Ruckus Runs With Some Rurals
The carriers planning to use Ruckus's MediaFlex WiFi router system in their IPTV deployments include Ayersville Telephone in Ohio, Monroe Telephone in Oregon, Wilkes Telecommunications in North Carolina, the Panhandle Telephone Cooperative in Oklahoma, and CC Communications in Nevada. Ruckus, formerly Video54 Technologies, focuses on the management of voice, data, and video traffic with a series of routers and adapters that employ 802.11g WiFi and MIMO smart-antenna technology to extend the reach and mitigate the interference of wireless signals in homes and home offices.
"We teamed up with them because it seems to work," says Larry January, a technology specialist at Panhandle Telephone. "We've been doing IPTV for four or five years... We started wiring everything with Cat 5, and we're trying to get away from that expense. There are times when it's impossible to get into certain parts of the house without expensive construction."
These deals follow the announcement of Ruckus's initial U.S. customer announcement, Pioneer, in March. (See Ruckus Rounds Up Pioneer.) The company also has a partnership with municipal WiFi player Tropos Networks Inc. (See Tropos Unveils Metro WiFi Spec.) Internationally, Ruckus has deals with PCCW Ltd. (NYSE: PCW; Hong Kong: 0008), Magnet Networks Ltd. , and MaxiSat of Finland.
Largers carriers, such as Sprint Canada Inc. and BellSouth Corp. (NYSE: BLS), are interested in the technology, according to marketing director David Callisch, but the company has yet to announce any such deals. For now, the WiFi/IPTV service combo is a rural thing.
"They let us be the guinea pigs," January says. "We're just more aggressive than the big boys."
— Carmen Nobel, Senior Editor, Light Reading