Ruckus seeks to shake up the market with 802.11ac Wave 2 access point

Ruckus Wireless is trying to stir up the Wi-Fi industry with the introduction of what it claims is the industry's first Wi-Fi access point based on Wave 2 features of the 802.11ac standard, enabling multi-gigabit Wi-Fi performance and "unprecedented" capacity.

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The ZoneFlex R710 features BeamFlex+ adaptive antenna technology. (Image source: Ruckus)

Specifically, Ruckus unveiled the Ruckus ZoneFlex R710, which supports the major technical advances in the 802.11ac standard that allow the simultaneous transmission of multiple client streams to different devices over the same frequency--the highly anticipated capability called multiple input/multiple output (MU-MIMO). Ruckus uses chips supplied by Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM).

Ruckus already has a big customer for its R710: The city of San Jose has installed it in its network. "We need to be able to plan and prepare for devices and services we haven't seen yet," said Vijay Sammeta, CIO for the city of San Jose, in a press release and a promotional video. "Wave 2 represents an investment in a platform that not only meets our current needs, it will also meet those in the future that we can't even predict."

Sammeta says that delivering its "Wickedly Fast Wi-Fi"-branded service has become a distinct competitive advantage for the city of San Jose. "The Ruckus ZoneFlex R710 helps us take this to the next level. It's simply the best performing Wi-Fi access point we've ever deployed, even without multi-user MIMO clients."

Vijay Sammeta, CIO for the city of San Jose, discusses the city's plans for Wave 2. (Source: Ruckus/YouTube)

Ruckus says the unique advantage that it delivers is based on its dual-band smart antenna technology. The ZoneFlex R710 is capable of creating more than 4,000 unique directional antenna patterns per radio, mitigating up to 15 dB of RF interference while also reducing co-channel interference. With BeamFlex+, the R710 continuously mitigates co-channel interference by directing Wi-Fi signals only where they're needed. Dual-polarized smart antennas allow the R710 to automatically adapt to the different physical orientation of mobile devices as they are moved around an area.

The ZoneFlex R710 indoor access point has a suggested retail price of $1,295 and will be available through authorized Ruckus BiG DOG resellers worldwide.

Ruckus believes its competition is about a quarter or two away from delivering anything that's workable, a spokesperson told FierceWirelessTech. The new access point is suited for offices, stadiums, schools, convention centers and "anywhere there's a need for high-capacity Wi-Fi," he said.

Although much of the industry has been waiting for Wave 2 for a long time, it was just about a year ago that Ruckus introduced its Wave 1 802.11ac Wi-Fi product. Some customers have waited to make an investment until the Wave 2 gear rolled out, so there's expected to be a lot of pent-up demand for the product.

Last year, Qualcomm announced that its subsidiary, Qualcomm Atheros, was putting high performance Wi-Fi connectivity in consumers' hands and homes with an end-to-end ecosystem of 802.11ac 2.0 solutions with MU-MIMO.

For more:
- see the press release

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