Ruckus Delivers Smarter Wi-Fi Solutions to Help Service Providers Manage High-Density Wi-Fi Crowds
New Market Requirement Emerging to Support Thousands of Simultaneous Wi-Fi Users in Stadiums, Arenas, Auditoriums, Airports and Other High-Density Locations
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, WBA Wi-Fi Global Congress – November 5, 2012 – Ruckus Wireless™ today introduced new advanced Smart Wi-Fi products, technologies, professional services and training packages that address the growing challenges faced by service providers to support thousands of simultaneous Wi-Fi users within high-capacity venues and locations.
The new Ruckus high-density Smart Wi-Fi solutions, which include one of the first ultra high-capacity outdoor Smart Wi-Fi access points (APs), the ZoneFlex™ 7782-N, a remarkably compact and lightweight system, combines specialized smart sector antenna technology that narrowly focuses Wi-Fi signals within a 30-degree beamwidth with advanced software capabilities that optimize capacity and minimize interference through predictive channel selection (ChannelFly).
Planning for Wi-Fi coverage in high-density environments with the goal to deliver consistent performance to thousands of simultaneous users is quite different from planning coverage for low- to medium-density environments where the goal is to deliver ubiquitous signal coverage with the fewest number of APs.
As more Wi-Fi-capable devices enter the market, the average number of clients in any given area of a network increases dramatically. In the case of extremely dense venues such as stadiums or exhibit halls, these very dense populations introduce significant stress on the network and require specific design considerations such as the density and placement of Wi-Fi APs, the number of clients needing to connect, radio frequency (RF) noise and dealing with co-channel interference.
Towerstream, one of the nation’s leading high-speed wireless broadband providers offering wireless access and backhaul services in 11 major markets in the United States, is known for dealing with very high-density Wi-Fi deployments and is among the first customers to deploy the new ZoneFlex 7782-N access point.
“For Towerstream, being able to explicitly focus RF energy in a specific direction and automate channel selection is essential to providing Wi-Fi connectivity within high-density metro deployments where APs are mounted in close proximity to each other,” said Arthur Giftakis, VP of engineering for Towerstream.
“There’s no single silver bullet to solve these high-density problems. Ruckus has taken a more holistic approach to the high-density problem, by combining a number of essential hardware and software technologies into a carrier-class solution that is highly scalable and delivers the highest Wi-Fi performance we’ve seen within some of the most contentious Wi-Fi environments on earth.”
High-capacity Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi technology has also been deployed in a number of high-profile, high-density venues including the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina. The TWC Arena was recently host to the Democratic National Convention, which drew a crowd of 24,000 delegates, many armed with multiple mobile devices including laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
“The key to high-density Wi-Fi is to focus and limit signals within a given area so contention to the medium can be controlled,” said Giftakis. “Directional antennas limit co-channel interference which is a gating item in most high-density deployments. Doing this lets us deliver much higher speeds and a better overall experience to users. We are seeing 50 to 60Mbps of performance being delivered to newer smartphones within New York City. Now that’s impressive.”
Introducing the ZoneFlex 7782-N
One of the world’s first ultra high-capacity outdoor Smart Wi-Fi APs, the ZoneFlex™ 7782-N is capable of supporting over 500 concurrent clients. The ZoneFlex 7782-N integrates a custom-designed, internal sectorized antenna array, based on patented Ruckus BeamFlex adaptive antenna technology that focuses Wi-Fi signals within a 30-degree narrow beam. This enables more consistent performance, reliable connectivity, extended coverage and unmatched multimedia support within the most challenging radio frequency (RF) environments.
Working with the smart sector antenna is a suite of software capabilities, airtime fairness, band steering and predictive channel selection software (ChannelFly) that automatically work to provide better utilization of the Wi-Fi spectrum. In addition, the ZoneFlex 7782-N is one of the first outdoor APs to integrate a GPS receiver that automatically populates each AP with GPS coordinates allowing service providers to begin providing location-based Wi-Fi services.
Please Change the Channel
The new Ruckus high-density solution makes use of innovative ChannelFly™ technology specifically developed to address the growing need to deliver more reliable Wi-Fi performance within noisy and crowded RF environments caused by the invasion of smart, Wi-Fi-only devices onto enterprise and service provider networks. A statistical adaptive channel selection technique, ChannelFly applies similar principles to automatically determine the best radio operating frequency (RF channel) to be used that will yield the highest client throughput.
Location, Location, Location
The Ruckus ZoneFlex 7782-N uniquely integrates a GPS receiver that automatically determines its location and populates the AP with its GPS coordinates. This information can now be used by service providers to determine what clients are within a given service area in order to optimize service delivery and provide specific content and services to users in a distinct area. It also enables providers to more quickly troubleshoot and optimize their Wi-Fi infrastructure within a given area.
Offered within a small, lightweight (5lbs/2.4Kg) and ultra low-profile form factor, the ZoneFlex 7782-N is an 802.11n dual-band concurrent (2.4/5GHz) AP with an integrated smart sectorized, high-gain antenna array. It is ideal for delivering high-capacity client access or as a powerful point-to-point wireless bridge. Rated for harsh environmental conditions (IP-67), the ZoneFlex 7782-N offers unique features not found in other outdoor Wi-Fi APs such as:
- Stronger Wi-Fi signals up to 7 dB of signal-to-interference-plus-noise (SINR) above the antenna gain through the combination of patented adaptive antenna technology and chip-based transmit beamforming (TxBF),
- Blocking unwanted noise and RF interference mitigation,
- Polarization diversity that automatically changes the orientation of Wi-Fi signals as the orientation of client devices change to ensure reliable and consistent connectivity,
- An internal 30-degree smart antenna that focuses RF energy across a limited area to maximize client performance and minimize co-channel interference,
- Integrated support for AC power for locations such as light poles,
- Built-in GPS receiver to enable location-based services and support for IEEE 1588 P2P timing required for small cell networks,
- Predictive channel selection (ChannelFly) to increase client throughput up to 50 percent and reduce interference by selecting the best RF channel on which to operate,
- Power over Ethernet output up to 25 watts to support the direct connection of devices such as metro Pico cell base stations, and
- Integrated spectrum analysis (future).
The Ruckus ZoneFlex 7782-N can be centrally managed by the Ruckus ZoneDirector Smart WLAN controller or the SmartCell™ Gateway 200 (SCG 200) as part of a unified indoor/outdoor wireless LAN. It can also be deployed as a standalone AP and managed individually, or through the FlexMaster remote Wi-Fi management system. Available by the end of this year, the ZoneFlex 7782-N has an MSRP of $2,999 (USD).