Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi Update Promises To ‘Master’ VoWi-Fi Reliability

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Free software update manages and prioritises voice over Wi-Fi (VoWi-Fi) signals across Smart Wi-Fi infrastructure

Ruckus Wireless claims an update to its Smart Wi-Fi software will allow businesses to take advantage of Voice over Wi-Fi applications (VoWi-Fi) by ensuring those connected to a network can receive a reliable signal essential for real time communications.

VoWi-Fi is viewed by many operators as a more cost effective method of boosting indoor cellular signal than other technologies like femtocells, as it makes use of existing wireless infrastructure. A recent study by Cisco predicted VoWi-Fi will overtake Voice over LTE (VoLTE) in popularity by 2019 as more data is offloaded to wireless networks.

EE and Three are among the UK operators with VoWi-Fi plans, while many businesses are turning towards unified communications services to boost productivity and mobility.

VoWi-Fi enabler

Mobile phone business enterprise mobility management suit © Pressmaster ShutterstockRuckus hopes its innovations will ease any fears over reliability and promises its software will ensure VoWi-Fi is possible even in the most challenging of network environments, having already been tested by US operators T-Mobile and Sprint.

“The innovations we’ve made will improve the reliability and quality of Wi-Fi Calling applications, which enables both service providers and enterprises to extract greater value from their Wi-Fi infrastructure,” said Dan Rabinovitsj, chief operating officer at Ruckus Wireless. “While voice over Wi-Fi isn’t new, the ability to deliver a carrier-class voice service over Wi-Fi is something that no one has mastered, until now.”

Traffic prioritisation

The software update boasts a number of features designed to maintain call quality over a wireless network. Wi-Fi Multimedia Admission Control requires applications to request a certain amount of bandwidth before it can connect to an access point and capacity-based client access control will reject new connections if too many devices are already connected.

If a user cannot connect, a list of alternatives is provided to prevent users from connecting to the same access point if there are others better suited.

Voice traffic is prioritised over other types of data carried over the network and reliability is enhanced if the software is used in conjunction with Ruckus BeamFlex, which optimises signal paths for better speeds and reduced interference.

The free update is available immediately to access points, gateways and controllers that support the Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi firmware.

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