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Local Councils take the lead in public Wi-Fi offering



City vibrancy enhanced as well as social benefits identified

SYDNEY, Australia 30 January 2013 - Ruckus Wireless, Inc. announced that, during 2012, close to 50 councils throughout Australia gave the green light to deploy Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi™ technology to provide public Wi-Fi access in their areas. City councils such as Sydney, Lake Macquarie, Albury, Blacktown, Parramatta, Warrnambool, Devonport, Wollongong, Victor Harbour, Orange, Geraldton and Hawkesbury have understood the value proposition public Wi-Fi offers its citizens and visitors. The popularity of public Wi-Fi is expected to continue rising in the foreseeable future.

“The social benefit of improving communication to city goers as well as enhancing the vibrancy of the city is well recognised by these councils,” said Carl Jefferys, Country Manager for ANZ, Ruckus Wireless, “Access to Wi-Fi encourages visitors carrying smartphones, tablets and the like to stay within the city area for longer; as well as attracting tourists while helping them avoid crippling roaming charges. Increasingly Wi-Fi is being used as a marketing and communications tool to engage with users and shoppers to drive them into particular city centre retail areas.”

Underpinning these benefits is a public Wi-Fi network that can deliver pervasive performance - stable throughput, providing density connections, superior interference mitigation and high scalability.

Michael Whereat, Broadband & Digital Economy Manager at Sunshine Coast Council, said “We want to be seen as leaders within the tourism industry with regard to servicing the connection and access needs of our tens of thousands of visitors. Currently, we are offering two hour sessions of free Wi-Fi. The user accepts the Ts and Cs and is logged on simply, quickly and securely. They have to see a 15 second infomercial on Sunshine Council to access the service first. Council is very pleased with the uptake by visitors and rate payers as we have not actually begun promoting the public Wi-Fi as yet. In the first few weeks, we had up to 1,000 users and, five weeks on, we are closer to 2,000 users daily. The throughput and quality is the key in user experience and satisfaction.”

Whereat added that council is at the early stages of implementing a program inviting retailers to advertise through the network. “Demand is going through the roof due to all of us having mobile devices today with networks being overloaded. This proposed commercial approach will assist council to cover costs and hopefully generate revenues that will allow us to reinvest in the network,” said Whereat.

TSG, another Ruckus partner and a specialist event IT company, was successful in its bid to supply, install and maintain Ruckus Wi-Fi infrastructure at strategic locations throughout the City of Perth. TSG’s Technical Director, Aaron Borszeky, said, “Our ability to deliver high speed data to mobile devices in a dense environment such as the Perth CBD has come from years of testing the Ruckus Wi-Fi technology at large scale outdoor events.”

Perth’s Lord Mayor, Lisa Scaffidi, said, “We already have free Wi-Fi access in four key sites and Council is committed to making it more widely accessible. The benefits of providing a free Wi-Fi service include the activation of outdoor public areas and encouraging visitors to spend more time in the city; it also makes it easier for people to do business in the city and can also be a real time-saver.”

The current service is the City’s first step towards providing a wireless internet connection for basic website browsing enabling users to read and send emails, update social media content, share photographs, view the latest news and events. The service is limited to 50 MB per user, per day.

“This temporary service will give the City valuable information on how to better implement and manage a larger service with the vision of partnering with the private sector and other government organisations to create content and better deliver this service in the future,” Scaffidi said.

Free Wi-Fi on Perth's trains is the latest promise from WA Labor leader Mark McGowan if his party wins the next state election. He maintains that the access to Wi-Fi would make it more attractive for commuters to travel by train and solve the issue of having too many cars on the road during peak times.

Brisbane City Council initially deployed its free Wi-Fi (Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi technology) in Brisbane’s parks to get more people using these spaces in late 2012. To date, there have been 57,140 unique users with a total of 208,838 sessions with average session times being 24 minutes and average downloads being 25 MB per session and the most popular device (unsurprisingly) being the iPhone.

The majority of these council Wi-Fi solutions have implemented Ruckus ZoneFlex™ 7762 outdoor dual-band 802.11n Access Points (APs). The ZoneFlex 7762 is unique for this environment as the in-built adaptive antenna array delivers industry-leading performance while also mitigating interference. “This is critical when you are deploying in CBDs with lots of other Wi-Fi networks present. It can also come with a native AC power feed for easy implementation on street furniture and the all-important ability to mesh the units together without an Ethernet cable if required. Coupled with an optional native fibre interface and Power over Ethernet (PoE)-out port for connecting an IP security camera, this discreet and ergonomically designed device is the perfect fit for outdoor Wi-Fi,” concluded Jefferys.

 

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ABOUT RUCKUS WIRELESS

Headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA, Ruckus Wireless(NYSE: RKUS) is a global supplier of advanced wireless systems for the rapidly expanding mobile Internet infrastructure market. With 2011 revenues of $120 million, the company offers a wide range of indoor and outdoor "Smart Wi-Fi" products to mobile carriers, broadband service providers, and corporate enterprises, and has more than 18,000 customers worldwide. Ruckus technology addresses Wi-Fi capacity and coverage challenges caused by the ever-increasing amount of traffic on wireless networks due to accelerated adoption of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Ruckus invented and has patented state-of-the-art wireless voice, video, and data technology innovations, such as adaptive antenna arrays that extend signal range, increase client data rates, and avoid interference, ensuring consistent and reliable distribution of delay-sensitive multimedia content and services over standard 802.11 Wi-Fi. For more information, visit http://www.ruckuswireless.com.