Ruckus Wireless Delivers New Carrier-Class Smart Wi-Fi Solutions for Dealing with Device Densification and Rising Data Demands
BARCELONA (MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS - Booth 5E70) – February 25, 2013 – Ruckus Wireless, Inc. (NYSE: RKUS) today outlined its SmartCell™ Architecture, a unique recipe for creating carrier class Wi-Fi networks to deal with the densification challenge sweeping the industry. Built on its SmartCell Architecture, Ruckus unveiled a wide range of new carrier-class Smart Wi-Fi products—key ingredients service providers can utilise to quickly and easily inject capacity into their networks.
The rapid growth of mobile data services, driven by smartphones, laptops, and tablets has accelerated data-traffic growth to the point where macro cellular networks are no longer sufficient to meet subscriber demand in many high-density indoor and outdoor settings. While new macro cellular technology, such as long-term evolution (LTE), is being introduced to address this capacity crunch, it will provide only partial relief, as traffic volumes continue to grow faster than operators can economically add capacity.
Consequently, mobile operators are rapidly adopting Wi-Fi as an additional radio access network (RAN) option to augment mobile capacity. At the same time, fixed line carriers and multiple system operators (MSOs) are also deploying Wi-Fi for public access to enhance their service offerings, reduce subscriber churn and enter new markets such as managed enterprise wireless LAN (WLAN) services.
With 600 MHz of harmonised unlicensed spectrum, Wi-Fi has become an essential and strategic element to carriers’ densification strategies, and an ideal technology for service providers looking to support subscribers armed with multiple Wi-Fi-enabled smart devices and bandwidth hungry apps.
The Ruckus SmartCell Architecture at a Glance
The Ruckus SmartCell Architecture gives service providers a scalable, flexible and highly agile blueprint for implementing Smart Wi-Fi to address the data-driven transformation occurring across the industry.
Ruckus SmartCell Architecture delivers a wide range of options for Wi-Fi integration that best suit existing mobile operator, MSO, and fixed line infrastructures—addressing all aspects of a network deployment—radio access, network control, subscriber management and value added services. The Ruckus SmartCell Architecture achieves this by focusing on five key integration concerns:
1) Simplifying and enhancing the user experience with Hotspot 2.0, which makes the process of Wi-Fi roaming as easy to use and secure as with cellular;
2) Standardising and securing the wireless connection between client devices and access points through the use of 802.1x and 802.11i;
3) Increasing the reach and reliability of the radio access network with patented, carrier-class adaptive antenna technology and network optimisation tools;
4) Integrating Wi-Fi with existing core systems at the network edge through the use of emerging Wi-Fi/cellular integration protocol standards such as S2a mobility over GTP (SaMOG) and GPRS tunneling protocol (GTP), and;
5) Enabling advanced service functionality unique to Wi-Fi RANs, such as indoor location information and efficient multi-tenancy support for enterprise managed services.
The products and technologies built upon the Ruckus SmartCell Architecture give service providers the key ingredients to easily weave Wi-Fi into the fabric of their existing networks with the goal of improving today’s mobile experience and shielding users from having to know which radio access technology they are using. Ultimately, the Ruckus SmartCell Architecture enables a highly scalable system for service providers to allow the seamless transition of users between 3G/4G and Wi-Fi.
Easy and Flexible Wi-Fi integration at the Edge with the SmartCell Gateway
At the heart of the Ruckus SmartCell Architecture is a new class of edge system called the SmartCell Gateway (SCG). The Ruckus SCG 200 addresses a major challenge for operators looking to introduce, scale and manage Wi-Fi as a carrier-class service. The most scalable WLAN controller on the market supporting 10,000 access points (APs) per instance in a cluster architecture, the SCG is the only platform that integrates 3GPP gateway functions, allowing mobile operators to integrate Smart Wi-Fi into their existing mobile core to leverage infrastructure services such as authentication and billing, already in place.
Successfully installed in customer deployments around the world, the Ruckus SCG 200 supports both WLAN controller and WLAN gateway functions. Wi-Fi Gateway functionality supports integration with the mobile packet core using SaMOG per 3GPP Release 11 standards for trusted WLAN access.
The Ruckus SCG 200 also provides support for subscriber management, other value-added services such as traffic breakout directly to the Internet, and Hotspot 2.0 technology, which enables the Wi-Fi connection experience to be as secure and easy to use as 3G/4G LTE.
New Carrier-Class Outdoor APs Deal with Density, Simplify Deployment
The central requirement in delivering carrier-class Wi-Fi services is delivering the ubiquitous high-speed experience users desire through high-capacity, reliable wireless connectivity, without which nothing else matters.
For high capacity outdoor environments, such as stadiums and other public venues, the Ruckus ZoneFlex 7782 outdoor AP Series is a family of four new, high-capacity Wi-Fi access points designed to give service providers unprecedented capacity and performance. With models supporting omni-directional antennas, 120º sectorised, and 30x30º narrow-beam coverage through integrated internal antennas as well as external antenna options, ZoneFlex 7782 APs offer a unique combination of high performance and flexibility in a sleek, low profile, light form factor essential for meeting the tight mechanical and aesthetic constraints of deployment outdoors.
Each Ruckus ZoneFlex 7982 AP is a dual-band, three stream (3x3:3) 802.11n access point enabled for high throughput approaching 900 Mbps. ZoneFlex 7782 APs with integrated antennas support Ruckus-patented BeamFlex adaptive antenna technology for greater signal gain and interference mitigation. Additionally, the Ruckus ZoneFlex 7782 family integrates a GPS receiver, allowing service providers to begin providing location-based services as well as continuous spectrum monitoring features.
New Carrier-Class Indoor APs with 3G/4G Backhaul Support
For small indoor locations such as coffee shops, retail outlets, and vehicles where fixed line backhaul is unavailable or cost prohibitive, the use of Wi-Fi with 3G/4G/WIMAX backhaul is an attractive option.
Ideal for use in transportation, retail and small/medium business environments, Ruckus SmartPoint™ technology can be used to backhaul APs that are being deployed by a mobile operator or an enterprise. Ruckus SmartPoint™ is new technology developed for the ZoneFlex 7321-U dual band access point. With it, carriers can monetise underutilised spectrum to provide Wi-Fi Hot Spot and network services, easily deploying Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi access points that leverage macro cellular technology for backhaul, minimising installation costs and reducing deployment times.
SmartPoint provides a USB port on the ZoneFlex 7321-U and works with Ruckus ZoneDirector controllers to support Wi-Fi backhaul over a 3G/4G network via the use of an external cellular dongle. Driver software for specific 3G/4G/WIMAX dongles is automatically pushed to each access point, simplifying deployment.
Better Insight into Carrier-Class Wi-Fi Networks
To help operators gain broader visibility into the long-term health and behaviour of their Smart Wi-Fi networks, Ruckus is introducing SmartCell Insight.
SmartCell Insight is a VMware-based analytics engine that delivers detailed visibility, long-term trend analysis, and reporting for Ruckus Wi-Fi RANs. SmartCell Insight collects huge amounts of data from Ruckus SmartCell Gateways and ZoneDirectors on subscriber activity, access point usage, and a wide variety of other essential metrics. This data is gathered and loaded into the system’s data warehouse, which can then be accessed for assessments of subscriber experience, network performance, and self-organising behaviours.
SmartCell Insight comes with a set of standard reports such as per subscriber bandwidth and network traffic per radio or location, along with the ability to easily create custom reports based on a wide variety of detailed metrics on subscriber experience and network performance. Data from SmartCell Insight can also be passed to upstream carrier analytics platforms via a variety of industry standard APIs.
Pricing and Availability
Available immediately, the Ruckus ZoneFlex 7782 outdoor Smart Wi-Fi access points are priced at $2,999 (USD MSRP). Also available immediately on volume orders, the Ruckus ZoneFlex 7321-U with SmartPoint technology is priced at $399 (USD MSRP). Available in Q2 2013, SmartCell Insight software license pricing will be based on network scale.