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MediaFlex NG delivers 802.11 to home networks

Posted: 01 Dec 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Ruckus Networks Inc.? MediaFlex NG? home broadband? 802.11? service set identifiers?

Ruckus Networks Inc., the company that combined smart-antenna technology and video QoS prioritization to offer home broadband through 802.11, has expanded into the multiservice gateway market. MediaFlex NG is being marketed to carriers with advanced management features for tracking traffic while supporting multiple service set identifiers (Wi-Fi protection" target=_blank>SSIDs).

The company's recent, IPTV-only MediaFlex platform has won carrier accounts at Belgium-based Belgacom and at Czech Telecom, which recently became part of Telefonica/O2. In both cases, Ruckus can offer between 20 and 70 channels of IPTV over Wi-Fi, said VP of sales Rob Mustarde.

The goal with MediaFlex NG Model 2825 was to provide full L3 routing features and manageability in a Wi-Fi access point. It is used in conjunction with an IPTV STB or networked TiVo/personal video recorder device.

Ruckus combined the hardware with Release 4 of its client software suite, supporting virtual access points (APs) and authentication, and an operator management software package that lets customers automatically install and provision APs while statistics from those APs are monitored by the carrier.

The autoconfiguration and monitoring capabilities make 802.11 the logical choice for a multifunction home network, Mustarde said, with wireless USB relegated to only a few peripheral-interconnect duties.

The InTune management software requires no specialized hardware within the AP, but performs home diagnostics at the gateway via ping and trace-route commands. Nodes can be managed via Telnet, simple network management protocol or the emerging TR-069 standard, which performs management via higher-level HTTP and simple object access protocol commands.

Ruckus puts 802.11 at the heart of the home network. Company sees few needs for wireless USB and other networks.

The concept behind having multiple SSIDs arranged in tiers, Mustarde said, is that a subscriber SSID can be fully managed and controlled by the end customer, while a hidden provider SSID is encrypted and managed by the carrier.

The MediaFlex NG software supports not only dynamic host configuration protocol routing at both client and server, but also network address translation and PPP-over-Ethernet.

The five-port routed version of MediaFlex NG, the VF2825, carries a list price of $159. The VF2111A single-port MediaFlex NG adapter is priced at $99.

- Loring Wirbel
EE Times

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