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Telecom's initial pilot project, completed in less than 12 weeks, outfitted phone booths in holiday locations over this past Christmas in
December 2012 with
Ruckus ZoneFlex™ 7762 outdoor dual-band 802.11n access points (APs) to provide the public with free high-speed Wi-Fi access. Telecom is now expanding its solution to more of the 3,000 telephone booths it operates across the country.
Each ZoneFlex 7762 AP integrates an adaptive antenna array based on
Ruckus BeamFlex™ technology to deliver client devices much stronger Wi-Fi signals that can automatically adapt to obstacles and interference to increase wireless reliability and performance. Central management of the Ruckus access points is provided through the
Ruckus SmartCell™ Gateway (SCG) 200, a massively scalable and versatile wireless LAN (WLAN) platform.
"One of the biggest challenges that carriers often have has nothing to do with technology but everything to do with securing locations where the equipment can be deployed with power and backhaul," said
Selina Lo, president and CEO of Ruckus Wireless. "This is an extremely innovative and creative use of existing telecom assets that adds real value for both the subscriber and the carrier. Telecom
New Zealand joins a class of other telecom leaders, such as PCCW in
Hong Kong and Oi in
Brazil, who are embarking on similar projects to retrofit phone booths with Wi-Fi," concluded Lo.
Who Needs Change at a Payphone?
Any person with a Wi-Fi-capable
New Zealand mobile device can use the free trial Wi-Fi service in selected locations. Users simply connect to an open Telecom Wi-Fi Zone signal and are sent a TXT (SMS) message to register devices on the network. Users can connect up to five devices for free from one registered mobile number. Per customer data usage is capped at 1GB per day. The wireless traffic from each phone booth is backhauled predominately over fixed DSL or ADSL broadband lines. In some cases, wireless meshing is used to backhaul traffic.
Ruckus SmartMesh™ Networking technology allows Wi-Fi APs to automatically establish reliable and resilient wireless connections to adjacent APs that are connected to a fixed line network. This can speed deployment times and eliminate the cost and complexity of having to run cabling to every wireless access point.
"Like many operators around the world, we see Wi-Fi moving beyond simply hotspots and becoming a standard radio access network technology that customers like, want and value," said
Philip M. Ivanier, Head of Telecom Labs and Strategic Partnering for Telecom NZ.
Ivanier continued, "The Wi-Fi pilot with Ruckus has revealed a number of tangible benefits. Wi-Fi is clearly a fast and economical means to attract new subscribers. It gives existing subscribers more service locations, allowing us to quickly expand our service footprint. And the technology helps ease the burden by siphoning data traffic from the macro cellular network."