What's Going On?
Metro municipals are increasing their
efforts to make wireless broadband coverage readily
available. Applications range from city public services,
such as the police department using metro broadband networks
to communicate with headquarters, to citywide wireless
coverage, to attract businesses to the community. In areas
where wired networks have been impossible to support, Metro
wireless networks have provided a fast-to-build and
cheap-to-operate alternative. The 802.11 standard may have
been intended as a short-range indoor technology, but the
tremendous success of Wi-Fi and the availability of low-cost
client devices has led to expanded use of the technology.
Early metro Wi-Fi networks have demonstrated that the
technology works on a citywide scale.
What's Been Done?
Hundreds of Metro service providers
around the world have expanded wireless coverage using Metro
Access Points from different vendors. Network design
typically focuses on addressing critical locations in a
city, to ensure that high traffic areas have adequate
coverage. However, because of the high attenuation of
wireless signals going through walls and other obstructions,
indoor coverage of Metro broadband networks has been
To provide ubiquitous coverage to both
indoor and outdoor users, a powerful and easy-to-use device
is required to pull the outdoor signal inside the building.
The device would free indoor users from tethering to an
Ethernet port on the wall. Such a device would also need to
adapt to the variability of the Wi-Fi signals, prone to
interference, and to maintain a consistent near-broadband
What are the Options?
A user can take his computer near a
window to improve the connectivity, or rove the building to
find a location with acceptable coverage, but these are pain
points that have inhibited metro subscriber growth. To
address user needs, some wireless repeaters on the market
use high-gain directional antennas; these have complex
instructions to direct the antenna to the ever-changing
topology of the Metro Access Points. Traditional Wi-Fi
systems are equipped with a single vertically oriented, omni-directional
antenna that becomes less effective when the multipath
signal arrives out of phase and cross polarized.
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more information on the Ruckus ZoneFlex
Ruckus ZoneFlex System