Light Reading
SlideshowRaising a Ruckus With U-verse
Phil Harvey
Slide Shows
Phil Harvey
7/18/2008
50%
50%

Ruckus Wireless Inc. (NYSE: RKUS) will announce its new 802.11n-based 7000 series products this month, Light Reading has learned.

How'd we learn this? We tested the gear in a real IPTV home (mine).

Here's a slideshow documenting the experiment: Looking Sharp(ie) Background
Ruckus is no newcomer here. The company says almost a million of its MediaFlex 802.11g/a systems are being used around the world by more than 140 broadband providers including Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), Fastweb SpA (Milan: FWB), and others. (See Ruckus Powers Swedish IPTV, DT Picks Ruckus Wireless, Ruckus Wins Czech Carrier, and Sonaecom Picks Ruckus.)

It's not clear how many of those are IPTV installations, but it doesn't matter: This new MediaFlex 7000 series has different DNA. (See Ruckus Raises 802.11n Stakes.) The 802.11n technology uses multi-antenna arrays and spatial multiplexing to double the range of wireless local area networks and ramp up the speed at which data and video can be delivered.

Ruckus's older MediaFlexes, those based on 802.11b/g, deliver 20 Mbit/s of guaranteed bandwidth "to any corner of a 4,000 square foot home," the company says. Installation
Usually, plugging something in and turning it on doesn't demand its own paragraph. But the Ruckus MediaFlex gear does, if only to note that Ruckus auto-provisioned the gear in the factory, so it worked out of the box. I took it out, hooked the 7811 access point to the home gateway, and a 7111 adapter to each of two set-tops in the home. I installed no software, and made no changes to my U-verse service.

Results
The MediaFlex 7000 series gear performed very well. It was, after all, built to deliver between 40 Mbit/s and 60 Mbit/s of consistent video throughput in a typical 2,500 square-foot residence. [Ed. note: When comparing the MediaFlex 7000 press materials to that of its predecessors, we note that someone must have moved to a smaller house.]

During my test, there was no detectable difference between watching HDTV on the coaxial cable-connected U-verse and the Ruckus-enabled U-verse service. (See The U-verse Experiment)

That said, MediaFlex won't work in a Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) FiOS household –- that is, it won't be able to carry the video signals from the FiOS gateway to the FiOS set-tops. FiOS delivers live TV via radio-frequency over fiber, not as IP packets. Same thing goes for cable TV homes.

Any home could use MediaFlex just as home WiFi, to carry Internet traffic, but it would be overkill.

Issues
The only way to "max out" the AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) U-verse service is to simply watch as much stuff with one set-top as the service would allow. So I recorded two HD shows, while at the same time watching a "widescreen" (but not high-def) pay-per-view movie.

My test wasn't enough of a bandwidth load to sweat the Ruckus gear, but there was a hiccup in the VOD ordering and in the TV recording. In both instances, either I was working the controls too fast, the Ruckus gear dropped a packet or two, or AT&T's servers were gently trying to tell me to relax and not smash the buttons so fast.

Unknowns
AT&T hasn't started its whole-home DVR (WHDVR) service in my area yet, so I couldn't test it. But, I happen to know that AT&T installs its HPNAv3 home networks to run at around 112 Mbit/s. (See AT&T: Hold the MoCA and IP Video: In the House.) That's why they use a home's coaxial cable when installing U-verse, most of the time. For a fully loaded WHDVR, like the demo I describe here, AT&T would require an available throughput in the home network of around 80 Mbit/s, when assuming some overhead for simultaneous Internet use and voice calls. That would outpace the Ruckus gear's capabilities on paper but, in real life, the data could be queued and the traffic prioritized, and the users likely aren't going to be stressing the network that much, that often.

Another unknown: Ruckus's gear will ship with carrier-side software and TR-069 capabilities to provide for remote management. (For a great summary on why TR-069 matters, read Page 6 of this report.) We didn't test that, but we assume carriers will.

Conclusion and Disclaimers
What can we say? It worked. It really worked. And now I can rearrange my living room without fear of the HDTV moving too far from a coaxial cable outlet. While this seems like good news for IPTV providers, I should note that AT&T didn't approve, or have anything to do with, my test. Ruckus says it is about to announce a carrier customer when it debuts the product, but won't say whether it's working with AT&T in any capacity.

To make a point, though: Think what would happen if a telco TV technician could install a U-verse-like service using a wireless system like Ruckus to interconnect the set-tops and home gateway, as opposed to stringing up a bunch of cable. The cost of the installed equipment would go up -- the Ruckus MediaFlex 7811 access point and 7111 adapter list for $199 and $139 respectively. But installation times -- an absolute profit killer for telcos -- would go way down.

Now that the once impossible is a cakewalk, we wonder: Is the trade-off between installation costs and installation times worth it for carriers? How much are consumers willing to pay for their own wireless flexibility? How much are carriers willing to subsidize that privilege (or is it a necessity)?

— Phil Harvey, The Editor, Light Reading

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
bollocks187
50%
50%
bollocks187,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:36:20 PM
re: Raising a Ruckus With U-verse
With Ruckus delivering an 802.11n solution what has happened to their intellectual property. I thought that they implmented a propriatory QoS wifi solution that is not compatable with 802.11n.

if they are no deliviering 802.11n what is unique about their offering ?
Mr Finance
50%
50%
Mr Finance,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:36:17 PM
re: Raising a Ruckus With U-verse
Good question, is there proprietary IP in there that delivers better performance when you use their gateway with their access dongles rather than someone elses .11n dongles? Phil, have you tried something similar (or mixed and matched) with standard (cheaper?) commercial .11n gear from e.g. Linksys or Cisco?

And without getting too personal, where do you live? ;-) the described 40-60Mbit feat is not that impressive in a relatively isolated wireless environment. I used to regularly stream high def MPEG2 video on my bog standard .11g gear let alone with .11n that should be at least capable of 100Mbit. However in the last year or two this has become impossible with the level of interference I get from neighbours networks, which is hopefully the real benefit of .11n and/or what Ruckus are trying to add to that (if anything?).
DCITDave
50%
50%
DCITDave,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:35:38 PM
re: Raising a Ruckus With U-verse
I don't live in a crowded area so the only interference I get would be from neighboring WiFi networks -- and they're usually not a problem. I have no idea how this would fare in a place like NYC, but Ruckus says they have a way that intelligently routes their signal around interference, so that might be where their IP comes in.

ph
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Network architects aiming to upgrade their networks to support agile, open, virtualized services in the 21st century need to consider new criteria when choosing between technology suppliers.
Live Streaming Video
BTE 2015 Sponsor Keynote: HP
Dr. Prodip Sen, CTO, Network Functions Virtualization, HP
LRTV Custom TV
NetNumber Founder Discusses NFV/SDN Impact on SP Networks

6|26|15   |   4:15   |   (0) comments


NetNumber Founder Doug Ranalli examines why SPs need a new network infrastructure for service agility. While NFV and SDN are the tools, the old ways of thinking about signaling control are inhibitors. Doug provides his recommendations.
LRTV Custom TV
Orchestrating NFV vCPE Services Across Multivendor Networks

6|26|15   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Nirav Modi provides an overview of vCPE, the fastest-growing NFV use case, showing how Cyan's Blue Planet orchestrates vCPE services across a multivendor infrastructure to rapidly deliver new managed services for business customers.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE at LTE Summit Amsterdam 2015

6|26|15   |     |   (0) comments


As one of the leading global telecommunications providers, ZTE presented its cutting-edge technology at LTE World Summit 2015 in Amsterdam. On display at ZTE's booth were the latest R&D achievements in wireless, 5G development, HetNet, deep convergence of FDD and TDD, and RCS/IMD/iSDN/vCN.
LRTV Documentaries
OPNFV Director Opens Up on Women in Tech

6|25|15   |   3:25   |   (0) comments


Heather Kirksey, the director of the OPNFV, gets real about the gender disparity in open source and standards and discusses how we can change both the conversation and the gender dynamics.
LRTV Custom TV
Symantec's Service Provider Security Strategy

6|24|15   |   7:06   |   (0) comments


Didi Dayton explores Symantec's emerging enterprise security strategies for service providers. Highlights include 'killing the password,' self-defense, advanced analytics and adaptive response in a service provider architecture.
Between the CEOs
Debating Network Evolution With Cisco's Cedrik Neike

6|23|15   |   12:54   |   (2) comments


Cedrik Neike, SVP of Global Service Provider, Service Delivery, at Cisco, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about solving service provider customer problems in a virtualized, DevOps world, including multivendor support and the future of network procurement.
LRTV Documentaries
Vodafone: What's Good for Moms Is Good for Business

6|23|15   |   3:04   |   (3) comments


Megan Doberneck, the general counsel for Vodafone Americas, discusses her company's progressive maternity policy, explains why promoting women in tech is good business and offers some some good advice for any women in the industry.
LRTV Interviews
NFV: Ready for Prime Time

6|23|15   |   05:09   |   (1) comment


At BTE 2015, Vip mobile CTO Dejan Kastelic talks about how NFV is ready for the real world and how Telekom Austria is introducing centralized resources for its group operations.
LRTV Documentaries
Tykes Talk Tech

6|22|15   |   02:30   |   (9) comments


What does optical fiber look like? When will 5G arrive? What's the WiFi password at Ikea? Light Reading sat down with three 8-year-olds to answer some of the communications industry's most burning questions...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Partners With TDC for World's First Early DOCSIS 3.1 Field Test

6|22|15   |   3:06   |   (0) comments


In a move to enhance user experience, Denmark's TDC aims to become an early adopter of DOCSIS 3.1. In partnership with Huawei, TDC recently ran the world's first field tests on its coax network that reached speeds nearing 1 Gbit/s.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
SDN, the Road to Open Innovation

6|22|15   |   3:18   |   (0) comments


Open source is changing the industry, and Huawei is committed to Open Innovation.
LRTV Documentaries
Cox Business Pursues $5B Market

6|19|15   |   5:18   |   (0) comments


In this LRTV interview, Cox Business SVP Steve Rowley discusses how his unit aims to capture more of the commercial market in its territories.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Staying Productive With My Office-in-a-Bag
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 6/25/2015
WiFi Calling Catches on Globally
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 6/23/2015
Who's Feeding Fiber to LinkNYC Hotspots?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/29/2015
Verizon Closes AOL, Hints at Summer Launch
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/23/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Casa Systems has been going from strength to strength over the last couple of years. In 2013, it became the first vendor to ship an integrated CCAP device -- the ...
Cedrik Neike, SVP of Global Service Provider, Service Delivery, at Cisco, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about solving service provider customer problems in a virtualized, DevOps world, including multivendor support and the future of network procurement.
Cats with Phones