11:05 AM -- Talk about taking the fight outside. When Telefónica UK Ltd.'s mobile operator O2 got its hands on some lampposts in London and wanted to roll out an outdoor public access Wi-Fi network, it didn't go with its existing Wi-Fi supplier Cisco Systems Inc., instead opting for Ruckus Wireless Inc. (See Telefónica Goes Wi-Fi for Small Cells.)
O2 has been deploying Cisco access points inside popular venues and coffee shops for its own Wi-Fi service after it ended a partnership with Wi-Fi service provider The Cloud. And now, the operator has put Ruckus access points on lampposts in the U.K. capital city for a metro small-cell network.
"When we first went to market with Wi-Fi, we went through a process. ... At that time, we picked Cisco," says Gavin Franks, managing director at O2 Wi-Fi, a business unit within Telefonica UK. "When we came to do metro, we did a formal RFP process and for various reasons, Ruckus came out on top."
Franks notes that now O2 can support Ruckus as well as Cisco for its free Wi-Fi services.
The face-off between the two vendors comes at an exciting time for the small-cell infrastructure market, as mobile operators deepen their embrace of Wi-Fi and make it a critical part of their mobile broadband networks. So there's bound to be more vendor ruckuses in the near future (come on, come on...).
— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile