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Ruckus brings Wireless-N outdoor the smart way

Ruckus Wireless unveils first outdoor Wi-Fi system with dynamic beam forming.

The ZoneFlex 7762 outdoor Wireless-N access point Ruckus Wireless

Wireless-N has gone outdoor for a while now with Meraki and Tropos having taken turns to release their their products.

However, Ruckus Wireless on Monday announced new outdoor wireless products it claims to be "world's first and only outdoor dual-band 802.11n with dynamic beam forming." The new product, the ZoneFlex 7762 access point, is supposedly designed to solve problems that have hindered outdoor Wi-Fi deployments, including interference, physical obstructions, as well as network management complexity and cost.

The ZoneFlex 7762 is the company's first centrally managed, concurrent dual-band 802.11n (2.4Ghz and 5Ghz) outdoor access point. It's capable of sustaining performance of up to 150 Mbps over 1,000 feet between meshed nodes and up to 50 Mbps to client devices over 500 feet. It can also work in a group of multiple units that covers a large area, such as an apartment building complex.

The focus point of this new product is its dynamic beam-forming antennae that automatically direct transmissions to the best performing signal path, using real-time feedback mechanisms of 802.11 protocol. This allows the access point to constantly and intelligently adapt to changes in the environment that, as Ruckus claims, results in a three to four times improvement in terms of both range and throughput performance over other similar products. Ruckus also says that the ZoneFlex 7762 offers reliability comparable to wired connections.

The ZoneFlex 7762 supports both 802.3af and 802.3at power over Ethernet standards. The device even provides additional power over an Ethernet output port that can be used to connect and power devices such as an IP camera without additional cabling.

Designed for outdoor environment, the access point can withstand water submersion, is protected against dust, and can operate in temperatures ranging from -40°F to 149°F. It also has an integrated heater for use in cold climates.

In addition to the ZoneFlex 7762, the company also announced the ZoneFlex 2741, an 802.11g-based access point that has similar characteristics as the ZoneFlex 7762.

Both of these access points are available in August. The ZoneFlex 7762 is priced at $1,999, while the ZoneFlex 2741 costs $899.