Ruckus Wireless and Time Warner Cable Team to Bring Pervasive Performance to Mobile Broadband Subscribers
INTERNATIONAL CTIA, New Orleans, LA, May 8, 2012 – Ruckus Wireless™ today announced that it has been selected by Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE:TWC) to supply advanced, Smart Wi-Fi equipment to extend Time Warner’s popular broadband services to an increasingly mobile subscriber base.
With thousands of miles of cable plant already in the ground and no appetite for spending billions to build mobile networks from scratch, cable operators are using Wi-Fi to cost-effectively extend wireless services to subscribers on top of their existing infrastructure. Wi-Fi has become the natural choice for operators since many mobile devices, including most smartphones, now support Wi-Fi.
Among the largest providers of video, high–speed data and voice services in the United States, Time Warner Cable, with more than 15 million customers, is deploying Ruckus 802.11n Smart Wi-Fi systems within high–capacity indoor public venues, such a stadiums, as well in select outdoor locations – providing high-speed wireless services in areas where the public gathers and Wi-Fi might not currently be available.
“Subscribers now expect their broadband services to be accessible wherever they go, and Wi-Fi is a great way to make this happen – if it’s fast and reliable,” said Mike Roudi, Senior Vice President of Mobile Services at Time Warner Cable.
“More and more, Wi-Fi is about data consumption on wireless-only smart devices,” said Roudi. “The problem is finding Wi-Fi technology specifically designed for stringent carrier requirements. Ruckus is one of the few Wi-Fi suppliers we’ve found with such a focus, having developed a range of indoor and outdoor Wi-Fi products based on high reliability and pervasive performance. This is important to Time Warner Cable as we build our wireless infrastructure to give customers the best broadband experience possible, no matter where they are.”
Ruckus is currently working with Time Warner Cable on the deployment of dual–band, outdoor, strand–mounted Wi-Fi access points that integrate a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem for backhauling Wi-Fi traffic over Time Warner Cable’s existing cable plant. Additionally, Ruckus and Time Warner are teaming to extend the company’s branded-broadband services within high–traffic environments using specialized, ultra high–capacity Wi-Fi access points designed for stadiums and large public venues.
“Time Warner Cable clearly understands the strategic importance of Wi-Fi for carriers and is one of the more aggressive players in the wireless land grab currently underway,” said Selina Lo, President and CEO of Ruckus Wireless. “The expansion of Wi-Fi into millions of homes, offices and public Wi-Fi hotspots, along with the growth of a vast and mature ecosystem built of thousands of devices has established Wi-Fi as the most heavily used wireless technology in the world.”
Wi-Fi Challenges and Opportunities for Cable Operators
At the beginning of 2012, Wi-Fi accounted for nearly two–thirds (63.4%) of all smartphone-originated data traffic within the United States, according to a new report from Mobidia. Rising smartphone penetration rates and the successful attachment of data plans to those devices will grow the value of small–screen access revenues to operators to more than US$230 billion by 2016, according to Informa Telecoms & Media forecasts.
Cable operators, such as Time Warner, are not just serving high–powered laptops but an army of smartphones that have very different characteristics in terms of power, antennas, support for IP–based streaming video, and the constantly changing angle of these devices.
Unlike traditional Wi-Fi, Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi is designed to address these issues by focusing and constantly steering Wi-Fi signals over the fastest signal paths using patented adaptive antenna technology. This technology allows Time Warner to mitigate interference while providing more efficient transmission and reception of Wi-Fi signals using specialized technology that accounts for changing device orientation. The simple variation of a device’s orientation can account for up to a 5x performance degradation among Wi-Fi products unable to adapt to such changes.
For cable operators, Wi-Fi is now viewed as a disruptive technology that allows them to compete in the mobility market. Wi-Fi offers MSOs multiple opportunities to increase revenue, improve customer retention, offer wholesale access and offload fees that MSO’s have had to pay to traditional mobile network operators. Not only does Wi-Fi reduce customer churn in the face of increased competition from telcos, it does so by leveraging the existing DOCSIS plant while laying the groundwork for new revenue services in the future.
“Wi-Fi at the carrier level is anything but simple and requires new technologies that go beyond vanilla reference design access points and enterprise-level management,” said Roudi. “Our partnership with Ruckus will be important for delivering carrier–class Wi-Fi services that offer best–in–class broadband mobility to our subscribers.”