Ruckus Wireless has updated its 802.11n Wi-Fi range to include dual-radio technology, which it says will offer simultaneous support for older and newer Wi-Fi clients.
The wireless technology firm expanded its ZoneFlex Enterprise Smart Wireless LAN (WLAN) range on Monday, introducing new products such as the ZoneFlex 7962 access point, the ZoneDirector 3500 controller and the Enhanced FlexMaster remote-management system. Ruckus also announced its Smart/OS application platform software, which allows IT managers to implement features such as smart mesh networking.
"We've taken what we've been doing already and added more features and functionality in terms of 5GHz radio for 802.11n," Jim Calderbank, Ruckus's director of enterprise sales in the EMEA region, told ZDNet UK on Monday. "A lot of what we've done is to support larger systems and larger configurations."
Calderbank explained that this enhanced support capacity was present in the ZoneDirector 3500, which supports up to 500 access points, or twice as many as its predecessor from last year's range.
802.11n Wi-Fi can use both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. The 2.4GHz range is generally used in 802.11n routers to support legacy 802.11b/g infrastructure, while the 5GHz range is used for its superior bandwidth. A dual-radio system, therefore, makes use of both frequencies at once, to support older Wi-Fi equipment while taking advantage of the latest Wi-Fi version's enhanced speed and capacity.
According to Calderbank, dual-radio 802.11n allows not only simultaneous support for legacy and newer Wi-Fi-ready equipment, but also other uses such as mesh backhaul.
802.11n has a theoretical maximum speed of 300Mbps, although that is unlikely to be achieved in real-world situations. However, Calderbank said Ruckus's dynamic beamforming antenna technology allows "better performance at a better range" than competing 802.11n products, citing tests that achieved 171Mbps throughput over a distance of about 15 metres, with two walls in between the access point and client.
Ruckus's dynamic beamforming antenna technology, which is called BeamFlex, selects the best signal path for each packet of data. The company, which targets small and medium-sized businesses, says BeamFlex also increases signal coverage and reliability by rejecting radio interference.