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Ruckus tackles channel-changing in Wi-Fi

Stephen Lawson | Nov. 29, 2011
Ruckus Wireless took another shot at optimizing Wi-Fi capacity on Monday, introducing a technology called ChannelFly.

"Demands for capacity are increasing quite dramatically," Mathias said. "Efficient management of wireless channels is going to continue to be a challenge for the foreseeable future."

As companies allow employees to use their own devices at work, it's not uncommon for authorized individuals in an enterprise facility to use three or four Wi-Fi devices at once, he said. That means more clients contending for a given number of channels. The problem can be even worse for service providers that roll out Wi-Fi networks in public places, because they have no control over what other Wi-Fi networks are active in the area, Mathias added.

For a network that uses typical 20MHz channels on IEEE 802.11n, which uses both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, there are 23 possible channels for clients to share, Mathias said. But making more channels available in a given space can force the company to buy and manage more access points. Most enterprises today use no more than five or six channels, he said. Any technology that can assign the best possible channel to each device helps to make the most of existing infrastructure to deliver network capacity.

"What we're really optimizing for is the time of users, the productivity of people," by providing enough network speed that they can work instead of wait, Mathias said.

ChannelFly is available immediately. It works only on Ruckus access points but is compatible with all Wi-Fi clients, the company said.


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