& cplSiteName &
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
From The Founder
The independent evaluation of Nokia's key virtual network functions (VNFs) was a defining moment for the Finnish giant.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP’s Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it’s going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Innovations in Cable

5|26|16   |   03:18   |   (0) comments


Marc Aldrich from Cisco discusses the latest in security, the evolution and momentum for CCAP and what the industry will be seeing next from Cisco.
LRTV Documentaries
Leading Lights 2016 Highlights

5|25|16   |   02:26   |   (1) comment


Some of the high points from this year's Leading Lights awards dinner at the Hotel Ella in Austin, Texas.
LRTV Documentaries
Light Reading Hall of Fame 2016

5|23|16   |   05:43   |   (0) comments


Find out who has been welcomed into Light Reading's Hall of Fame this year.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE TM Forum Highlights

5|23|16   |     |   (0) comments


ZTE showcased its new ICT solutions at TM Forum in Nice.
LRTV Interviews
Gamma's MD on the Emergence of UC2

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


Gamma Communications Managing Director David Macfarlane believes the unified communications (UC) market has reached a tipping point.
LRTV Custom TV
The Ultimate 5-Minute Guide to Digital Customer Engagement

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this short video, you will hear all about how Digital Customer Engagement is the key to meeting customer expectations, keeping them happy, and maximizing revenue. VP Product & Marketing at Pontis, Ofer Razon, breaks down for us the five essential capabilities for successful Digital Customer Engagement. Don’t miss!
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 1 – NFV Use Cases Get Real

5|19|16   |   05:57   |   (0) comments


Consensus is building around the key use cases for NFV, including managed IP services at the network edge and on customer premises, which can generate new revenues from enterprises/SMBs and consumers; Evolved Packet Core to support LTE migration; and adjacent technologies, such as TAS and IMS, to support VoLTE and next-generation charging and policy control ...
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 3

5|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang discusses the challenges of operational transformation and how Nokia helps its customers. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Level 3: Why UC Is In Demand

5|17|16   |   04:12   |   (1) comment


Andrew Edison, Level 3's senior VP of sales, EMEA region, talks about the drivers of growth in the unified communications services market.
LRTV Custom TV
ARM's OPNFV Action

5|17|16   |     |   (0) comments


At the ARM booth at MWC 2016, Joe Kidder and Bob Monkman speak to Light Reading about OPNFV and their upcoming action.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 2

5|16|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang gives advice to service providers on how to move to NFV. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Interoute CTO on NFV's Maturity

5|13|16   |   06:46   |   (1) comment


Matt Finnie, CTO at international operator Interoute, explains how NFV has made life easier in terms of logistics and how Interoute can now enable a 'software-defined moment' for its customers.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
December 6-8, 2016,
June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
Hot Topics
DT: Telcos Must Escape Vendor Prison
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/24/2016
AT&T to Start 5G 'Friendly' Trial by 2016 End
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/24/2016
Cisco's Patel Hails 'Microculture' Successes
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/26/2016
Cable Is Eyeing Its Retail Options
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/25/2016
AT&T's Margaret Chiosi Retires
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 5/25/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.