Ruckus Launches Smart WiFi, Gives Districts Access To Next-Gen Wireless Networking
Ruckus Wireless announced the launch of its Smart WiFi for the education market Monday. The company's ZoneFlex Smart WLAN combines 802.11n technology, adaptive beam steering, and SmartMesh networking.
According to the company, a "Smart Antenna" increases the range of their access points (APs) to to four times that of a standard AP, decreasing the number of devices required for a wireless network. The inclusion of SmartMesh--the company's network meshing technology--allows networks to be set up with minimal cabling, while the beam steering feature directs the signal around environmental obstructions.
"Schools everywhere are looking beyond the current generation of WiFi technology to support a more diverse set of users and applications," said Selina Lo, president and CEO of Ruckus Wireless, in prepared statement. "Cost, complexity and poor coverage have been the central issues preventing many schools from making WiFi a ubiquitous utility and supporting multimedia applications that provide students a better learning experience. With our Smart WiFi, this is now history."
According to the company, Ruckus Wireless will offer special education discounts for North American customers that include a 50-AP bundle for $29,900; a 20-AP bundle for $14,900; and an Education Pilot Kit, with two APs for $1,200. Each of the bundles comes with a ZoneDirector controller and one year of premium support. The company has also announced special education pricing for their entire product line.
In other Ruckus news, the company has announced a deal with Delta School District in British Columbia to provide wireless networking technology covering the district's 33 schools. The system will be built on Ruckus' ZoneFlex WLAN system and is projected to be complete within a year.
Delta said it plans to use the WLAN system to increase usage and reliability of their current technology, including mobile computing labs, as well as enable wireless management of their HVAC systems. Future plans for the network include video surveillance and the implementation of a VoIP system.
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Chris Riedel is a freelance writer based in Illinois. He can be reached here.