Motorola is releasing their first every outdoor dual radio 802.11n mesh access point the AP-7181. With innovative antenna array design the AP-7181 will provide longer distances and better performance then standard mesh APs with simple “stick” or “dipole” antennas.
Full Power Dual Radio 802.11n Access Point
Radio 1: 2.4 GHz 3×3:2 MIMO
Radio 2: 5.4-5.8 GHz 2×2:2 MIMO
802.11 a/b/g/n (draft 2.0)
20 MHz and 40 MHz channels
802.11s (WiFi Mesh) ready at launch
Meets All European DFS Standards
ADEPT Antenna System
System capacity of up to 300 Mbps
WPA-2 Client and Intra-mesh Security
Robust IP67 with NEMA 4x enclosure
Powers Local Devices (PoE 802.3af)
One Point Wireless Manager/Broadband Planner
Seamless indoor/outdoor networks with AP 7131
To get a sneak peak at the AP-7181 technology click here.
I have been saying this for a little over a year now but someone finally started testing the theory that wireless beamforming (if done correctly) is really cool. Tom’s Hardware has produced a great and seriously in depth article about beamforming and how it effects wireless propagation, speed and connectivity. It features Ruckus Wireless, Cisco and Aruba access points.
Traditionally omni directional onmi antennas were made of a simple material that when radiated at a certain frequency produced “signal amplification” which made your wireless signal travel farther. This worked really well but came with certain downfalls.
Wasted energy: Traditional omni-directional antennas “amplify” the wireless signal in a 360 degree horizontal pattern at all times even though most of the users may be concentrated in a smaller 90 degree quadrant. Wasted energy means less propagation.
The Motorola wireless broadband Point-to-Multipoint (PMP) 320 is a low-cost fixed licensed outdoor distribution and access solution that delivers fast, affordable connectivity in a variety of environments and applications.
Around the world, service providers and enterprises that hold licensed spectrum in the 3 GHz band are investigating deploying 802.16e WiMAX to provide reliable, cost-effective data, voice and video connectivity for business and residential customers. There is a significant investment required for equipment and installation of a full mobile WiMAX network, with many providers finding it difficult to build a business case for reaching subscribers in low-density locations at the edge of their networks or for building a new network in a low-density greenfield environment that only requires reliable fixed connectivity. The Motorola PMP 320 changes all that. The PMP 320 offers a fixed, outdoor solution that is easy to deploy and does not require the significant investment in core network equipment associated with mobile connectivity.
This is perfect for WISPs, Local Government entities who want to use a licensed spectrum for surveillance deployments and more.
Licensed Spectrum. The fixed outdoor PMP 320 solution is designed to allow service providers around the globe to combine the reliability of licensed bands and standards based equipment with an overall low total cost of ownership. The PMP 320 delivers low-cost, high-performance solutions for operators holding licenses in three different frequency ranges: 3.3-3.4 GHz, 3.4-3.6 GHz and 3.6-3.8 GHz. The PMP 320 supports standard WiMAX QoS profiles.
Standards Based. The PMP 320 is interoperable with WiMAX 802.16e CPEs, supports all of the WiMAX QoS profiles, and uses standard AAA/RADIUS servers for authentication.
Performance. With 2×2 MIMO, 10 MHz channels, and 802.16e coding/error correction the PMP 320 delivers high throughput with excellent coverage and link budgets.
To learn more about the Motorola PMP320 3.65Ghz fixed Wimax product have a look through these two documents.
The Metageek Wi-Spy might be one of the most powerful tools in your wireless toolbox. Imagine going on a site survey and having a clear vision of the RF terrain which surrounds you. Leave the Wi-Spy on for a bit and have it record the changes in the “air” as the day goes by. Then play back the recording and find out exactly why you have been having trouble with your wifi network at 4pm on Fridays (just an example)!
The 0900x1v is a cost effective yet powerful 900Mhz spectrum analyzer perfect for WISPs deploying 900 Mhz BWA networks and SCADA professionals.
The 2400x2v works in the 2.4 Ghz unlicensed wi-fi space where the rising levels of interference are causing good wireless networks to fail. The 2400x2v will allow you to pin-point the interfering sources and take action.
Lastly the 2450x1v offers the same power features of the other models but also allows you to monitor the 5Ghz band. This is an extremely versatile spectrum analyzer that will allow you to accurately measure the noise floor when engineering point to point wireless bridge links (no more guessing), better plan wireless mesh and WISP BWA networks.
Ruckus Wireless has released a full blown mesh technology for their ZoneFlex series of access points and controllers. Ruckus‘ “SMART Mesh” technology is controlled by the Zone director and with this new upgrade you can now manage all ZoneFlex APs whether wired in to the network or connected wireless via mesh. This is a HUGE improvement over the Ruckus Light Mesh Gateway which would simply act as a repeater and not acquire BSSID, security, user information, etc. The new SMART Mesh technology simplifies the installation of the ZoneFlex WLAN even further! Ruckus SMART Mesh is only available for clients with a Premium contract which will give you access to the new 6.0 firmware.
Here is some nice marketing info for you guys…
Ruckus Wireless SmartMesh is a unique, new approach to building high-performance wireless LANs (WLANs). It reduces cumbersome RF planning and costly cable backhaul by lowering the need to run Ethernet wiring to individual ZoneFlex Smart Wi-Fi access points.
SmartMesh dramatically simplifies, speeds and reduces the cost of WLAN deployment. With SmartMesh, enterprises now simply plug ZoneFlex access points into any convenient power source, and walk away. No extensive RF site surveys, cable runs, configuration, or optimization adjustments are required.
SmartMesh delivers three key ingredients that have previously hindered the use of indoor meshing:
high performance by combining 802.11n with Smart Wi-Fi technology
reliable connectivity between mesh nodes, using best path selection and interference avoidance techniques
ultra-simple deployment through the automation of AP and mesh provisioning
SmartMesh extends Ruckus-patented Smart Wi- Fi technology to create a new class of reliable and high-performance wireless LANs that are selforganizing, self-optimizing and self-healing. It is the first Wi-Fi meshing approach that combines high-gain smart antenna arrays, sophisticated RF routing and centralized management with a single WLAN system.
It has been brought to my attention that I forgot to mention how to fix the problem of weak client side transmission, which I discussed back on August 18th. So I figured I would quickly fill in that void.
There are several ways to increase the range of your wireless client and each has its own benefits and drawbacks. Now, while you read this entry please remember that, like a standard wireless access point or bridge, there are always two parts to a wireless client, the “radio” and the “antenna“. The radio is the device creating the RF signal and the antenna amplifies that signal.
So that being said I am sure you can guess that the first way to increase the range of yourwireless client is…Add an antenna!
1) Add an antenna to your client device. In mobile applications you would want anomnidirectional antenna (signal is radiated in a 360 degree pattern) and for fixed environment you would be better served by a directional panel antenna or grid antenna (signal is more focused in a certain direction). Of course you need to have a client device (PC card or laptop card) that has an external antenna connector built in. The major issue is that most (99%) of laptops have integrated wireless cards and antennas that can not be upgraded in which case you might better be served by number 2 below.
2) The next step is to add a wireless card into your laptop or desktop that has the necessary external antenna connector and then add a high gain external antenna to really boost the signal. This is a pretty easy way to increase wireless transmission and is great for laptops however not so great for desktops. If you want to use this method to increase your wireless signal on your desktop you will normally be required to run a good amount of coaxial cable from the PC up and out to the external antenna. This is definitely the method of choice for laptops but I find it a little cumbersome for desktop machines. Below you can find a picture of cards with external antenna connectors. The one of the left is made by Ubiquiti Networks and goes in the PCMCIA card slot on the side of your laptop. The one on the right is a PCI card for your PC. You can remove the rubber duck antenna that comes with the card and install coax cable that runs to the antenna you installed on your roof.
3) The third option is great for fixed environments like homes, RVs, boats, etc. Purchase anexternal wireless client that sits on the roof of whatever structure you are in. This client can be an all in one device with both the radio and the antenna built in to one unit or you can purchase one with an external connector for higher gain antennas. Here is what they look like… Here is how you would use them…
Option 1: Install the external wireless client on your roof, point it at your ISP, run an Ethernet cable from the client to the power over Ethernet injector and then plug it in directly to you PC.
Option 2: Install the wireless client just like in option one but instead of plugging directly into your PC plug it into a wireless router! This will allow you to rebroadcast the signal from outside wireless INSIDE your house, giving you the best of both worlds!
Hope this helps!
We are always on the lookout for an affordable, easy to use, secure indoor Wi-Fi system for the small to medium sized business. We have tested many centrally managed systems and all have their place in the market but none find themselves as well situated in the SMB space as Ruckus Wireless.
As far as we are concerned, Ruckus has one of the few real innovations in indoor wireless in many years. Some of which include:
BeamFlex High gain (7 dbi) Antenna array
Dynamic PSK Integrated, easy 802.1X
Integrated guest access with captive portal
Who should be using Ruckus ZoneFlex??
Anyone who is looking for easy, secure, reliable wi-fi and that doesn’t have big money to spend IT staff and hardware really… but, there are great advantages to those in the following industries:
Small to Medium Businesses
Hotels/Motels/Resorts with limited IT Staff
Hot spot Operators
Retail stores and distribution facilities
What is BeamFlex Anyway?
The unique Beamflex antenna array system integrated into every ZoneFlex access point effectively increases the range and throughput of each AP by a significant factor. Ruckus does this by using a compact, software controlled antenna array that offers over 4000 unique antenna patterns. Expert system software in the form of intelligent signal path algorithms continuously learn and select the optimum antenna pattern for each communicating device in real time.
The Benefits of BeamFlex Technology
Network BeamFlex derives the maximum potential user throughput per antenna configuration relative to each known destination and maintains a database of best antenna patterns per destination. By steering Wi-Fi transmissions to high-quality signal paths, BeamFlex enables a Wi-Fi device to avoid multipath interference and to maximize and sustain its transmission speeds while minimizing transmission errors.
BeamFlex is inherently self-healing by dynamically configuring its “beam” every 10 milliseconds on a per-station and per-packet basis. BeamFlex effectively allows each ZoneFlex AP to deliver high gain directional Wi-Fi signals in 360º while minimizing noise to nearby networks, devices and other APs. BeamFlex enables remarkable improvements in signal gain and interference avoidance. A single ZoneFlex AP can realize up to 7 dBi in signal gain and 30 dB in interference mitigation.
How about Security?!
Today network security is one of the most talked about topics in the IT world. Well as most of you know the Wi-Fi security has been lacking but in the past couple of years great strides have been made with the introduction of WPA2 and 802.1X authentication. WPA2 is an encryption key that is placed on every one of your employees/clients machines that allows them access to your wireless LAN (WLAN). Well what happens when Joe decides to leave or you have to let Bobby go for poor performance? You will have to change your WPA2 key for the entire company and change it on every machine. This can take many precious hours that you limited IT people may not have. Well there is a solution.802.1X was created for this particular reason. 802.1X essentially gives each one of your employees/clients a unique key. So when Bobby leaves you can simply delete his user profile and maintain the security of your wireless network. Traditionally this required a Radius server which is extremely expensive to set up and maintain and the cost was simply not justifiable.
Well, Ruckus created what they have coined Dynamic PSK.Dynamic Pre-Shared Key (PSK) is a patentpending technology developed to provide robust and secure wireless access while eliminating the arduous task of manual configuration of end devices and the tedious management of encryption keys.
Dynamic PSK creates a unique 63-byte encryption key for each user upon accessing the wireless LAN for the first time and then automatically configures end devices with the requisite wireless settings (i.e. SSID and unique passphrase) without any manual intervention. Here’s how it works:
Now when Joe decides to leave or you have to let Bobby go for poor performance you can simply delete their username and they no longer have access to your network! Its as simple as that. You can also integrate it with your windows active directory!