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August 30, 2016

Everybody Wins – Collectively Connected

Richard Watson


By: Richard Watson, Product Marketing Manager


Remember when you travelled for business and were lucky if you got to stay in a hotel that had good cable, much less, Wi-Fi?  Times have changed, and that’s no exaggeration. In today’s hotels, the Wi-Fi is free and much faster. This is perfect for your laptop, but what about when you have multiple devices—maybe your tablet and smartwatch, but definitely a smartphone? Wi-Fi connectivity is now more than a nice-to-have; it is mandatory. EveryBodyWins

Your requirements as a Wi-Fi user have increased considerably over the past few years. You use it for more than just email or messaging – it is an essential communication tool which places increasingly greater bandwidth demands on a Wi-Fi network. To meet this growing need, hotels initially installed access points (APs) in hallways with assumed penetration into the individual rooms. This was okay for a while, but client density and RF penetration of walls minimized the effectiveness of this approach. Often, hotel IT also had to lay Ethernet cables and power to each room to make these connections work. This was added pressure on their hospitality budgets.

At the worst point, customers were shortchanged on their Wi-Fi access and hotels were burdened with growing costs that were hard to manage. Not only was a network connection being run to each room, but other service terminators were being extended such as IP-TV, VoIP-phones, “smart” refrigerators, and room environment monitors. There was no convergence of services.

What’s needed are Wi-Fi APs with switch capability. These small devices are low profile, converged wired/wireless units that support the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless technology—for 800+ Mbps rates—and multiple Ethernet ports for driving other devices and services in the room through a single network connection. With this set-up, a guest can bring as many Wi-Fi devices as they wish, where the wireless connection is co-located in their room. Additionally, hotel services like phone, printers, air conditioning and service bars can be connected to that single Ethernet backhaul-link.

With this level of technology, everybody wins! The guest gets simple, fast and free accessibility to the Internet, phones, printers and other hotel amenities. A hotel (or dormitory or independent living unit) wins because a single Ethernet connection is required (sans accompanying power). An additional plus is that all the room services typically fall under a single pane-of-glass management service.

Go here for information on Ruckus’ new H510 AP/switch geared to meet these hotel requirements.

August 23, 2016

Can Constraints Drive Innovation?

Oren Binder


By: Oren Binder, Director – Service Provider Marketing


Demand for mobile connectivity is growing rapidly, and the required wireless spectrum is a finite resource. In 2015, the FCC took a groundbreaking new approach to spectrum allocation, establishing the new Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) for shared wireless broadband use of the 3550-3700 MHz band (3.5 GHz Band) in the U.S. You can read more about this straight from the FCC here.
Innovation band. Historic shift. Paradigm change. These are just a few of the superlatives used to describe the way the FCC chose to address the spectrum constraints with CBRS. Here at Ruckus we tend to agree. The promise of shared spectrum is to deliver the advantages of licensed LTE in performance without the vast associated spectrum costs. OpenG_Blog-01

At Ruckus we were really excited about the potential of this new spectrum allocation model and specifically with CBRS—see our OpenG announcement here. But we know that while the FCC took the first bold step, it will be up to the industry to make the innovation a reality.

And so, we worked with five other wireless technology leaders—Alphabet (Google’s parent company), Federated Wireless, Intel, Nokia and Qualcomm—and today together launched the official CBRS Alliance.

Our goal, in a nutshell, is to make LTE-based solutions in the CBRS band widely available. In order to achieve this, the Alliance has started the development efforts, is putting together a product certification program, and will soon start running LTE CBRS field trials. In parallel, we plan to expand our strong eco-system with more motivated entities that will continue to work together to achieve the organization’s goals.

To learn more about how the CBRS Alliance is turning constraints into innovation, go to www.cbrsalliance.org.

August 11, 2016

There’s a New Cloud in Town



By: Wendy Stanton, Marketing Manager


Back in the day, we only thought of clouds as  big, white, fluffy objects in the sky that held a large collection of tiny droplets of water or ice crystals. When full, the clouds release those tiny droplets, known as rain. Obviously that kind of cloud still exists but that’s old news. For awhile now, there’s been a new type of Cloud in town, and instead of holding water, it holds data—lots of data!

Chromebooks, iPads, laptops and smart phones are just a few of the devices that teachers, administrators and students are using in the education sector, and they are expecting these smart devices to be continuously connected inside and outside the classroom. To keep students engaged and focused in this digital era, teachers are looking for ways to leverage smart devices in classroom learning. What is the key? A reliable and high performance wireless network. 6a00d8341ea9ee53ef01b7c87fee2c970b-320wi

But schools need more than that. Once they have that high-performance, always on Wi-Fi network—which presumably has access points (APs) sophisticated enough to handle the amount of data connectivity required in a busy educational environment—they need an easy way to manage it. One great way to ensure schools have the Wi-Fi they need with a simple, easy-to-manage interface for their time-strapped IT administrators is cloud-managed Wi-Fi, a.k.a. Ruckus Cloud Wi-Fi. Ruckus Cloud Wi-Fi is a new WLAN management-as-a-service that enables enterprises with limited IT resources to easily set-up, monitor and manage a high-performance multi-site WLAN of any size, without compromising on Wi-Fi performance.

Schools like the Minooka School District in Minooka, Illinois, are thrilled with its new addition of the Ruckus Cloud, with its easy set up and simple management. No more figuring out which AP isn’t working—the cloud is in control. And when it comes to the students and teachers—the IT staff is no longer dealing with a stack of help tickets—the Cloud and great Wi-Fi work perfectly together. Also enjoying its new Ruckus Cloud Wi-Fi is the Belleville School District. With its single interface and mobile app, the flexibility of being able to work from anywhere has made the IT team’s job so much easier.

Everybody’s talking about the new cloud in town—Ruckus Cloud.

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August 04, 2016

Ruckus Cloud Wi-Fi Opens The Door To New Customer Applications



By: Devang Bhatt, Enterprise Product Marketing


It’s been an educational experience being a part of the Ruckus Cloud Wi-Fi early access program (EAP). Sixteen customers across 10 states were included in the program, which kicked off six months ago.

After ripping-and-replacing previous non-Ruckus WLAN infrastructure, customers were ecstatic when they discovered blazingly fast Wi-Fi in high-density scenarios and an intuitive management interface. Compared to previous installations, customers found they only needed to deploy approximately half the number of APs. 

Since Cloud Wi-Fi could easily support dozens of active devices and equal level of throughput per user it opened the door for scenarios that just weren’t possible before.

Immersive Learning

One such scenario involved using an augmented reality mobile app (Aurasma) to enable immersive learning experiences at a K-12 school. Over 90 students gathered at the library roaming with their smartphones taking pictures scattered around the building. The app converts static images into augmented reality sessions, which included interactive video streams.

Students were excited about learning and more engaged. And when it was time for a break, they could finally enjoy a smooth Pokémon Go experience!  Cloud_Blog

Accelerated Deployment

One of the biggest challenges associated with deploying large-scale distributed wireless networks is the time-to-deployment. It can take several weeks for physical installation, provisioning and configuration of APs, switches and firewalls. To avoid that challenge, a number of customers took advantage of Cloud Wi-Fi mobile app, which significantly reduced AP install and provisioning time to a matter of days or even hours.  

With its scan-and-deploy functionality, users were able to scan serial numbers of APs to the desired venue in rapid succession prior to physical installation. One customer in particular was able to install 7 APs/hour including physical installation time and cloud onboarding of APs.

Satisfied Guests  

Another successful customer application was at a large car dealership. The dealership noticed that customer satisfaction ratings were dropping significantly, and surveys indicated that the difficulty of signing on to the captive portal and inconsistent Wi-Fi connectivity was the culprit.

After replacing the wireless network with Cloud Wi-Fi APs across 11 dealerships, customers can now quickly sign-on to a captive portal and surf the web from anywhere in the dealership. The dealerships are already seeing improvement in customer satisfaction across locations.

In just a short time, Cloud Wi-Fi has enabled customers to take advantage of new applications and experiences beyond what they thought were possible.  The journey has just begun…stay tuned.