Qualcomm announced its foray into a new Wi-Fi router market segment on Wednesday, with Charter Communications and the UK’s EE among its inaugural clients.
Based in San Diego, California, Qualcomm is globally recognized as a leading chip supplier that enables mobile devices to access cellular data networks. While it has an established presence in selling Wi-Fi chips for consumer routers, the company revealed its entry into a new niche: offering gateways. These devices, typically provided by broadband carriers, convert physical fibre-optic connections from service providers into household Wi-Fi signals.
Both EE and Charter, known as Spectrum in the broadband domain, confirmed their intentions to integrate Qualcomm’s routers from the following year. These upcoming devices will employ the Wi-Fi 7 standard to enhance data transmission rates in homes populated with multiple devices, from smartphones to smart TVs.
A notable feature of the new Qualcomm routers is their capability to prioritize data from specific apps and services, especially those affiliated with streaming video platforms that have struck deals with carriers for swifter speeds. This function, however, might not be universally permissible due to regional regulations. Nevertheless, in regions where it is sanctioned, Qualcomm’s routers will ensure that the speed enhancement persists from the carrier’s fibre network to the home’s Wi-Fi.
Discussing the router’s features, Rahul Patel, Qualcomm’s Senior Vice President and General Manager for Connectivity, Broadband, and Networking, said that the operator could manage a service based on the agreement with the app provider.
Qualcomm recently acquired a petite optical networking company named OptiCore Technologies. Although the purchase price remains undisclosed, Qualcomm stated that the acquisition’s scale is insignificant enough to impact its financial outlook.