Everyone knows that 3G networks are sometimes gasping for air. With the growing use of streaming video and Internet radio, the once-sufficient networks often leave users with poor download speeds. Ruckus suggests an implementation of 802.11n access points which will provide reliable and speedy connections.
Ruckus recommends Wi-Fi specifically for a number of reasons. First, the implementation would be less expensive than expanding current wireless networks. Second, they suggest that their new Smart Wi-Fi products are capable of 80mbps from up to 8 kilometers away. These nodes will then be connected by their new Flexmaster 9.0, which can manage thousands of Wi-Fi devices, conceivably integrating an urban environment into a single Wi-Fi network.
But what about 4G? Ruckus claims that while 4G is smooth now, it will eventually suffer the same fate as our 3G networks. They explain that as demand and device capability grow, the increase in data use will outpace the increased capability of LTE and WiMax networks.
Ruckus cites their implementation in China as the evidence of potential success in other markets. Chinese carriers, using a Wi-Fi network, have managed to offload up to 80% of their peak traffic. That kind of network relief would make a huge difference in the user experience.
It would be particularly interesting to see a carrier like AT&T implement such a solution. Their network is known for meager bandwidth and dropped calls, so Ruckus' Wi-Fi solution might be just what they need. This would be particularly easy for them in urban areas, where their partnership with two-per-block Starbucks would provide accessible Wi-Fi nodes.