I'm looking to upgrade my MSI laptop's wireless-AC card from a 3160HMW to 7260HMW. The 7260HMW was discontinued by Intel quite a while ago, so I'm checking the secondary markets for a card. I see a lot of the wireless-AC cards available for the secondary market are labeled "PTA APPROVED MODEL". I presume that the label is to satisfy Pakistani regulations for sale of radio equipment here, but is the underlying hardware exactly the same as other 7260HMW cards sold in the rest of the world? That is, if I bought a "PTA" card for use in Canada, would it work?
We understand that you want to replace the AC 3160 adapter in your PC with the Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260. The AC 7260 may fit your PC, as the 3160HMW and 7260HMW are both Half Mini Card adapters, they have many things in common; however, we strongly advise you to contact MSI support, as the https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/topics/OEMs.html Computer Manufacturer is the best source to confirm which wireless adapters are supported by your system. The end user is not authorized to install the wireless adapters. Only the manufacturer or its authorized representative can install the adapters.
As you suggested, the AC 7260 complies with Pakistani standards, as noted in the https://www.intel.com/content/dam/support/us/en/documents/network-and-i-o/wireless-networking/WP2_Re... Intel® Wireless 7260 Family Regulatory Markings (PDF). However, it also has other markings and regulations.
It is important to mention that a replacement adapter may not work for several reasons, such as manufacturer limitations, PCIe* Version compatibility, Regulatory issues, or Driver Limitations. In some cases, installing adapters in an unauthorized system may be illegal.
For more information, please check the following documents:
https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000005687/network-and-i-o/wireless-networki... Regulatory Information Regarding Wireless Hardware Installation or Upgrade
https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000005846/network-and-i-o/wireless-networki... Why Doesn't My Laptop Recognize My New Intel® Wireless Adapter?
https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000022336/network-and-i-o/wireless-networki... Can I Purchase Wireless Adapters from Intel?
Hi Jonathan, I contacted MSI with regards to replacing my MSi laptop's (a GP60 2PE Leopard) 3160HMW with a 7260HMW. They initially responded with a 'yes, it will work'. Then they sent another message to me saying that it will not work. At this point, I haven't even broached the topic of a "PTA" version of the card with MSi. I await delivery of 7260HMW and I'll test it out myself.