IoT-/LTE-ready 802.11ax Access Point Outfits Public Venues

Ruckus Networks introduces the Ruckus R730, what it calls the industry’s first IoT- and LTE-ready, 802.11ax wireless access point (AP). The high-capacity, 12 spatial-stream R730 works in concert with the company’s Ultra-High Density Technology Suite to deliver high-resolution, latency-sensitive video in ultra-high density user environments such as stadiums, train stations and schools. In addition, the R730 complies with both the new WPA3 security protocol and Wi-Fi Enhanced Open for more secure connections on public networks.

 

The congestion of people, devices and bandwidth-hungry apps makes for challenges that current wireless tech cannot handle. Adding to the complexity of this environment are diversifying device categories and apps, such as instant messaging, IoT control messages and voice-over-Wi-Fi.

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802.11ax

 

The latest 802.11ax standard was designed for high-density connectivity, with the ability to support up to a four-fold capacity increase over its 802.11ac Wave 2 predecessor. With 802.11ax, multiple APs used in dense device environments are collectively able to deliver required quality-of-service (QoS) to more clients with more diverse usage profiles due to the use of orthogonal frequency-division multiple access (OFDMA) and multi-user multiple-in multiple-out (MU-MIMO) technologies.

 

Increased end-user expectations and application QoS requirements pose unique difficulties to network designers. Locations such as stadiums, public venues, train stations, and schools in which video content and applications are central to the curriculum, are representative examples. The R730, supporting eight spatial streams on 5 GHz and four spatial streams on 2.4 GHz, is better able to address those expectations through increased capacity, improved coverage and performance.

 

The Ruckus Ultra-High Density Technology Suite addresses these challenges using techniques that go beyond the 802.11ax standard, including:

  • Airtime decongestion—Increases average client throughput in heavily congested environments by using patent-pending techniques to reduce unnecessary management traffic.
  • Transient client management—Maintains throughput levels for priority clients in high transient-client environments such as rail stations by using patent-pending techniques to delay AP association with low-priority transient clients.
  • BeamFlex+ antennas—Patented technology improves AP coverage and capacity by continuously optimizing antenna patterns on a per-device, per-packet basis.
     
    Converging IoT Access Networks
     
    The R730 includes embedded Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and ZigBee radios and can be augmented with Ruckus IoT modules to support additional physical layer protocols such as LoRa. Using the Ruckus IoT controller, these separate networks and the IoT endpoints associated with them, can be managed, coordinated and connected to IoT cloud services as part a single, converged IoT access network.
     
    Private LTE
     
    The R730 accommodates modular Ruckus OpenG LTE APs operating in the U.S. Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) 3.5 GHz band, enabling existing Wi-Fi APs to provide LTE service. Using modular or stand-alone LTE APs, organizations will be able to build their own private LTE networks to improve the quality of indoor cellular service within their facilities.
     
    Security Public & Private
     
    The R730 will implement the next-generation WPA3 wireless security protocol and Wi-Fi Enhanced Open. Users with compatible devices will benefit from significant security enhancements, including:
  • Protection against brute-force dictionary attacks through use of a new key exchange protocol known as a simultaneous authentication of equals handshake.
  • Protection against traffic-sniffing attacks common to unauthenticated networks associated with public venues.  
     
    The R730 will be generally available this calendar quarter. The Ultra-High Density Technology Suite is available now for use with all Ruckus APs. For more info, visit Ruckus Networks.
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