Ruckus introduces WiFi bridge to extend connectivity reach

New 802.11ac PTP/PTMP smart WiFi bridge system avoids need for expensive recurring fixed line costs by linking different locations with Gigabit class broadband Wi-Fi

Ruckus introduces WiFi bridge to extend connectivity reach

Ruckus Wireless has introduced its new Ruckus ZoneFlex P300 bridge system, which is designed to deliver fast broadband connectivity between different locations even though they are miles apart.

The company claims it is the industry’s first long-range, Gigabit-class, outdoor Smart WiFi bridging system. The ZoneFlex P300 bridge system combines custom integrated directional technology with the new 802.11ac standard. Ruckus said it can deliver hundreds of megabits of performance at line of sight distances up to 8km with its internal antennas and over 20km with external antennas.

The ZoneFlex P300 bridge system supports RF capacity up to 867 Mbps, according to Ruckus. It provides customers with a solution to easily extend broadband services, backhaul small cell traffic, or offer high-speed broadband connectivity to locations where fixed lines are limited or simply cost-prohibitive.

Schools, hotels, warehouses and other outdoor environments can leverage the ZoneFlex P300 bridge system to save money in annual broadband costs.

Dan Maclise, senior systems engineer at the Lodi Unified School District in California, said: “With some 50 schools spread across 300 square miles, our Ruckus Smart WiFi bridges have paid for themselves. We’ve been able to save thousands of dollars by avoiding monthly broadband costs at select sites where fibre connections just aren’t feasible. The performance and reliability of these Smart WiFi bridges effectively mirror traditional terrestrial lines, but at a fraction of the cost and complexity.”

How the ZoneFlex P300 bridge system works
The ZoneFlex P300 bridge system is designed specifically for high-density user environments such as school campuses, business parks, warehousing environments, urban centres, parks and other outdoor venues where reliable, high performance broadband access is essential.

Each ZoneFlex P300 bridge integrates a specially designed 5GHz, dual-polarized directional antenna system that provides up to 14dBi of antenna gain. This new two-stream (2x2:2) 802.11ac Wi-Fi bridging system features an internal, high-gain directional antenna system as well as external antenna connections to increase effective distance and help ensure highly reliable connectivity.

By combining the signals received across two distinct polarizations (vertical and horizontal) and across high-gain directional antenna elements, ZoneFlex P300 bridges are designed to maximize the received signal-to-noise ratio, resulting in more reliable connectivity and yielding the highest possible performance between two or more points.

The system provides 30 degrees of coverage from one root bridge with internal antennas to handle many receiving bridges, or 360 degrees of coverage with external antennas. In addition, the ZoneFlex P300 bridge system features a dedicated sniffer radio for radar avoidance pre-scan, resulting in high availability of Wi-Fi traffic.

The Ruckus ZoneFlex P300 root bridge is 18cm long by 15cm wide and 8.6cm high. It weighs 2.5 kilograms and each one can support up to 10 node links. Each link is secured through the use of AES encryption, with the ability to support multiple networks segmented by VLANs.

Installation is designed to be made simple by using automatic pairing and easy aiming between bridges, allowing installers to deploy the new wireless bridges with minimal effort. Lightweight and designed with flexible wall or pole mounting options, the ZoneFlex P300 bridge system provides precision aiming through sophisticated LED-based aiming software.

The product is IP-67 rated and ruggedized for harsh outdoor environments and the P300 bridge system operates at temperatures from -40 up to 149 degrees Fahrenheit (from -40 up to 65 degrees Celsius).

The Ruckus ZoneFlex P300 bridge system is available now worldwide. It comes as a single unit, with an MSRP of $1,195 (USD), or as pre-provisioned pairs with an MSRP of $2,395 (USD), and can be purchased through authorised Ruckus BiG DOG resellers.

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