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Wireless gateway marries Wi-Fi, cellular; eases authentication, billing

John Cox | Feb. 16, 2011
Ruckus Wireless has taken a big step in making Wi-Fi hotspots an integrated part of a mobile operators wireless connectivity. The company announced at Mobile World Congress a new wireless gateway that can manage vast numbers of access points and clients, while integrating critical task like authenticating, securing and billing with the core cellular network.

The gateway can manage tens of thousands of access points and hundreds of thousands of Wi-Fi clients, according to Ruckus. The new box is intended to work with Ruckus' line of ZoneFlex indoor and outdoor access points. The vendor says it has tweaked both its smart antenna technology and its mesh backhaul capability so that in future they will work well with small-cell base stations, which are being deployed to extend cellular coverage and improve throughput.

When a client device is activated by a subscriber, Ruckus' patented automatic client provisioning configures the device, without involving the user, who no longer has to sign in every time he accesses a hotspot.

The new gateway is being trialed by two Tier 1 operators, in Europe and Asia, according to Callisch.

 

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