Benedict College Selects Ruckus Wireless for Super Multimedia 802.11n Wi-Fi Network to Blanket 100-Acre Campus

June 8, 2009

Dynamic Wi-Fi Beamforming Essential to Supporting Internet TV and Radio, IP Video Surveillance and other Multimedia Applications

SUNNYVALE, Calif., June 8 /PRNewswire/ — Ruckus Wireless(TM) today announced that it has been selected by Benedict College (Benedict) in Columbia, South Carolina, to supply advanced “Smart Wi-Fi” products and technology for an immense, campus-wide, indoor/outdoor 802.11n network.

The Benedict College Wi-Fi network is using the newest dual-band 802.11n Smart Wi-Fi technology with dynamic beamforming to support a wide range of applications from on-campus Internet radio and television to IP video surveillance.

Currently being deployed across the entire 100-acre campus, the Smart Wi-Fi network will blanket every inch of the school, providing reliable, high-speed wireless connectivity for voice, video and data applications, according to officials at Benedict College. More than 30 buildings are being outfitted with Smart Wi-Fi including a 10,000-seat stadium, on- and off-campus student housing, libraries, administrative buildings, and classrooms. Benedict is replacing legacy Cisco 802.11g access points currently providing limited Wi-Fi services across campus.

Benedict is among the first colleges in the country to deploy a pervasive dual-band 802.11n infrastructure that uses Ruckus’ patented Smart Wi-Fi technology to uniquely support streaming video, voice and data applications. The college is deploying 168 dual-band 802.11n ZoneFlex 7962 Smart Wi-Fi access points along with the ZoneDirector 3250 smart WLAN controller. The ZoneFlex 7962 is currently the only 802.11n access point that supports new beamforming technology to dramatically extend the range and improve the reliability of Wi-Fi transmissions.

Better Wi-Fi Range and Reliability for Benedict College at a Fraction of the Cost

Dynamic beamforming is one of the newest breakthroughs in Wi-Fi technology that constantly forms and directs Wi-Fi signals over the best performing signal path, continually steering signals around obstacles and interference that can degrade performance. Dynamic beamforming uses constant feedback from the client to ensure that the path selected is performing properly using standard acknowledgements built into the standard 802.11 protocol. The result is an adaptive system that provides better performance and longer range, and automatically adapts to environmental changes without IT staff having to perform any manual tuning.

“We were impressed with the advances that Ruckus has made in the area of beamforming and simply found the benefits overwhelming,” said Darrell Black, chief information officer at Benedict College. “With the technology we are able to implement a campus-wide 802.11n network with fewer APs, better reliability and inherent multimedia support at one-third the cost of conventional wireless LAN systems. It is that compelling.”

Previously Benedict had deployed Cisco Wi-Fi access points on a limited basis throughout some administrative buildings, but had not made a strategic commitment to the technology. “Things have changed dramatically,” said Black. “There’s a tidal wave of new Wi-Fi-enabled devices being brought onto campus. And students, guests, faculty and staff have all come to expect wireless connectivity wherever they are. Providing wireless connectivity isn’t the problem – providing reliable Wi-Fi connectivity is.”

Black noted that due to the scope and breadth of the project, Benedict spent significant time researching the best Wi-Fi practices of some 22 universities. This research revealed four major problems with the deployment of Wi-Fi within the higher education market: 1) poor signal coverage, 2) dropped connections, 3) inconsistent, erratic performance and 4) complex configuration and management.

Benedict is deploying dual-band 802.11n APs using standard 802.3af power over Ethernet (PoE) connections. The Ruckus ZoneFlex 7962 AP is one of the only dual-band 802.11n devices on the market to support standard PoE using two simultaneous Wi-Fi radios. This eliminates significant cost and time needed to upgrade wiring of closet PoE switches.

“When you’re talking about hundreds of APs across a campus, every issue is magnified,” said Black. “With the Ruckus system, not only did we mitigate having to upgrade our PoE switches but we have also reduced the amount of cabling required by deploying the APs in mesh mode without compromising reliability.”

The Ruckus ZoneFlex system uniquely supports Smart Mesh Networking. This allows colleges and universities to easily extend their wireless networks to areas where Ethernet cabling doesn’t exist or is too expensive to install. Through a simple click of a mouse with the ZoneDirector management system, Smart Mesh Networking can be enabled and the APs can simply be plugged into a power source. The APs are then smart enough to automatically create a wireless connection to the best adjacent AP, using the smart antenna array to ensure a high-speed and resilient backbone connection, preserving optimal range and reliability.

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SOURCE Ruckus Wireless

Source: newswire

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