unveiled a comprehensive Wi-Fi strategy for service providers and introduced an extensive range of provider-purposed products for applications across their hotspot, commercial and residential businesses.
The new strategy and solutions help telecommunications carriers, multi- service operators, hotspot operators and managed services providers meet growing demand for reliable, ubiquitous Wi-Fi connectivity while minimizing capital expenditure and operating costs. Easily integrated into existing provider infrastructures, the new Ruckus multi-service multimedia Wi- Fi solutions allow operators to scale capacity as needed and monetize their high-performance Wi-Fi networks through new revenue-generating services.
Flexible, prolific and cost-effective, Wi-Fi would have been a sure-win for carrier infrastructure extension and operator managed services. However, carriers have found it to be an unreliable, unmanageable technology of convenience over which it is virtually impossible to deliver service level agreements. The new Ruckus Wireless Smart Wi-Fi products are the first commercial solutions to address these concerns and meet new service provider requirements for:
- A ubiquitous, secure hotspot network to support the growing population of Wi-Fi-enabled mobile devices
- Cost-effective wireless infrastructure expansion to address new bandwidth-hungry, media-rich mobile applications
- Higher profitability in managed business WLAN services by reducing CAPEX/OPEX as well as enabling new application services such as Wi-Fi/dual-mode voice, security surveillance, digital signage and multimedia content distribution
- Rapid deployment of high-definition IPTV services while reducing in-building cable installation costs
Underpinning this service provider strategy is Ruckus-patented Smart Wi-Fi technology that has been deployed by service providers around the world for residential, commercial and hotspot applications. Proven to deliver extensive coverage, reliable connectivity and multimedia-class performance, Ruckus is expanding its Smart Wi-Fi product portfolio to add:
- Ruckus MediaFlex 7000 series, a new 802.11n multimedia system for multi-stream HD IPTV delivery throughout a home
- Ruckus ZoneFlex 7942, a new Ruckus 802.11n AP (standalone or in a Ruckus ZoneFlex WLAN) for high-capacity hotspot and enterprise applications
- Ruckus MediaFlex 2835, a new "homespot" AP for secure, cost-effective expansion of hotspot footprints
- Software enhancements for the Ruckus ZoneFlex 2942 APs that enable flexible integration with hotspot traffic management and authentication architectures, and support more services (SSIDs)
- Ruckus FlexMaster, a new remote management platform designed for managed Wi-Fi services that is scalable to manage a massive number of Ruckus APs and/or controllers
Building a ubiquitous, reliable and manageable public Wi-Fi access infrastructure
Global demand for Wi-Fi connectivity is skyrocketing with the accelerated adoption of mobile Wi-Fi devices and high-bandwidth mobile applications such as video streaming, gaming and social networking. For carriers, hotspot coverage is no longer gratuitous. Furthermore, a ubiquitous, reliable hotspot network is a viable, cost-effective way to quickly expand mobile service coverage and offload media-intensive data applications from costly cellular networks. As a result, hotspot networks slapped together with consumer-grade APs are being re-architected and upgraded to improve quality, scalability and manageability.
For hotspot applications, Ruckus is augmenting its ZoneFlex AP offerings with two new products: the Ruckus ZoneFlex 7942 and the Ruckus MediaFlex 2835.
The Ruckus ZoneFlex 7942 is an entry-level enterprise 802.11n AP that can be deployed standalone in a retail hotspot to support 802.11n/g/b client devices, or as part of a Ruckus ZoneFlex WLAN managed by the Ruckus ZoneDirector in a larger facility such as a hotel, airport or shopping mall.
Equipped with a 12-element, dual-polarized Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi antenna array with 9 dBi gain and up to 22 dB interference rejection, the Ruckus ZoneFlex 7942 selects signal paths that maximize the use of spatial multiplexing to increase throughput and reduce performance variability. In performance testing within commercial environments against the market-leading Cisco 1250 system, the Ruckus ZoneFlex 7942 on average achieved 50 percent better 802.11n performance.
The Ruckus MediaFlex 2835 is an innovative, new 802.11b/g router that enables the creation of hotspots at home, or "homespots." It lets operators rapidly and cost-effectively enlarge their public access infrastructure footprint, leveraging subscribers' home Wi-Fi networks for hotspot and other services while ensuring fair bandwidth allocation and security for both home and guest users.
Advanced traffic management and VPN capabilities on all Ruckus ZoneFlex APs, as well as the Ruckus MediaFlex 2835, let operators control per-user bandwidth usage and flexibly direct traffic on a per SSID basis. For example, outgoing traffic from a subscriber's home SSID on the MediaFlex 2835 can be transmitted directly to the Internet while public traffic from the guest SSID is tunneled to backend authentication and billing systems.
All of the Ruckus hotspot and homespot APs can be remotely managed by the new Ruckus FlexMaster system.
Putting Management of Hotspot, Enterprise and Home Wi-Fi in Operators' Hands
Ruckus Wireless is introducing a first-of-its-kind remote wireless LAN and service management platform, FlexMaster, that enables service providers to manage large numbers of hotspots and offer managed WLAN services for businesses and homes. Wi-Fi devices and services can be grouped by region, customer, service and other provider-specific criteria for ease of monitoring, provisioning, inventory, fault and security management as well as to support customer-specific service level agreements. Instead of discovering and monitoring devices using the traditional polling method which limits scalability, the Ruckus FlexMaster and Ruckus APs implement a "phone home" capability that vastly expands the number of devices that can be managed by a single system.
Taking advantage of the DSL-Forum-developed TR-069 standard, FlexMaster is a Linux-based software system that can easily integrate with existing OSSs. It uses industry standard protocols such as SOAP and HTTP/S to access devices on networks that otherwise might be blocked by local firewalls. Devices can be managed across a private, public or hybrid IP network, providing total flexibility where help desk personnel are located.
Accelerating Deployment of HD IPTV while Reducing Installation Costs
Already the market leader in 802.11a/g wireless IPTV distribution systems for carriers, Ruckus is introducing the MediaFlex 7000 series, a new 802.11n Smart Wi-Fi system aimed at bandwidth-intensive, jitter-sensitive, high- definition video streaming applications at a consumer electronic price point. With a custom embedded Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi antenna array, the system is designed to deliver 40-50 mbps of sustained, worst-case throughput to distribute multiple, simultaneous HD IPTV streams anywhere within a home. It allows IPTV providers to rapidly turn up subscribers while minimizing installation costs associated with new wiring, cable retrofitting and powerline testing.
Realizing the Strategic and Tactical Advantages of Wi-Fi Technology for Operators
By all measures, whether user appeal or cold hard economics, Wi-Fi presents a compelling advantage for operators if only it can be made reliable, available, scalable and manageable. Delivering the proven power of Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi technologies in reliable, manageable solution packages for consumer, enterprise and public access applications, Ruckus Wireless is the first and only Wi-Fi company that focuses on taking Wi-Fi where revenue and cost savings opportunities exist for service providers.
"With over 170 million new Wi-Fi-enabled mobile devices expected to ship next year, the stakes for Wi-Fi have never been higher," said Selina Lo, president and CEO of Ruckus Wireless. "With our Smart Wi-Fi systems already supporting real-time television streaming for carriers in hundreds of thousands of homes around the world, Ruckus is transforming Wi-Fi from a technology of convenience into a dependable utility. Today we are much closer to realizing this vision with the introduction of next-generation, higher capacity Wi-Fi systems and a scalable remote management system that address a broad spectrum of carrier businesses. They will change the game for service providers worldwide."
Product Pricing and Availability
The Ruckus ZoneFlex 7942 802.11n access point and Ruckus MediaFlex 2835 802.11g homespot router are available immediately and priced at US $699 and $259, respectively. Also available immediately, the Ruckus FlexMaster system starts at US $5,000. The Ruckus MediaFlex 7000 Series 802.11n Smart Wi-Fi system becomes generally available in the second quarter of this year with pricing disclosed at that time.