Chinese government drops hints of partially approving Wi-Fi 7

June 5, 2023 11:40 am

China's potential approval of Wi-Fi 7, the upcoming standard for wireless communication, is hinted at in a recent government draft published by the National Radio Administration Bureau [in Chinese], a department of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) on June 1. This draft outlines testing procedures and technical standards for devices utilizing the IEEE 802.11be (Wi-Fi 7) protocol.

The draft particularly emphasizes Wi-Fi 7's multi-link operation (MLO), a key feature that allows data to transmit across different frequency bands and channels concurrently. However, notably missing is any mention of the 6 GHz bands (5,925 - 7,125 MHz), which are expected to significantly enhance data transfer speeds by times more than the widely-adopted Wi-Fi 6.

The draft specifies that devices should operate within three key wireless frequency ranges: 2,400 - 2,483.5 MHz, 5,150 - 5,350 MHz, and 5,725 - 5,850 MHz. These guidelines currently exclude the use of Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 7 devices within mainland China, as well as the approval of 6 GHz wireless frequency bands for Wi-Fi technologies.

While mainland China remains conservative in this regard, the Hong Kong government has already approved Wi-Fi 6E, including additional 6 GHz bands. This distinction is crucial as major consumer electronics vendors like Asus, Xiaomi, Qualcomm, and MediaTek have already begun shipping devices ready for Wi-Fi 7 tech.

This draft proposal is currently open for public consultation, with feedback welcomed until June 30. This process could influence China's stance on the integration of more advanced wireless technologies.