STEL Deploys First City-Wide Wi-Fi Broadband Service in Chile Using Ruckus Wireless Smart Wi-Fi System

Maipu Becomes First 'Enlightened' City in Chile to Go Wireless, Shortening the Digital Divide and Providing a Model for Delivering Affordable Internet Connectivity for All Homes

Oct 18, 2010, 11:17 ET from Ruckus Wireless

CHICAGO, Oct. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- 4G WORLD CONFERENCE -- Ruckus Wireless™, the smart mobile networking company, today announced that it has been selected by STEL, a next generation broadband service provider in Chile, to supply Smart Wi-Fi equipment for Chile's first city-wide outdoor mesh access network. STEL's Smart Wi-Fi network is now deployed and operational in Maipu, the second largest commune in Chile covering more than 133 km2 with population of over 650,000.

Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Santiago, Chile, STEL has now deployed hundreds of Ruckus ZoneFlex 7762 dual-band, outdoor 802.11n access points and ZoneFlex 2741 single-band 802.11n outdoor access points throughout Maipu. STEL is offering reliable broadband services to 140,000 households in Maipu using a new generation of Wi-Fi – something many thought wasn't possible on such a scale. In Maipu, 85,000 of the 140,000 households don't have an Internet connection of any kind.

"Recent advances that make Wi-Fi more reliable and much longer range have completely changed the game with respect to providing affordable broadband access within the unlicensed band," said Alejandro Ulloa, founder and managing director of STEL.

"Smart Wi-Fi represents the ideal solution for offering reliable broadband service in high-density areas where operators can't justify the cost or time it takes to deploy traditional macrocell technologies," said Selina Lo, President and CEO of Ruckus Wireless. "STEL has taken revolutionary steps in bridging the digital divide that exists while redefining the market for wireless broadband access – steps that will be followed by others around the world."

Around the world, an explosion of mobile users and smart handheld devices is driving new demands for wireless broadband services. According to the ITU, Chile reached over 1.4 million high-speed broadband connections in 2009, nearly 6.8 dedicated connections per every 100 Chileans and far above the regional average. In Latin America, Chile's 6.8 percent broadband penetration rate is followed by Argentina with a 3.2 percent penetration rate, Brazil with 2.6 percent, Peru and Costa Rica with 1.5 percent, and Colombia with 1.1 percent

Since recently launching its service, STEL now has thousands of subscribers and is offering tiered Wi-Fi broadband access services ranging from 600kbps to 2Mbps at prices from US $20 to $40. The Wi-Fi service competes with more costly cable modem, ADSL and 3G services available to Maipu residents.

STEL has now deployed hundreds of ZoneFlex outdoor 802.11n and 802.11g access points on poles 500 meters apart throughout the city. Wireless point-to-point backhaul links at each access point provide connectivity back to the Internet. Outdoor customer premise equipment gives subscribers consistent connectivity to STEL's Smart Wi-Fi network. "This is a model that we plan to roll out across other cities in Chile," said Ulloa. "The business model is there, the technology is reliable, and the demand of wireless connectivity is unprecedented."

Unlike conventional technology, ZoneFlex access points integrate patented smart antenna array technology that leverages dynamic beam forming to focus Wi-Fi transmissions only where they are needed, automatically "steering" them around interference and obstacles as they are encountered. This provides a two- to four-fold increase in Wi-Fi signal coverage and more reliable connectivity to clients.

"Ruckus has combined ingenuity and cutting-edge technology to achieve what most thought couldn't be done on such a large scale," said Brian Modoff, managing director and senior telecommunications analyst at Deutsche Bank Securities, Inc. "Advances in the areas of dynamic beam forming, interference rejection, smarter meshing techniques and adaptive RF controls are opening new market opportunities for operators looking to build reliable broadband networks much faster and economically than ever before."

STEL has donated 200 Internet connections to student of excellence for low-income families and among community organizations as well as 51 links to various schools.

About Ruckus Wireless, Inc.

Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Ruckus Wireless is supplier of advanced wireless systems for the mobile Internetworking market. The company markets and manufactures a wide range of indoor and outdoor "Smart Wi-Fi" products for mobile operators, broadband service providers and corporate enterprises around the world. Ranked as the top telecom company in the 2009 Inc. Magazine 500 list and named a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer, Ruckus Wireless has realized dramatic growth. Since 2006, revenue and shipments have grown by over 1000 percent. Ruckus invented, and has patented, innovative state-of-the-art wireless technology that steers signals around obstacles and interference. This unique capability extends signal range and ensures consistent reliable distribution of delay-sensitive multimedia content and services over standard 802.11 Wi-Fi. The company has shipped over 2 million Smart Wi-Fi systems around the world and has raised $51 million in funding from premier investors such as Sequoia Capital, Focus Ventures, Sutter Hill, Motorola, T-Ventures, Telus Ventures and Firelake Capital. The company is led by Ms. Selina Lo, president and chief executive officer. For more information, visit Ruckus Wireless at

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SOURCE Ruckus Wireless