announced the immediate availability of its new MediaFlex 7000 series
, the first commercial 802.11n system specifically developed for operators to distribute multiple streams of HD IPTV content throughout a subscriber's home without costly and time-consuming cable installation.
Belgacom is among the first service providers to select the MediaFlex 7000 for its BelgacomTV service, one of the most successful IPTV services with over 390,000 subscribers throughout Belgium. The Ruckus MediaFlex 7000 beat out competitive 802.11n products in a series of stringent lab and home trials conducted by Belgacom, including a test to deliver 20 hours of non-stop HD IPTV streams at 20Mbps aggregate, to six different locations throughout a simulated home environment with injected interference, without dropping a single packet.
To date, nearly a million Ruckus MediaFlex 802.11g/a systems have been installed around the world by over 140 broadband providers including Deutsche Telekom, Telekom Austria, Swisscom, TeliaSonera, Telenor, Fastweb, Telefonica Del Sur, PCCW, SingTel, Elion, Belgacom and many others.
What's the Deal with IPTV?
IPTV is a system where a digital television service is delivered using Internet Protocol over a private broadband network infrastructure. Instead of being delivered through traditional broadcast and cable formats, television programs are received by the viewer through computer networking technologies.
According to Infonetics Research, worldwide IPTV service revenue will jump to over $44 billion in 2009. DSL providers account for the bulk of service revenue now, but cable broadband providers will also migrate to all-IP triple-play services in the next few years. IPTV subscribers are expected to explode, topping 97 million worldwide in 2011.
HD over Wi-Fi: Easier Said Than Done
While Wi-Fi is widely recognized as the home networking technology of choice, inconsistent performance, interference, insufficient range and unreliable signal quality had prevented carriers from using the technology to distribute real-time TV services in the home. Many service providers have opted to manually wire subscriber homes with Ethernet or other cables which results in high installation costs, long installation times and slow subscriber acquisition. The existing Ruckus MediaFlex 802.11g/a systems were the first and only in-home Wi-Fi solution that overcame these problems to deliver whole-home sustainable performance that supports multiple streams of standard definition IPTV.
While off-the-shelf 802.11n products demonstrate markedly higher average throughputs compared to their 802.11g/a predecessor, it is not a foregone conclusion that they could deliver the sustainable throughput required to support real-time HD IPTV. In fact, as 802.11n performance depends on the use of multiple radios for simultaneous signal transmissions (a technique called spatial multiplexing), it is more sensitive to noise and subject to environmental variability.
By integrating next-generation 802.11n with Ruckus' state-of-the art beam steering technology, known as BeamFlex, the new Ruckus MediaFlex 7000 controls and coordinates the forms and directions of multiple signal streams in real time to maximize 802.11n spatial multiplexing while navigating around interference and physical obstructions.
The MediaFlex 7811 also offers unique remote management capabilities through the Ruckus FlexMaster system, a remote wireless LAN and service management platform. FlexMaster gives broadband operators complete visibility into subscribers' home networks and enables them to securely monitor, update, provision and troubleshoot a large number of devices from a central location.
Remote Wi-Fi Management is Key to Delivering a World-Class IPTV Service
The Ruckus FlexMaster is the first TR069-based system to provide complete control of and visibility into hundreds of thousands of MediaFlex units from a single console.
With FlexMaster, providers can visualize remote RF environments, configure individual Ruckus MediaFlex systems or bulk-configure groups of systems over any public, private or hybrid IP network. Once installed, each Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi (http://www.ruckuswireless.com) AP automatically "phones home" to the Ruckus FlexMaster system to register and gain its configuration. FlexMaster streamlines deployment and minimizes problems that occur from manual configuration of devices. It also allows more efficient troubleshooting, management and monitoring of Ruckus MediaFlex systems. Operators can group Ruckus APs by geographic region, device type, serial number, MAC address or customer name enabling providers to create unique service level agreements for each client in order to offer revenue-generating services.
FlexMaster also enables operators to remotely run diagnostic tests on MediaFlex systems located within the home and automatically upgrade firmware to ensure MediaFlex devices are kept up-to-date with the latest software. Service providers can also remotely upgrade a subscriber's MediaFlex 7000 system and trigger a restart or let the system automatically restart when it becomes idle.
FlexMaster provides detailed real-time and historical statistics such as the amount of traffic transmitted and received by each device, packet error rates, signal-to-noise ratios and throughput, and also includes a NOC mapping capability to display where each device is being deployed and how it's used in the home. This comprehensive reporting engine gives the service provider a quick at-a-glance view of network health.
Product Details, Pricing and Availability
The Ruckus MediaFlex 7000 series includes the MediaFlex 7811 multimedia 802.11n one-port access point and MediaFlex 7111 one-port multimedia adapter. With the system's self-installing and auto-configuration features, subscribers can easily self-deploy and set up the MediaFlex access point and adapter in plug-and-play fashion in the home, in a matter of minutes.
The Ruckus MediaFlex 7111 adapter also provides video-grade, 802.11n connectivity to any Ethernet-equipped video server, including set-top-boxes; personal video recorders, media centers and media center extenders. The MediaFlex adapter is one of the most sensitive Wi-Fi receivers on the market with the ability to reliably receive Wi-Fi signals down to -96 dBm.
The list prices for the Ruckus MediaFlex 7811 access point and 7111 adapter are US $199 and US $139 respectively. Visit http://www.ruckuswireless.com for more details.