Ruckus scores deal with China Telecom unit for large-scale WiFi deployment

Ruckus Wireless is expect to announce next week that Chongqing Telecom, a unit of China Telecom, has selected the vendor's WiFi products and technology for a large-scale, citywide deployment of WiFi hotspots for a new service called Tianyi Broadband.

Chongqing has already deployed more than 4,000 Ruckus ZoneFlex indoor and outdoor Smart WiFi access points along with the company's ZoneDirector WLAN controllers across the city of Chongqing, which is located in southwestern mainland China with a population of around 31 million people. The Tianyi Broadband service offers a solution the bundles wired broadband, WiFi and CDMA 1x EV-DO in one package, allowing users to connect to China Telecom's services through a single account. The operator is using WiFi to offload data traffic from its CDMA 1x and EV-DO network without having to invest in new capacity in 3G infrastructure.

In October, Ruckus announced a new line of carrier-grade products designed for mobile and broadband operators looking to offload heavy data traffic onto WiFi. The Ruckus Mobile Internet products are designed for wireless operator infrastructure and include an outdoor mesh access point, a point-to-multipoint wireless backhaul bridge, a new indoor/outdoor customer premise equipment and system-wide remote WiFi management designed to manage tens of thousands of network elements and several thousand WiFi clients

Ruckus said its Smart WiFi APs now cover hundreds of hot zones within five districts in Chongqing and have been installed in wide range of locations spanning from universities to restaurants, office buildings to shopping centers and public venues.

A Ruckus spokesman said the company will be unveiling new products and technology for mobile operators at next month's Mobile World Congress aimed at addressing capacity and coverage issues using WiFi in a more strategic and integrated fashion. And there are rumblings that other WiFi vendors could introduce WiFi products aimed at mobile operators too.

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