Ruckus Wireless launched its ZoneFlex H500 2x2:2 dual-band (2.4 and 5 GHz) 802.11ac indoor wall switch access point (AP) today (10 March 2015). The wired and wireless wall switch uses Ruckus patented BeamFlex+ adaptive antenna technology to deliver high-speed 802.11ac Wi-Fi. Its low-profile form factor is designed for quick and discrete installation in a standard wall junction box.
The company said the H500 is ideal for offering converged services in hotel guest rooms, student residences, and multiple dwelling units (MDUs), as it provides an easy way to offer multiple connections into a single room without multiple cables.
Equipped with four Ethernet ports for in-room access, the Ruckus ZoneFlex H500 can be used to connect a range of wired network devices such as IPTV set top boxes, VoIP telephones, or networked minibars.
An IEEE 802.3af-compliant Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) port on the ZoneFlex H500 allows devices such as IP telephones to be powered directly from the wall switch, and the ZoneFlex H500 itself may be powered via PoE or DC power adapter.
The ZoneFlex H500 requires just a single POE cable drop, reducing cabling, switch ports and power sourcing equipment, and it easily mounts to worldwide standard electrical outlet boxes (single-gang wall-plate width, 3.5 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches).
Sean Miller is the corporate director of IT for Point Clear Holdings (PCH) Hotels & Resorts, a unique Hospitality Management Organization that operates eight luxury Marriott and Renaissance Hotels in Alabama, which represent the Resort Collection on The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail located throughout the state.
With the help of Ruckus Big Dogs partner and systems integrator Guest-tek, PCH is deploying new Ruckus ZoneFlex H500 wall switches at the 405-room Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa in Point Clear, AL, their flagship property, installing an H500 in every other guest room, which provides excellent coverage for all 405 guest rooms.
“These new wall switches from Ruckus are perfect,” said Miller. “They don’t require any recabling, and are very cost-effective. We have Ethernet installed in every room, but have found the H500’s performance to be so exceptional that we didn’t need to install one in every single room, which is saving us time, money, and effort.”
PCH has already installed Ruckus ZoneFlex T300 Series outdoor 802.11ac access points to provide coverage in and around the Grand Hotel pool area, and ZoneFlex R700 3x3:3 802.11ac indoor access points for coverage in other public areas inside the Hotel, including the lobby, etc.
Ruckus ZoneFlex H500 details
The Ruckus ZoneFlex H500 features a very sleek and lightweight yet secure design, which helps ensure a low profile, and offers front port access, which eliminates unsightly cabling and disruptive furniture placement inside hotel rooms. With dimensions of 171mm (h) x 90mm (w) x 29mm (d) and weighing less than half a pound (210g), it is very inconspicuous, minimizing the protrusion off walls to make in-room cabling and furniture arrangement simple.
Cable channels on the back of the H500 allow legacy cabling, (e.g., for PBX telephones), to exit the wall junction box with the access point mounted. The ZoneFlex H500 can be deployed as a standalone device or centrally managed by Ruckus ZoneDirector controllers, the Ruckus SmartCell Gateway (SCG) 200 and virtual SmartCell Gateway (vSCG).
Patented Ruckus BeamFlex+ technology is designed to enable the ZoneFlex H500 to transmit Wi-Fi signals in the best direction for each client device, which means more client device locations throughout a hotel guestroom receive the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) required to achieve the highest possible 802.11ac throughput rates.
By using dual polarized antennas to adapt to mobile client device orientation, the ZoneFlex H500 increases signal strength reception by up to 3x. BeamFlex+ “hears” clients on both horizontal and vertical antenna polarizations, and compensates for device orientation–something ideal for mobile devices, and affords hotels the flexibility to mount the ZoneFlex H500 in any orientation without negatively impacting performance. The Ruckus ZoneFlex H500 also supports SmartMesh Networking, for additional deployment flexibility.
In addition to deploying the Ruckus H500, Miller said they will also be replacing a legacy HP system in the Hotel’s conference centre with Ruckus ZoneFlex R700 APs.
Miller concluded: “It is quite an investment to deploy new wall switches, which is why we chose Ruckus. The H500 is aesthetically pleasing and cost-effective, yet delivers the high-performance, high-capacity 802.11ac Wi-Fi we want to provide to our guests now, and for years to come. The H500 wall switch is awesome—it doesn’t require a lot of management—it just works. We believe it’s a very smart choice for PCH and our guests at the Grand Hotel.”
Pricing and availability
Available this month throughout North America and most parts of Europe (ETSI), and in Q2 2015 in China, APAC, and other parts of the world, the new Ruckus ZoneFlex H500 Wi-Fi 802.11ac indoor wall switch has an MSRP of US$365, and is available through authorised Ruckus Big Dog resellers worldwide.