Google is reportedly planning a new Google Wifi router including the brand new Wi-Fi 6 connectivity standard – and it’s apparently coming later this year.
The new router will also contain a smart home speaker running the Google Assistant according to Chrome Unboxed. Effectively, if the report is true, the firm plans to pack router tech into a Google Home speaker, or vice versa, depending on your preference.
However, the key selling point for speed obsessives will be the presence of the WiFi 6 technology, starting to make its way out into the wild in a number of advanced routers.
Related: What is WiFi 6?
The clues the report latches on to are in the Qualcomm processors showing up in code within Chromium Repositories pertaining to an unannounced device – codenamed Minstral – that are both Wi-Fi 6 ready and built for use in smart speakers.
The Qualcomm 400 series chips – namely the QCS404 or QCS405 – could deliver the benefits of Wi-Fi 6, which include greater bandwidth to support more devices in congested areas. Previously known as 802.11ax, Wi-Fi 6 will transmit signals more efficiently, but will naturally bring a speed boost too, with theoretical speeds of up to 10Gbps.
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Early tests have seen transfer speeds of up to 1,320Mbps, which would enable you to download the entire series of MCU films in 4K in 2 minutes and 40 seconds, for instance (via CNET). That compares with 3:45 on the Wi-Fi 5, aka 802.11ac.
Of course, a lot of this is dependent on the maximum speeds offered in your area. However, if the ISPs can deliver the goods, Wi-Fi 6 routers will be able to keep up. Seeing as Google Wifi has previously been marketed as a mesh solution for whole home connectivity, the new Wi-Fi standard will enable people to connect to a wide range of devices and achieve high-end speeds in every room of the house.
A previous report had suggested Minstral could be a smart display a la the Google Nest Hub product, but the commit within Chromium points out there’s no video component here.
The report says Google will launch the new router at its autumn hardware event alongside the Pixel 4 smartphones later this year.