Ruckus Wireless: SmartCell WiFi Offload

Ruckus Wireless today outlined its SmartCell™ Architecture, with a unique approach for creating carrier class Wi-Fi networks. Ruckus unveiled a wide range of new carrier-class Smart Wi-Fi products, to quickly and easily provide capacity into carrier networks.

Unlike omni-directional antennas that radiate signals in all directions, BeamFlex directs transmit energy to the receiving device and dynamically configures its “beam” on a per-station, per-packet basis, to achieve omni-directional coverage.

Ruckus SmartCell Architecture is said to deliver a wide range of options for Wi-Fi integration:

  • Support for Hotspot 2.0, which makes the process of Wi-Fi roaming as easy to use and secure as with cellular;
  • Standardizing and securing the wireless connection through the use of 802.1x and 802.11i;
  • Increasing the reach and reliability of the radio network with adaptive antenna technology
  • Integrating Wi-Fi with existing core systems at the network edge using emerging Wi-Fi/cellular integration protocol standards
  • Advanced service functionality, such as indoor location information and efficient multi-tenancy support for enterprise managed services.

Hotspot 2.0, based on the IEEE 802.11u standard, enables cellular-like roaming (pdf). If the device supports 802.11u it will automatically connect and roam, generally using the SIM chip of a device and automating secure connections.

David Stephenson, the current chair of the Wi-Fi Alliance Hotspot 2.0 Technical Task Group, with over 20 years of networking experience and has joined Ruckus as Senior Principal Engineer within its System Architecture group. Stephenson is optimistic about the future of Wi-Fi roaming, reports Network World, because it helps carriers offload data from their cellular networks and keep offers consumers painless roaming with security.

The Ruckus SmartCell Gateway is the heart of the Ruckus SmartCell Architecture. The controller can support tens of thousands of Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi APs and hundreds of thousands of concurrent Wi-Fi subscribers.

The Ruckus ZoneFlex 7782 is designed for high capacity outdoor environments, such as stadiums and other pubtlic venues. Ruckus has a family of four new, high-capacity Wi-Fi access points supporting omni-directional antennas, 120º sectorized, and 30×30º narrow-beam coverage through integrated internal antennas as well as external antenna options.

Each Ruckus ZoneFlex 7982 AP is a dual-band, three stream (3×3:3) 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. Ruckus says they 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.

The 7782 capabilities include support for up to 500 concurrent users, integrated GPS receiver for location based services, spectrum analysis, hotspot 2.0 support for seamless roaming, SmartMesh™ wireless backhaul, and ChannelFly support.

SmartMesh Networking is one of the first Wi-Fi meshing approach that combines high-gain smart antenna arrays, sophisticated RF routing, and centralized management in a single WLAN system. And it extends Smart Wi-Fi technology to create a new class of reliable WLANs that are self-organizing, self-optimizing, and self-healing.

ChannelFly offers the ability to change an AP’s channel automatically within either the 2.4 or 5 GHz bands when interference or contention conditions warrant it. Sensing that the channel an AP is using with its currently attached clients has become degraded is the easy part. Deciding which channel to switch to is much harder. It leverages patented principles from BeamFlex™ to learn and select the best RF channel

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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