Bring the Ruckus: Next-Gen WiFi Solutions to Drive Guest Satisfaction

TORONTO—Fast, free and strong WiFi is a must-have for travelers as they bring along with them a host of devices for working, playing and streaming their favorite content while away from home. It’s no longer an option for hotels, but a demand. Striving to help hoteliers meet guests’ wireless expectations is Sunnyvale, CA-based Ruckus, a business unit of Brocade, a provider of networking solutions. At HITEC Toronto, Ruckus unveiled its fourth generation wall-mounted access point (AP) made to deliver fast and dependable WiFi.

The Ruckus H320 all-in-one AP and switch has the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 technology, enabling guests to simultaneously connect multiple devices to hotel WiFi networks. The H320 AP is a cost-effective alternative to the IoT-ready H510 AP and the DOCSIS-enabled, wall-mounted C110 AP and switch for use in hotels where only coax is available. In addition, property managers are empowered to connect wired devices such as VoIP telephones and IP-ready televisions without dedicated per-device cabling.  

“We have a business vertical in the hospitality market and it’s quite critical to the company. We’re a leader in hospitality WiFi, bringing our idea of switching to the market. We have managers on the general engineering team and I focus on hospitality,” said Matthew FitzGerald, director, hospitality systems engineering, Ruckus Wireless. “Ruckus has had a real stakeholder position in the industry, working with major brands worldwide. With the mobile revolution, hotels really found themselves scrambling to offer better WiFi, and we came out with a solution that brought it closer to the guest with a small AP—and now we’re four generations later.

Among the offerings are the H510 and C110. FitzGerald pointed out that Ruckus is the only company in the industry adding a third model to the wall plate AP, which is the H320.

“It is the latest technology in the IEEE standards, has two Ethernet ports and 1 gig uplink. It’s powered through PoE [Power-over-Ethernet] and plugged into the wall in guestrooms. One of the beauties is IP voice or IP TV. Instead of pulling a new cable, they can use the jack and put in H320. We’ve been leading the push for in-room AP,” said FitzGerald. “We have three products. Why? We’ve had a lot of conversations and we sell to hotels worldwide, ranging from five star to two star, and the challenge is people want one product that solves all of their problems.”

Acknowledging there is no one size fits all approach, Ruckus has multiple options for a variety of hotel needs, no matter the property size or budget. “We see a lot of markets that are very price aware, such as part of Asia, Middle East, Eastern Europe and Africa. We see places where there is a desire for cost-effective product,” he said. “We talked to Hilton and Marriott about their needs and they said, ‘We love the H510 but it doesn’t solve all our problems,’ so we have H320. Ruckus has tiered products to provide the right product for the right application.”