Forward-looking: The H3C Magic BE18000 is the first router to implement some of the new features of the upcoming Wi-Fi 7 standard, including support for 320MHz-wide channels, 4K-QAM, and Multi-Link Operation. However, you won’t be able to use these new technologies until the first Wi-Fi 7 client devices launch next year.
Chinese networking equipment manufacturer H3C has just announced the Magic BE18000, the “world’s first Wi-Fi 7 router.” It’s worth noting that the IEEE hasn’t finalized the Wi-Fi 7 (802.11be) standard yet, meaning that this router might not support all the features of upcoming certified devices.
The BE18000 has a 4×4 MIMO antenna configuration and supports all three Wi-Fi frequency bands. It has a maximum PHY rate of 1148 Mbps on 2.4GHz, 5765 Mbps on 5 GHz, and a whopping 11530 Mbps on 6GHz, thanks to Wi-Fi 7 introducing support for 320MHz-wide channels. However, you might not be allowed to use the 6GHz band as many countries still haven’t delicensed that spectrum for public use.
Another new feature is support for 4K-QAM, which increases data rates by 20 percent compared to 1024-QAM when there’s little interference and the client device is nearby. Meanwhile, Multi-Link Operation allows a device to use multiple frequency bands simultaneously and pick the least-congested one to lower latency. The BE18000 also features two 10GbE and three 1GbE ports.
The company didn’t reveal any availability or pricing details, but as an enterprise product, don’t expect it to come cheap. The first Wi-Fi 7-enabled client devices will probably hit the market next year, meaning that you won’t be able to use any of the new features of the BE18000 at least until then.