Ruckus ZoneFlex Outdoor Application


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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 inadequate.

What's Required?

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 data rate.

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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Ruckus ZoneFlex System