By Claus Hetting, Wi-Fi NOW CEO & Chairman
This week we got caught up in the excitement of the impressive Free Wi-Fi 7 launch (read more here) without first doing our homework – and the result was bad reporting on our part, which we intend to fix in this story. Yes, Free is certainly the first major ISP in Europe with a home-grown Wi-Fi 7 solution but not the first ISP in the world nor Europe to launch a Wi-Fi 7 service. So of course we retract our words and apologise. Here’s at least a more correct list of Wi-Fi 7 launches. Do you know of any others? Email me now!
On Tuesday France’s Free launched an impressive and probably disruptive Wi-Fi 7-based home broadband service in France – but at Wi-Fi NOW, we immediately got the story wrong. Since all news organisations deal in one currency only – and that’s credibility – we’re making amends with this note with particular thanks to the couple of individuals who reached out to me on LinkedIn to point out our mistake. Unfortunately we could not retract our email blast but here’s the corrected story.
Free’s new solution is impressive – no doubt about that – but it is definitely not a world first. It appears Singtel of Singapore already in December 2023 launched their Wi-Fi 7-based service offering up to ’10 Gbps wirelessly,’ the company says here. We do not know for sure but we’re guessing there’s a good probability that this could be the world’s first by a tier one operator, although operators in Hong Kong and Korea are typically also among the first. KT of Korea announced a Wi-Fi 7 partnership with Intel early last year but we’ve not seen evidence that the service has been launched.
As a result we thought that Free might then be ‘the first in Europe’ to launch a Wi-Fi 7-based service. But even that turned out to be untrue. For example: Fibre-operator Lounea of Finland says they launched a Wi-Fi 7 service way back in late March of last year also fed by their 10 Gbps fibre network – read more here. Both Singtel and Lounea use TP-Link as their Wi-Fi 7 gateway provider. And there may well be others that we are not aware of.
Do you know of any home broadband ISP offering Wi-Fi 7 services? We’d like to keep track! Contact me at [email protected] for any tips you may have.