Ruckus Wireless™ today announced that Education Realty Trust (NYSE: EDR) has chosen its advanced Smart Wi-Fi products and technology to bring wireless broadband access to approximately 20,000 college students living in more than 30 of its collegiate housing properties across the United States.
Education Realty Trust (EDR), one of America’s largest owners, developers and managers of collegiate housing, is a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust that owns or manages 56 communities in 23 states, with more than 34,000 beds within more than 10,500 units.
The Smart Wi-Fi networks make it possible for these high-demand Internet “power users” to benefit from reliable, high-speed access for gaming, video streaming and Web browsing, regardless of building configurations or the number of users on the Wi-Fi network.
EDR operates on-campus and off-campus apartment communities, housing students, university staff and young professionals in residences ranging from one to four bedrooms, with upscale amenities and the latest technology offerings. Given the quality of EDR’s facilities, fast and flexible Internet access is high on students’ list of requirements for residential living.
“Our residents are some of the heaviest Internet users, and their bandwidth consumption is high – both day and night,” said Scott Casey, vice president of IT for Education Realty Trust. “With the increasing number of iPhones, iPads and other devices we are now seeing, high-speed access to the Internet throughout the property has become the number-one amenity they request from us – they indicate that it’s even more important to them than air conditioning.”
Prior to deploying Ruckus, EDR offered only hard-wired Internet access in the majority of its apartment complexes. According to Casey, it became critical for EDR to have a fast and reliable Internet service and Wi-Fi system in place, or risk losing residents to other collegiate housing complexes.
Smart Wi-Fi Serves Internet Power Set
With the help of its integration partner, Pavlov Media, EDR considered a number of other wireless providers before choosing the Ruckus Wireless ZoneFlex™ Smart Wireless LAN (WLAN) system. Casey says they chose Ruckus because of the price, performance and ease of use and management advantages the ZoneFlex system offered.
An additional selling point was Ruckus’ ability to handle a large number of concurrent clients and automatically load-balance across multiple access points (APs), a key capability in the college setting where Internet usage increases and decreases depending on time of day. Additionally, with Ruckus, EDR facilities can offer fast, reliable Internet access using fewer access points (APs) than with other Wi-Fi systems, making it a more cost-effective solution.
To cover an initial 17 properties, the EDR system will rely on over 1,200 ZoneFlex 7363 dual-band 802.11n APs, as well as one ZoneDirector controller for each site. Each Ruckus AP supports from three to five units with the goal of delivering 10 Mbps constant bit rate performance per client device. In places where fiber is unavailable, the APs are configured with Ruckus’ Smart Meshing technology to deliver the same range and performance as wired APs.
Managed Wi-Fi Services with FlexMaster
To oversee the entire network, Pavlov Media is providing complete systems integration and managed services for both the wired and wireless infrastructure. Pavlov provides service level agreement (SLAs) as well as non-stop, 24 by seven by 365 days a year network operations support to EDR. Services include device management and firmware upgrades, and end user, customer service and property management support.
SLAs cover, but are not limited to, call center response times, amount of connectivity within a given property, bandwidth to a given property, latency, and other critical metrics.
For the Wi-Fi infrastructure, Pavlov relies on the Ruckus FlexMaster system at its central corporate office to ensure adherence to SLAs. FlexMaster provides advanced reporting and detailed reports and statistics on a wide range of network attributes such as device connectivity, client associations, airtime utilization, client/AP uptime, client RSSI, traffic levels and potential throughput of the infrastructure over time.
“This is a large-scale Wi-Fi managed services story that nearly every major carrier is trying to figure out,” said Robert Grosz, chief sales officer and executive vice president of Pavlov Media. “FlexMaster allows us to manage, configure and monitor thousands of APs, controllers and entire indoor and outdoor wireless LAN environments from a single NOC. It’s years ahead in providing the kind of information essential to delivering carrier-class Wi-Fi service level agreements.”
With ZoneFlex in place, EDR is now providing 50-100 Mbps wireless broadband access to its student residents. The company expects to have all of its properties covered with Smart Wi-Fi by August 2011.
“The feedback from our initial deployments is that students are very happy with Wi-Fi performance, even when they are conducting data-intensive tasks like viewing videos or gaming,” Casey said. “Because robust Wi-Fi access is a must-have for students, Ruckus has given EDR a key advantage in this market. We can add high-performance Wi-Fi to the list of amenities we offer students.”
The Ruckus system/technology will further provide EDR with sufficient Wi-Fi to power additional services, such as video surveillance at its various properties, and Internet Protocol television (IPTV), which it’s currently beta testing at two apartment complexes. The company is also considering using the Wi-Fi network to monitor building entrances – for instance, providing notifications to security if doors have been left propped open in the residences.
Ruckus Wireless Smart Wi-Fi can overcome the physical and technical challenges of bringing high-performance Internet access to multi-unit housing. Smart Wi-Fi is developed with state-of-the-art adaptive antenna technology that extends signal range and automatically adapts to changes in the environment that degrade performance. Access points integrate a patented smart antenna array that focuses and directs Wi-Fi signals over the best signal path, automatically avoiding interference with other devices to ensure consistent performance and high data rates.
Unlike any other Wi-Fi technology, adaptive antenna arrays uses constant feedback from each client to ensure that the path selected is performing properly using standard acknowledgements built into the standard 802.11 protocol. The result is an adaptive system that minimizes packet loss, extends signal range and ensures more consistent performance at longer distances.
Ruckus Wireless can be found on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ruckuswireless and on Facebook at http://facebook.com/ruckuswireless. The company’s blog can be read at www.theruckusroom.net. Ruckus also has a YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/ruckuswireless .
About Education Realty Trust
Education Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE:EDR) is one of America’s largest owners, developers and managers of collegiate housing. EDR is a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust that owns or manages 56 communities in 23 states with nearly 34,000 beds within more than 10,500 units. For more information please visit the Company’s Web site at www.edrtrust.com.
About Pavlov Media
Founded in 1994 and Headquartered in Champaign, Illinois, Pavlov Media (www.pavlovmedia.com) is one of the nation’s largest private providers of broadband services (Video, Data and Voice) to multi-family real estate owners. In addition the company, through its citywide and regional networks, offers commercial grade services in several of its larger markets. Pavlov operates in 70 markets throughout the country. For information regarding this press release or the company please contact: Glenn Meyer, (425) 503-0943.
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 http://www.ruckuswireless.com.
Nancy MacGregor Hill