At the CES show in January, Ruckus Wireless will demonstrate its streaming media, voice, and data wireless solution with 802.11n incorporated: The company has often trash-talked claims that 802.11n's increased bandwidth produces a natural solution for moving media and integrating many kinds of communication over the same wireless network. They have a point.
While the typical 802.11n network, in the version expected to be certified in spring, will offer 150 Mbps to 300 Mbps of raw speed, and more expensive, later versions will carry 600 Mbps of raw data, these speeds are highly dependent on the amount of available signal reflection, the distance between adjacent receiving clients, and the number of other Wi-Fi networks (new and old) nearby. To achieve the highest rates of speed, each spatial stream has to be fully employed using double-wide, 40 MHz channels. That will be possible intermittently even on the best networks.
Ruckus says that at January's Consumer Electronics Show (CES), they will show a set of devices that incorporates both 802.11n for speed and their proprietary technology that gets good reviews in its 802.11g version for keeping stutter-free video, drop-free voice, and consistent data pumping across a network. They even take shots at 802.11n in this press release, noting that "despite the periodic high bandwidth bursts, delay- or loss-sensitive applications such as streaming video or voice have remained elusive on "Pre-N" implementations."
As with all these systems, the proof will be in deployed home networks, which will likely come through the kind of partnerships the company already has in place with independent telephone companies and other operators that are deploying IPTV and converged services. But with claims of supporting HDTV streams, Ruckus might have a direct-to-consumer offering as well; it just depends how hard it is to uncouple digital media from digital rights management.
Ruckus's 802.11n system will use Atheros chips with a three-by-three array, which the chipmaker claims will offer 300 Mbps physical data rate and 150 to 180 Mbps of real-world throughput. It uses two data streams and three sets of receive and transmit antennas.