Selects Ruckus SmartCell as platform to meet high demand for data around London
Following on from <a href='../FullArticle.aspx?newsid=535'>last week's announcement from O2 </a>that it was opening up free Wi-Fi in certain busy London locations for users of all mobile networks, Ruckus Wireless has stated that it is the supplier of high capacity small cell products for the Wi-Fi networks deployed in the UK capital.
Already deployed throughout the busiest, iconic areas in central London, such as Trafalgar Square, Parliament Square, Leicester Square, Regent Street and Oxford Street, Ruckus SmartCell 8800's have initially been deployed to provide free, fast and reliable Wi-Fi to anyone.
Within a single low profile design, the SmartCell 8800 is the first carrier grade, modular multi-radio system to integrate patented adaptive antenna array technology supporting multiple licensed and unlicensed radio technologies including: high speed dual band 802.11n Wi-Fi; small cell 3G and 4G radios; and 5GHz wireless backhaul. This gives O2 the flexibility to easily and economically offer high speed Wi-Fi and cellular services in specific locations when needed.
'For O2, it's all about us providing customers with fast and reliable connectivity where they need it,' said Derek McManus, chief operating officer for Telefonica UK. 'Our vision is for Wi-Fi to be simply another access layer to our mobile core. Customers don't really care about the underlying technology; they care about getting connected, fast and reliably. The introduction of small cells helps us to support these requirements and completely complements our mobile strategy by letting us push capacity closer to users in locations where it makes the most sense.'
'In telecoms there is now a mad race to the lamppost, and the first one there wins,' said Selina Lo, president and CEO of Ruckus Wireless. 'A big barrier in small cell deployment is simply securing the physical locations with the requisite power and backhaul to support small cells. Once physical assets secured, it becomes important for operators to exploit them with as much technology as they can. This means multi-function, carrier grade products that are simple deploy, unobtrusive and massively scalable. SmartCell is one of those products and O2 is one of those operators taking a lead in this race.'
After extensive evaluations of wireless suppliers, Telefonica UK selected Ruckus and its SmartCell system. 'It all really boiled down to who had the best Wi-Fi for carriers and the most forward thinking strategy to integrate Wi-Fi within existing and future cellular infrastructure,' said McManus.
'A major challenge with small cell deployments is how to reliably backhaul traffic from potentially thousands of small cell nodes without breaking the bank,' said Robert Joyce, chief radio engineer at Telefonica UK. Telefonica UK effectively eliminates this problem by meshing traffic over highly reliable 5GHz Wi-Fi mesh links between nodes using Ruckus Smart Mesh technology. Smart Mesh uses advanced self-organizing network (SON) principles with Ruckus-patented adaptive antenna arrays (BeamFlex) and predictive channel management techniques (ChannelFly). Combined these technologies create highly resilient, high-speed Wi-Fi mesh backbone links between nodes that automatically adapt to changes in environmental conditions.
Small cells represent a new architectural approach for injecting much needed capacity into service provider networks, said Ruckus. Small cells are miniature base stations that combine licensed and unlicensed radio technology with wireless backhaul to deliver lower powered wireless signals much closer to mobile users. This results in better signal coverage, improved voice quality and higher data performance.