, basically actually everything.

      And yes, the problem is that there are too many networks for too few channels, because _all_ neighbours crank up their AP's sending level to absolute maximum. You can see the AP a few appartment blocks away. That results in about... 50 or so networks visible from here, I stopped counting - and this results in the reliability and performace that we all love about wireless.

      1. Graham Cobb Silver badge

        Re: nope.

        And this is why the age-old trend of "oh, shit, I am turning into my parents!" will continue unabated. For over a hundred years now, as people grow up they move out of their trendy but expensive, small and (now) unnetworkable city-centre apartments into the suburbs or even further.

        As sitting in front of some rubbish on TV, after putting the kids to bed, becomes more important than being able to acquire life-changing, eco-kazakh-tibetan crossover food, with 5-shot espresso, at 3:30 in the morning.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Even wireless needs wires. The AP still needs to have wires to it. So there are what about 25 20Mhz channels in 5Ghz? So by moving to 320Mhz bonded, that is 16 of the 25 channels. So one AP will use 2/3 of the channels. If you need to that much bandwidth, wired will still be faster since it will be full duplexed.

    Will Wifi8 be 500Mhz bonded?

  18. Whoisthis

    6G will replace WiFi

    Once we have proper 5G roll out and network signals all over the place, what will be the point of having two standards delivering 10gbps+ signals everywhere?

    1. Graham Cobb Silver badge

      Re: 6G will replace WiFi

      Nooooooooooo!!!! Surely it isn't time for the 6G hype to begin yet. Can't we just have a little break? pleeeezzzz...

  19. pavel.petrman Silver badge

    4K QAM

    4K QAM? Oh my. Feels like the WiFi baud rates are approaching that of a departing lorry loaded with back up tapes.

  20. bobbear

    Powerline?

    WiFi - is that thing still going? I gave up on it years ago - I'll stick with my powerline LAN, thanks, (her indoors won't let me drill holes in all the walls and drape wires everywhere for some unaccountable reason).

    As someone else has pointed out - 'new standard' = "we need to sell more kit". 5GHz wifi reliably gets about half the distance of 2.4GHz wifi in my place, or to put it another, it's twice as useless as 2.4GHz. It might be great if you've got a cardboard house, but no good if you've got brick and/or block walls..

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Powerline?

      Doesn't powerline LAN have its own sniffing issues, especially in communal settings like apartment buildings?

      Anyway, I recognize that both wired and wierless Internet has its uses. Some people, for example, have to use portable devices or aren't allowed to wire up for one reason or another (usually tenant restrictions). Others, as noted, have radio-restrictive layouts.

      What I'd like to see is a solution for someone who has both at once: they can't use wireless, AND they're not allowed to wire up. Maybe worse, their power lines aren't well suited for a powerline-based setup, either.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Powerline?

        Powerline is wireless over shitty waveguides.

        So yes, you are sharing bandwidth with everyone else on your phase.

        It's great as long as nobody else has it.

        What data transfer physical medium are you suggesting for a user who can't run cables, use wireless or any preexisting power cable? Magic?

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Powerline?

          I sure would like to know. My home is owned, but multi-story and old, so there's no easy way to cross floors other to run outside, making certain rooms downstairs nigh-inaccessible (no outside walls). Also because it's old, some of the walls have radio-attenuating materials (they're also load-bearing so can't be easily replaced). It creates some distinct not-spots in the house that have no easy solutions.

          Just saying there are plausible scenarios where neither solution is practical.

  21. ibmalone Silver badge

    Maybe get the simple things working first?

    Had to replace a MediaTek wifi+bluetooth module in a new laptop as the bluetooth LE mouse would get lost and require complete repairing whenever it was idle for a couple of minutes, or the machine went to sleep, or you restarted the computer. Both windows and linux, so likely a firmware or hardware issue that I haven't had with Broadcom or Intel. So maybe they should figure out how to handle devices going into standby on 12 year-old standards before trying to sell us on implementations of draft standards.

    Anyway, the idea that 40Gbps will replace the 10GbE and vlans holding our server room together seems a little optimistic, not to mention nightmarish.

  22. JerseyDaveC

    It's fair to say that I think this is the same load of cobblers as I said WiFi 6 was in this piece ... https://www.theregister.com/2021/07/14/will_i_ever_ditch_my_cabled_lan/

  23. Filippo Silver badge

    I don't give a crap about 40gbps in lab conditions.

    I'll be happy when I can pick a random AP, a random WiFi device, turn them on, enter the correct password, open a web page, and actually get it most of the time.

    As opposed to the current situation, where most of the times, even when the AP is in LoS 30cm away, the connection stalls for thirty seconds and then fails giving no reason; or proudly shows five bars out of five, but does not actually even resolve URLs; or oscillates randomly between the nominal speed and the speed of a typewriter; or works but drops randomly every few minutes; and so on and so forth.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      It depends what kind of lab you live in, I suppose.

  24. Panicnow

    More bandwidh please

    The joke is only <0.1% of usable spectrum now carries >99% of traffic.

    Shifting legacy bandwidth hogs such as BBC Radio 1-7 and TV off of dedicated (unbelievably wide) bands would enable sensible use of frequencies.

    ... and don't get me on reserved military bands....

    If only I could become Chair of OFCOM!

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does this mean that Wi-Fi 8 will be even better? Maybe I should wait...

  26. ITMA Bronze badge

    "Throw away your Ethernet cables* because MediaTek says Wi-Fi 7 will replace them"

    Bullshit bullshit bullshit.

    Don't get me wrong, WiFi has its uses. But fundamentally it still solves one, and ONLY one problem - NOT being able to use a cable.

    In every other way it is nothing but problems compared to a cable.

    How many WiFi channels do you need to get the same throughput as a good wired network with proper distribution type switching fabric?

    Then there is security - doesn't matter how much encryption you use, with WiFi you are still broadcasting your data. Anyone can (potentially) listen to it and grab it.

    At one of my sites one of my access points can see 40+ other WiFi NETWORKS!!!! None of which are ours.

    The higher the data rate with radio, the more subsceptible it is to anything - building layout and construction, furniture, even people walking around. That is just the way radio is.

    And it is awful lot of (complex) technology just to try and replace a length of copper.

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