Ruckus Wireless Brings Smart Wi-Fi to the Education Market, Giving Schools More Bang for the Buck

Announces Landmark Deal with Delta School District and Adoption of Its

Product and Technology by More Than 50 Schools and School Districts in Past

60 Days

Jun 30, 2008, 01:00 ET from Ruckus Wireless, Inc.

    SUNNYVALE, Calif., June 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Ruckus Wireless today
 launched its Smart Wi-Fi for Education program that gives school districts,
 colleges and universities affordable access to the next stage of Smart
 Wireless LAN (
 to enable more reliable, better performing and farther reaching Wi-Fi
 services across school campuses.
     The company also announced a landmark deal with the Delta School
 District ( Vancouver,
 British Columbia, to outfit 33 schools with its ZoneFlex Smart WLAN system
 over the next 12 months. In the past 60 days, more than 50 education
 institutes throughout North America have standardized on the Ruckus
 ZoneFlex ( system.
     Under the Smart Wi-Fi for Education program, Ruckus Wireless is
 offering specially priced ZoneFlex Smart WLAN packages to educational
 institutions. These packages include the unique combination -- not found in
 other WLAN systems -- of three cutting-edge technologies: 802.11n, adaptive
 beam steering and SmartMesh networking. Armed with these technologies in
 one simple-to-use, affordable system, educational institutions can now
 implement higher speed WLAN environments more quickly and at a fraction of
 the cost and complexity of alternative offerings.
     "Schools everywhere are looking beyond the current generation of Wi-Fi
 technology to support more users and diverse applications," said Selina Lo
 (, president and CEO of Ruckus Wireless.
 "Cost, complexity and poor coverage have been preventing many schools from
 making Wi-Fi a ubiquitous, multimedia communications utility that provide
 students a better learning experience. With our Smart Wi-Fi, this is now
     "We are very excited to work with Ruckus and introduce Smart Wi-Fi to
 the Delta School District," says Delta School District Superintendent Steve
 Cardwell. "This technology is of tremendous benefit to our community of
 schools and reinforces our commitment to innovation in education. I welcome
 this program as an opportunity to enable our students to remain connected
 to the modern digital age in which they learn and live."
     Why Isn't Wi-Fi Smart Enough for Today's Schools?
     As information becomes more borderless, flexibility and mobility are
 critical to increasing productivity and innovation. The National Center for
 Education Statistics estimated a 50 percent increase in students that took
 at least one online course over the past year. A WLAN facility that enables
 access and communications anywhere, anytime helps schools increase
 enrollments and competitiveness by fostering a more collaborative and
 creative learning environment.
     At the same time, schools today face greater financial and staff
 resource constraints. Many have found conventional WLAN technology to be
 overly costly and complex while delivering inconsistent performance and
 inadequate signal coverage. Insufficient capacity and roaming support
 required for converged communications are other pain points cited by
 schools with early WLAN experience.
     "As educational institutions move towards 1:1 computing they're looking
 to move beyond traditional Wi-Fi and implement more professional-grade
 technology that fixes the coverage and reliability issues that have
 relegated Wi-Fi to an occasional tool," said Paul Parsons of the Electronic
 and Computer Services (ECS) Group within Delta School District. "If I were
 to grade existing wireless LAN systems for being easy-to-use, affordable,
 robust and adaptive, I'd fail almost all of them."
     A Smarter and Greener Wireless LAN
     Ruckus Wireless Smart Wi-Fi technology uniquely eliminates the Wi-Fi
 barriers for schools with state-of-the-art technology that directs Wi-Fi
 signals only where needed and adapts transmissions around environmental
 problems such as interference. By controlling the form and direction of
 signal energy rather than radiating omni-directionally all the time, Smart
 Wi-Fi delivers higher reliability and more extensive coverage. Furthermore,
 it provides for a "greener" Wi-Fi
 ( environment as fewer APs
 are needed to provide ubiquitous coverage. In addition, Smart Wi-Fi
 incorporates the use of 802.11n SmartMesh networking to streamline
 deployment by obviating the need to run Ethernet cabling to every Wi-Fi
 access point.
     Smart Wi-Fi for Education Making the Grade at Schools Around the
     Over the last 60 days, the Ruckus ZoneFlex system has been selected by
 a large number of schools, school districts and colleges including: Borel
 Middle School, George Hall School, Highlands Elementary School, Kauai
 Community College, Laney College, Pacific Ridge Elementary School, San
 Mateo Unified School District, Pollock Pines School District, Surrey School
 District, Ingham Intermediate School District, Okaw Valley School District,
 Unity Christian High School, Lovett School, Canton Country Day School,
 Franklin Academy, Rainbow Christian Academy, Family Charter School and
 Delta School District.
     Delta School District Becomes Harbinger of Wi-Fi in Education
     Located in the southwest corner of British Columbia and with a student
 population of over 16,000, Delta School District has selected the Ruckus
 ZoneFlex Smart WLAN system for its 33 district schools (seven high schools
 and 26 elementary schools) as well as a number of auxiliary locations --
 representing over two million square feet of space across 35 kilometers.
     Like many schools with limited IT staff and budget, Delta School
 District wanted to utilize Wi-Fi in a more productive and prominent role to
 enhance efficiency, increase competitiveness and foster innovation.
 Previously, Delta had sprinkled Cisco lightweight APs at school sites and a
 centralized WLAN controller at the school board office but have since
 wanted to use Wi-Fi more strategically.
     "Wi-Fi has become essential for enhancing everything from the
 educational experience to operational efficiency," said Parsons. "But
 coverage, flexibility and ease-of-use were issues that just couldn't be
 resolved with existing WLAN systems. We needed an affordable and
 professional-grade wireless system across our entire district, but found
 that with limited resources and budget, it looked to be an almost
 impossible task."
     With a single Cisco access point at each site, backhauling traffic back
 to the Delta District board office didn't pose a problem. However deploying
 multiple access points in every school to provide complete coverage
 required a controller onsite -- which led to capacity, management and cost
     "Our Phase Two plan to put a robust WLAN in every school got
 cost-prohibitive very quickly when we looked at the expense to deploy
 multiple APs and a controller at each site," said Parsons. "The cost of the
 Ruckus ZoneFlex system was so affordable and it provided even better
 functionality, which brought the architecture we wanted within reach."
     Delta was drawn to the Ruckus ZoneFlex system due to its simplicity and
 use of advanced technology that ensured better coverage, reliability and
 consistent performance without a lot of IT administration.
     "Our budget constraints meant that it would be about five years before
 we were able to have complete wireless coverage at every one of our
 schools. But with the Ruckus ZoneFlex system we can deploy a more robust
 wireless LAN in about a year at about 70% of the cost," said Parsons.
     At each elementary school site Delta is installing between two and six
 ZoneFlex 2942 (802.11g) APs, and up to 12 7942 (802.11n) APs at each
 secondary school. Every site also has a Ruckus ZoneDirector controller to
 provide central configuration, management, administration and security.
 Delta School District is also looking to leverage the Ruckus FlexMaster
 system which provides a single point of management for each ZoneDirector
 controller and associated access points at each school.
     Based on Ruckus' patented beam steering technology, the ZoneFlex WLAN
 provides consistent, higher capacity coverage and extended range, meaning
 fewer APs are needed to cover a larger area than would be possible with
 competitive offerings -- another significant cost advantage that appealed
 to Delta.
     "With Ruckus SmartMesh networking technology, schools will be better
 able to use our computer laptop lab carts and not have to worry about
 finding an Ethernet port for connectivity. It even enables wireless
 management of each school's heating, ventilation and air conditioning
 (HVAC) system, which all run on IP networks, from anywhere on school
 grounds," said Parsons. In the future, Delta plans to leverage the Smart
 Wi-Fi infrastructure for conducting video surveillance, and also for
 running a Voice over IP (VoIP) phone system.
     Smart Wi-Fi for Education Bundles
     Available for a limited time in North America only, the Ruckus Smart
 Wi-Fi educational bundles include: a 50-AP system at 60% off MSRP; a 25-AP
 system at 48% off MSRP, and an education pilot kit, which includes two
 ZoneFlex Smart Wi-Fi APs, also 50% off MSRP (all bundles include a Ruckus
 ZoneDirector management controller). In addition to these educational
 bundles, the company has also established a suggested education price list
 on all Ruckus hardware and software products.
     About Ruckus Wireless, Inc.
     Based in Sunnyvale, California, Ruckus Wireless is a next-generation
 Wi-Fi company credited with pioneering "Smart Wi-Fi" technology. Named a
 2007 Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum, Ruckus Wireless was
 formed in 2004 at Sequoia Capital. The company designs, develops and
 markets Smart Wireless LAN systems that provide reliable and adaptive
 distribution of delay-sensitive multimedia content and services over
 standard 802.11a/b/g/n technology. The company's patented hardware and
 software technologies deliver predictable performance, extended range and
 real-time adaptability to changing Wi-Fi environments. The company has
 raised approximately $42 million in financing from premier venture capital
 investors, consumer electronics companies and broadband operators. Visit
     About the Delta School District
     The Delta School District is home to 26 elementary schools, seven
 secondary schools and is proudly represented by over 16,000 students. The
 District's commitment to quality education is reflected through its mission
 "To enable all students to meet the challenge of a changing society." Known
 for its forward thinking and innovative approach in learning, the Delta
 School District fosters individual growth and enables students to excel
 academically, athletically and personally. The District has an excellent
 reputation both provincially and internationally, which is demonstrated by
 the consistent high levels of achievement and overall student success. For
 more information please visit
Media Contacts David Callisch Ruckus Wireless +1-408-504-5487 mobile Nancy MacGregor Hill RealTime Communications +1-510-733-6228 office +1-415-309-5185 mobile

SOURCE Ruckus Wireless, Inc.