Monday, July 4, 2011

KDDI Picks Ruckus for Extensive Wi-Fi Offload Strategy

KDDI Corporation has selected Ruckus Wireless to supply Wi-Fi products for what is described as "the world's first and largest "instant on" Wi-Fi access and mobile data offload service." The goal is to offload mobile data traffic from its cellular network while providing subscribers with seamless, high-speed wireless access throughout Japan.

Subscribers of KDDI's packet flat rate plans can now use the new KDDI "au Wi-Fi SPOT" service free of charge with their au Android smartphones in over 10,000 locations initially, scaling to 100,000 locations by March 2012.

KDDI subscribers are automatically authenticated to KDDI au Wi-Fi hotspots using credentials embedded within each phone over secure and encrypted connections.KDDI is introduceing bundled plans that include both 3G and Wi-Fi traffic in a variety of options. The charging is unified, and access to both 3G and Ruckus-driven Wi-Fi networks is a single seamless experience.

KDDI's new Wi-Fi overlay leverages its national WiMAX network to backhaul data traffic from each Wi-Fi hotspot to KDDI's mobile network core. Each Ruckus ZoneFlex Wi-Fi access point (AP) connects wirelessly to KDDI's WiMAX infrastructure. KDDI's initial focus is offloading data traffic indoors. For its first phase, KDDI is deploying more than 10,000 Ruckus ZoneFlex 7363 and 7341 dual-band 802.11 indoor access points in venues throughout Japan. A WiMAX router connected to each ZoneFlex 7300 via a USB port. KDDI is using Ruckus controller and network management systems to centrally manage ZoneFlex APs, and the Ruckus FlexMaster Wi-Fi system management platform to provide statistical traffic analysis, reporting and troubleshooting on a national scale.

"Dramatic changes in customer behavior and the related growth in mobile data traffic from the use of smartphones are having a profound impact on user expectations, service delivery and network infrastructure build-out," said Tadashi Egawa, head of KDDI's Service Development and Wi-Fi Business Strategy Department.

"We selected Ruckus products and technologies because they not only outperformed competitive alternatives but were specifically designed to be easily managed and scaled to support service provider infrastructures such as ours," said Egawa. "Ruckus Wi-Fi technology is delivering much better coverage, interference mitigation and deployment flexibility that we couldn't find in any other supplier and at a cost point that enables nationwide deployment. They meet our needs and specifications for carrier grade equipment."