Ruckus Wireless is launching an end-to-end managed, wireless broadband access (WBA) solution for service providers. It allows them to deploy relatively cost-effective large scale Wi-Fi networks, especially in multi-user dwellings in densely populated cities. The “end to end” means backhaul, access points and customer premises equipment (CPE). So instead of cobbling together WiMAX backhaul from one provider, WiFi mesh from another and CPE from a third one, you can get it all from Ruckus Wireless. The advantage: if something goes wrong, you get to scream at one company, instead of having to deal with vendors pointing fingers at one another.
“Delivering WiMAX performance and reliability at Wi-Fi prices with technology that’s ready today is something this market has been waiting for,” said Ken Biba, co-Founder and CTO of Novarum, a strategic consulting and analysis firm for the wireless broadband industry. “Introducing an end-to-end Wi-Fi solution that can deliver such capabilities will change the broadband wireless landscape.”
The latest Ruckus access points incorporate 802.11n with dynamic beam-forming software that overcomes a lot of interference problems.
Large scale Wi-Fi deployments are hot in Asia
A number of service providers in Asia are using Ruckus for high-density apartment buildings. For example, WiNet Broadband in Malaysia is installing 4,000 nodes which they estimate will bring in 250,000 subscribers by the end of 2010. WiNET plans to invest over US$280 million in wireless broadband services over the next 10 years.
A service provider in India called Tikona has also deployed a large, multi-city networks. Tikona provides wireless broadband in high-rise buildings in India, serving thousands of users.
“Service providers everywhere now view Wi-Fi as an essential service offering,” said Selina Lo, president and CEO of Ruckus Wireless. “In emerging geographies where there remain huge opportunities for broadband access, rolling out fixed line or traditional wireless broadband technologies is often not possible or cost-prohibitive. We’ve delivered a one-of-a-kind solution to solve this problem that will fundamentally change the economics for delivering broadband data services in these markets.”
According to a recent Gartner report entitled “Consumer Broadband, Global Penetration Rates and Growth Prospects” more than half (54 percent or 95 million) of the worldwide growth in consumer broadband connections will come from the emerging markets such as South East Asia, India, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe from 2007 to 2012.
With the launch of the Ruckus WBA solution, Ruckus Wireless is introducing the ZoneFlex 7731, a high-gain, point-to-point 802.11n (5GHz) access point that extends Wi-Fi signals over kilometers at data rates of up to 300 Mbps. The ZoneFlex 7731 is IP-65 rated, operating at -40ºC – 65ºC (-40ºF – 149ºF) and features a dual-polarized directional antenna that deliver 15dBi of gain with a 30º beam width for simple positioning and aiming. ZoneFlex 7731 costs US $2,398 per pair.