Ruckus Wireless Unveils First Outdoor Wi-Fi System with Dynamic Beamforming for Unmatched Range and Reliability
Smart Wi-Fi Products Break Outdoor Price/Performance Barrier for Hot Zones, WLAN Extensions, Broadband Access for Multi-Dwelling Units and 3G Traffic Offload Applications
SUNNYVALE, CA, July 20, 2009 – Ruckus Wireless today announced the world’s first and only outdoor dual-band 802.11n and single-band 802.11g Wi-Fi access points with dynamic beamforming to overcome problems that have hindered outdoor Wi-Fi deployments, including interference, unanticipated physical obstructions such as foliage, network management complexity and cost.
The new Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi outdoor products break new grounds in performance and price by delivering high-speed dual-band 802.11n technology at a lower cost than competitive outdoor 802.11a/b/g products and with a two- to four-fold increase in signal range and reliability.
Developed to fill an unmet market requirement for a more adaptive, reliable and economical outdoor Wi-Fi solution that could be centrally managed as part of an overall indoor/outdoor wireless LAN infrastructure, the new Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi outdoor products are ideally suited for enterprises or service providers needing to:
- Provide reliable Wi-Fi access to outdoor hot zones,
- Seamlessly extend wireless LAN (WLAN) services to outdoor areas for sites such as school campuses and resort complexes where Ethernet cabling is not available outdoors,
- Economically deliver reliable, high-speed Wi-Fi services to dense user communities such as multi-dwelling units (MDUs), resort complexes and condominiums,
- Improve mobile user experience by offloading data traffic from increasingly congested 3G cellular networks.
Pioneered by Ruckus Wireless, dynamic beamforming is the latest Wi-Fi innovation that automatically directs transmissions to the best performing signal path on a per packet basis using real time feedback mechanisms inherent in the 802.11 protocol. The ability to adapt to changes in the RF environment on-the-fly results in three- to four-fold improvement in range/performance while providing wire-like reliability.
In an outdoor Wi-Fi mesh, dynamic beamforming APs on both ends of every mesh link essentially eliminates performance variability on the mesh backbone. In addition, they deliver enhanced hot zone user experience by erasing dead spots, ensuring reliable connections and providing stable performance across the service area. Dynamic beamforming also dramatically improves indoor signal penetration, making the new Ruckus outdoor APs ideally suited for providing high speed wireless access to MDUs. Designed for harsh outdoor conditions, the new Smart Wi-Fi products include:
- The ZoneFlex 7762, the first centrally-managed, concurrent dual band 802.11n outdoor access point capable of sustaining performance of up to 150 Mbps over 1000 feet (300 meters) between meshed nodes and up to 50 Mbps to client devices over 500 feet (150 meters).
- The ZoneFlex 2741, a centrally-managed 802.11g outdoor access point capable of sustaining performance of up to 30 Mbps over 1000 feet (300 meters) between mesh nodes and up to 25 Mbps over 500 feet (150 meters) to client devices.
Real World Applications Highlight the Need for Better Outdoor Wi-Fi
To support the annual World of Music and Dance (WOMAD) festival in the United Kingdom that attracts some 40,000 visitors over four days, Etherlive, an event and specialist IT services company, is using 18 Ruckus dual-band 802.11n Smart Wi-Fi APs, managed by a central ZoneDirector controller, to create a high performance wireless broadband mesh across 250 acres of property in Charleton Park where the event is being held.
The outdoor Wi-Fi network is supporting a number of critical applications such as VoIP phones for the organizers, IP security cameras, Wi-Fi point of sale (PDQ) devices used by hundreds of traders and free Internet access to the public. Even sound engineers will be using the Wi-Fi network to remotely monitor and manage decibel levels around the event without having to physically walk the property.
“Building a flexible and robust Wi-Fi network on such a large scale, covering a massive outdoor space, supporting a huge number of concurrent users and delivering simultaneous voice, video and data services is a major undertaking, especially when interference –people and moving objects in the environment, noise from all sorts of RF devices – is everywhere and can’t be controlled,” said Tom McInerney, operations director for Etherlive.
“The outdoor Ruckus network required fewer access points to cover the area but more importantly the beamforming technology is self-optimizing and highly adaptive to the RF environment. We simply install the APs on 3-meter high PODs and the system takes care of forming the mesh and readjusting itself as conditions change.”
Smarter Outdoor Wi-Fi Solves Signal Penetration and Performance Problems
Weak signal penetration of outdoor Wi-Fi into buildings and the inability of today’s outdoor Wi-Fi products to cope with environmental changes have wreaked havoc for Wi-Fi internet service providers and enterprises.
“After having deployed an elaborate outdoor Wi-Fi network to provide broadband access to the residents at Sunbird, we still had problems getting a good signal inside the buildings and providing consistent wireless performance,” said Stephen Durr, president of Networx Solutions, Inc. a managed wireless service provider and systems integrator.
“After replacing our existing network with less than half the number of Ruckus APs, we were able to cover every inch of the property while delivering a stronger and more consistent signal into every crevasse of the two residence towers. Until now, Wi-Fi technology simply could not solve these problems economically.”
Sunbird Condominiums is a 288-unit, 225,000-square-foot complex with two 12-story buildings situated on approximately five acres of oceanfront property in Panama Beach, Florida. With no existing Ethernet cabling throughout the complex, bringing an outdoor Wi-Fi signal into residents requiring broadband access was the only viable option. For less than half the cost of Sunbird’s legacy wireless network, Networx Solutions replaced the existing 18-node 802.11g legacy outdoor wireless system with six Ruckus ZoneFlex 2741 Smart Wi-Fi access points and a single ZoneDirector controller.
Introducing the ZoneFlex 7762 and 2741 Smart Wi-Fi Outdoor Products
The ZoneFlex 7762 and 2741 were designed to deliver ultra-reliable and high-performance Wi-Fi at one-half the cost of conventional alternatives. The ZoneFlex 2741 and 7762 are the only outdoor Wi-Fi products on the market today to combine a unique set of capabilities that include:
- A patented high-gain, multi-directional adaptive antenna array (BeamFlex™) to deliver up to 7dBi signal gain and -15dB of interference avoidance for unprecedented range, signal reliability and Wi-Fi data rates at far distances,
- Self-forming, self-healing Smart Mesh Networking to provide unmatched reliability and resilience while eliminating the cost of running Ethernet cabling to every access point,
- Seamless integration of indoor/outdoor wireless networks to enable simple, unified management and meshing of all indoor and outdoor Smart Wi-Fi access points,
- Industry-leading receive sensitivity down to -100dB to improve signal reception from client devices and ensure solid transmissions between mesh nodes, and
- Centralized and remote Wi-Fi management for simplified monitoring and troubleshooting using the Ruckus ZoneDirector Smart WLAN controller and FlexMaster Wi-Fi management system as well as standard-based APIs using SNMP, TR-069 and XML.
The ZoneFlex 7762 is a concurrent dual-band (2.4/5GHz band) 802.11n Smart Wi-Fi access point. It supports both 802.3af and 802.3at power over Ethernet, is IP-67 rated for water and dust and operates in temperatures ranging from -40°C - 65°C (-40°F - 149°F). The ZoneFlex 7762 provides an additional power over Ethernet output port that can be used to connect and power devices such as an IP camera without additional cabling. An integrated heater provides non-stop operation in cold climates.
The ZoneFlex 2741 is an 802.11g Smart Wi-Fi AP that supports 802.3af power over Ethernet, is IP-65 rated for water and dust and operates in temperatures ranging from -20°C - 65°C (-4°F - 149°F).
Additionally, the ZoneFlex 2741 provides integrated support for L2TP tunneling and future support for the WISPr protocol. This gives carriers flexible deployment options to support a variety of Wi-Fi service models with the ability to securely tunnel or dynamically redirect traffic over any IP network back to a central location for authentication, content filtering, ad-insertion or data mining.
Pole, ceiling or wall mounted, the ZoneFlex 7762 and 2741 can be deployed as standalone APs, managed by the Ruckus FlexMaster remote Wi-Fi management system or part of a unified indoor/outdoor wireless LAN system managed by the Ruckus ZoneDirector Smart WLAN controller.
Available in August, the ZoneFlex 7762 is priced at US list $1,999. Available now, the ZoneFlex 2741 is priced at US list $899.