Ruckus Releases the First 802.11ac Wave 2 Access Point

Ruckus Releases the First 802.11ac Wave 2 Access PointRuckus announced on April 2 that it had a new product: The Ruckus ZoneFlex R710 access point. What makes this access point so special? Well, it may be the very first AP to be an 802.11ac Wave 2 device. What does that mean? Here’s a quick and dirty definition from Webopedia of Wave 2:

The 802.11ac -2013 update, or 802.11ac Wave 2, is an addendum to the original 802.11acwireless specification that utilizes MU-MIMO technology and other advancements to help increase theoretical maximum wireless speeds from 3.47 Gbps in the original spec to 6.93 Gbps in 802.11ac Wave 2.

The ZoneFlex R710 apparently matches those updated specifications:

Users will be able to simultaneous transmit multiple client streams to different devices over the same frequency, a new capability called multi-user multiple input/multiple output (MU-MIMO). This will enable over two times the density of mobile devices versus Wave 1, and aggregate data rates exceeding two gigabits per second.

Here are a few other features that make the R710 a Wave 2 Access Point:

The router will also work with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices through a built-in USB port combined with Ruckus SPoT location-based services (LBS). By using rich analytics and location-based user engagement, enterprises and service providers will then be able to monetise their Wi-Fi investment.

I use the present tense because the access point solution has already been deployed, according to the press release:

One of the first organisations to adopt the ZoneFlex R710 within a production environments was the City of San José, California.The City recorded a speed of 445 megabits per second with two-stream-capable laptops, and over 200 megabits per second with single-stream mobile smartphones after deploying the solution.

While those speeds are far short of of the theoretical maximums for either Wave 2 or Wave 1 802.11ac wireless, that’s still blazing fast.

The APs will be available through “authorised Ruckus BiG DOG resellers.” Be forewarned on the price, however: we’re talking $1,295 per AP. Hopefully that price will come down once other top solutions providers enter into Wave 2 competition with Ruckus in the coming years.

Doug Atkinson
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