Technology

ChannelFly

Predictive Capacity Management for Smarter RF Channel Selection

ChannelFly is a new approach to dynamic channel management. Most enterprise- or carrier-class WLAN vendors, Ruckus included, have for some time now offered the ability to change an AP’s channel automatically within either the 2.4 or 5 GHz bands when interference or contention conditions warrant it. Sensing that the channel an AP is using with its currently attached clients has become degraded is the easy part. Deciding which channel to switch to is much harder.

Our new innovations in this area have been driven specifically by lessons learned in carrier Wi-Fi engagements, where APs are required to deliver good capacity in highly contentious public settings where channels are very busy. We started from the basic observation that changing channels makes sense only when you have some confidence that the target destination channel will improve capacity in practice — an assessment that cannot be accurately made based on spectrum analysis (based on energy levels) alone, given the nature of contention in a Wi-Fi context. Our new and unique approach involves assessment across all available channels, based on actual realizable capacity, before making any decisions about changes. The net result has been observed in trials on large-scale carrier networks to be multiple-fold improvements in AP and overall network capacity in the most challenging situations.

ChannelFly benefits include:

  • Leverages patented principles from BeamFlex to learn and select the best RF channel
  • Uses live channel activity to learn what channels will yield the most throughput
  • Assesses true channel capacity, not subjective noise and traffic measurements
  • Works with 2.4 GHz access and 5 GHz backhaul
  • System constantly determines proper channel; no configuration or monitoring necessary
  • Fast reaction (in seconds) to significant drop in throughput
  • Significant capacity improvement observed in congested environments (25 -50%)