Ruckus Wireless wins huge China citywide Wi-Fi project

Ruckus Wireless today announced that Chongqing Telecom, a unit of China Telecom, has selected its Smart Wi-Fi products and technology for a large-scale, citywide deployment of Wi-Fi hotspots supporting an innovative new service called Tianyi Broadband.

Chongqing Telecom has now deployed over 4,000 of Ruckus ZoneFlex indoor and outdoor Smart Wi-Fi access points (APs) along with ZoneDirector WLAN controllers across the city. Situated in the southwestern mainland China with a population of 31 million people and covering 31,800 square miles, Chongqing is one of four direct-controlled municipalities by the People’s Republic of China – the largest province in China.

The Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi APs now cover hundreds of hot zones within five districts and have been installed in a wide range of locations spanning from universities to restaurants, office buildings to shopping centers and public venues.

“It is very clear that smarter Wi-Fi has now become a strategic imperative by Tier 1 carriers around the world to deal with the Mobile Internet,” said Selina Lo, president and CEO of Ruckus Wireless. “Chongqing Telecom is widely viewed as a leader in their use and deployment of Smart Wi-Fi to deal with the explosion of dual-band devices that are consuming and generating huge amounts of data traffic. Operators like Chongqing are quickly recognizing the need for carrier-class Wi-Fi solutions designed for this specific purpose.”

Increase in mobile devices drives citywide Wi-Fi push

According to Chongqing, with the proliferation of mobile devices, subscribers are now accessing the Internet from every conceivable location. Tianyi Broadband – a user-centric solution that bundles wired broadband, Wi-Fi and CDMA 3G in the same package, allows users to connect to China Telecom’s services through a single account. Services include email, SMS, Tianyi-live (a chat service), love music (streaming music) and Tianyi video (video streaming).

Chongqing’s stated aim was to give subscribers the same Internet experience wherever they are: at home or outside, with the same user account for them to use in any location. Therefore, it was critical to have a high performance and very reliable mobile network to deliver that experience. By offloading data traffic from the current CDMA 1X and EVDO to Wi-Fi, Chongqing is delivering a superior user experience without dramatically investing, while adding new capacity to the 3G infrastructure, operation and maintenance.

Wi-Fi represents the ideal complement to Chongqing’s existing wireline network – providing broader and reliable wireless coverage to mobile Internet subscribers. By linking with CHINANET, the backbone of Chinese public Internet operated and managed by China Telecom, Chongqing Telecom can more easily and flexibly provide users with high-speed Internet access nearly everywhere they roam.

According to Chongqing Telecom, a key challenge has been to achieve good stable network coverage across schools, hospitals, shopping malls, commercial streets, hotels, office buildings and other environments where unlicensed spectrum is inherently unpredictable.

Chongqing said it selected Ruckus because of its ability to deliver reliable connectivity on such a large scale at the most attractive price point. According to the company, Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi systems were found to be among the easiest to manage and deploy. More importantly, Ruckus was the only Wi-Fi supplier Chongqing found to deliver predictable throughput in such challenging RF environments.

In public and private venues alike, there are now many other Wi-Fi networks that cause considerable interference. Ruckus patented technology was able to elegantly mitigate interference for Chongqing through the use of dynamic beamforming technology. This saved Chongqing from the worries of not delivering good throughput to support demanding applications such as music and video chatting.

Ruckus’ patented BeamFlex smart antenna array technology with complete RF management, constantly focuses and directs RF signals over the best path for each client. This reduces co-channel interference between access points (APs) and minimizes packet loss while extending signal coverage. With the technology, Chongqing was able to significantly reduce the number of APs to cover a given area and lower operational and capital expense compared with alternative solutions.

Chongqing’s new Smart Wi-Fi infrastructure includes thousands of ZoneFlex 2741 outdoor 802.11g and indoor ZoneFlex 2942 802.11g APs. Every Ruckus ZoneFlex AP uniquely integrates a dual-polarized, high-gain intelligent antenna array that allows operators to build a new class of hotspots capable of supporting streaming multimedia services.

For management, Chongqing deployed new, high-capacity ZoneDirector controllers with WAPI and IPv6 support. The Ruckus ZoneDirector supports a variety of applications needed to plan, deploy and operate the wireless network, including Wi-Fi planning, user authentication/billing and integrating with operators’ management systems. With the combination of campus network and value-added services from Tianyi, Chongqing Telecom is able to gain the ROI more quickly.

With the ZoneDirectors, Chongqing makes use of multiple service set identifiers (SSIDs) to allow for a range of differentiated services at each hotspot. For example, wireless services on a university campus can be divided into two different types – the campus network access for students and faculty, and the service used for high speed Internet access to meet different demands of students, teachers and visitors.

Today, subscribers can enjoy quality wireless broadband services in any Chongqing hotspot. Looking forward, Chongqing said it plans to extend the Wi-Fi network to suburbs and rural areas to achieve complete coverage across the entire city.

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