has been selected by Belgium's national telecom provider, Belgacom
, to supply in-home "smart Wi-Fi" systems to support its popular digital broadband TV service -- Belgacom TV.
The Ruckus smart Wi-Fi system, MediaFlex NG, is the-first-of-its-kind in-home wireless platform that uses patent-pending technology to increase the reliability of Wi-Fi signals, extend their range and automatically steer them around interference in real-time.
Based on the Ruckus MediaFlex system, Belgacom's new in-home Wi-Fi service is now available to Belgium's four million households, giving consumers the freedom to watch television anywhere in their home over standard Wi-Fi, while using the Internet and other digital broadband services.
Belgacom is one of Europe's leading and fastest growing IPTV providers, offering IPTV services to more than 73,000 customers at the end of June. Over the next 18 months, Belgacom expects to significantly ramp its subscriber base.
Belgacom is leveraging advances in Wi-Fi technology, developed by Ruckus Wireless, to create a new model for delivering, enabling and distributing television services within the home. The Ruckus MediaFlex system lets Belgacom give consumers the opportunity to purchase and install the system when and where they want, thereby avoiding the installation costs and delays typically associated with turning on a television service
"The market is demanding a better model for enabling new digital services within the home -- one that is as revolutionary as the services themselves -- and this is it," said Robin Belliere, product manager of Residential Terminals at Belgacom.
"Consumers simply don't want to wait for installers to enable their television service or rewire their homes, and why should they? Instead of having to arrange, pay and wait for a technician, consumers can now simply purchase the Ruckus MediaFlex system when they want to enable TV and install the system anywhere in a matter of minutes," Belliere concluded.
According to Belgacom, approximately 60 percent of its triple play customers choose self-installation. The Ruckus MediaFlex system is pre-configured for Belgacom and its customers and can be installed in a matter of minutes. Belgacom will continue to offer a wired option that requires a technician to come to the home to install Ethernet cabling over the course of two to three hours.
Belgacom is offering consumers the Ruckus MediaFlex system at a one-time nominal cost in lieu of cable installation. It is also making the system available in some 150 Belgacom retail and dealer outlets.
"The technical innovations we've made with Wi-Fi are enabling a whole new era in multimedia distribution and consumption within the home," said Selina Lo, president and CEO of Ruckus Wireless. "Belgacom is clearly capitalizing on these technology advances to provide consumers with a better in-home experience while cutting costs and increasing revenue at the same time." Belgacom TV, Better than Chocolate
Belgacom has offered IPTV services through Belgacom TV since June 2005 throughout Belgium. Belgacom delivers more than 70 IPTV channels through its "Classic +" service including national and a range of international channels for euro 9.95 per month. In addition, Belgacom TV offers the "Select" package of 15 new channels for euro 14.94 per month as well as on-demand services with more than 300 movies available from euro 2 to euro 5 per movie.
Belgacom provides IPTV, and other triple play services, over an advanced copper/fiber infrastructure that delivers 9 to 15 Mbps of capacity over ADSL2+ and VDSL technology. Over this infrastructure, IPTV is multicast to consumers using MPEG-2 compression technology. Each MPEG-2 IPTV channel consumes approximately four megabits of broadband capacity. Solving the Last 30 Meters
The Ruckus MediaFlex system is being used by Belgacom to solve a prevalent problem facing broadband providers around the world -- the last 30 meters. Advances in data compression and high speed broadband delivery has created new methods through which multimedia services are being delivered to consumers. Content and service providers have begun using high-speed computer networks to deliver digital voice, video and data services over the broadband connection coming into consumer homes.
However, moving this digital information around the home requires a reliable and high-speed computer network. And while Wi-Fi is the widely preferred consumer technology of choice within the home, it was never developed to be reliable enough to meet the stringent requirements for real-time, streaming applications such as IPTV. This has now changed.
Unlike best-effort consumer Wi-Fi products, the Ruckus MediaFlex system is a next generation carrier-class Wi-Fi system designed to reliably transmit flicker-free digital TV throughout the home. It uses a sophisticated smart antenna and quality of service system that steers Wi-Fi signals around interference and obstacles in real time while giving providers the ability to remotely monitor and manage the customer Wi-Fi environment -- something heretofore not possible.