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Ruckus rolls out new technologies to empower schools

Ruckus Networks, newly acquired by CommScope, is working to improve digital learning, as well as address the e-cigarette epidemic, with new additions to its multigigabit access network portfolio.

Following the announcement, Ruckus will add the Ruckus R750 Wi-Fi 6 access point (AP) and ICX 7150-C10ZP switch, both of which are designed to address the increasing demand for capacity in a digital learning environment.

In addition, the company has entered into an Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem partnership with Soter Technologies to address the student health risk of vaping on school grounds.

Ruckus' high-capacity network products for schools

The Ruckus converged multigigabit network for schools and other capacity-challenged environments includes Ruckus R750 Access Point, dual-band, 4x4:4 (5GHz) + 4x4:4 (2.4GHz) with embedded IoT radios (BLE, Zigbee) and 2.5GbE support.

The R750 is optimised for high client-density classroom environments and supports the latest WPA3 Wi-Fi security standard.

The network now also includes the Ruckus ICX 7150-C10ZP Access Switch, a 10-port compact, fanless switch with 1, 2.5, 5 and 10GbE access ports, four of which are PoE-enabled with 90W.

The ICX 7150-C10ZP can be stacked with other ICX 7150-family switches within a single wiring closet or across closets or classrooms.

Educators and other professionals also have more control with the Ruckus SmartZone Network Controller and the Ruckus IoT Controller.

The former allows users to manage Ruckus APs and switches through a single interface, including both physical or virtual converged management appliances.

Available today, the SmartZone Network Controller is a unified management platform for the ICX7150 and R750.

The Ruckus IoT Controller, on the other hand, is a virtual controller, deployed in tandem with a Ruckus SmartZone network controller, that performs connectivity, device and security management functions for non-Wi-Fi devices.

Responding to a growing demand

According to Ruckus, there is a growing demand for technologies such as this. The company states that by 2022 most primary and secondary schools will deliver 50% of their curriculum digitally.

Therefore, as schools undertake the transition to digital learning, Wi-Fi networks are quickly overtaxed due to initiatives such as 1:1 computing, bring your own device (BYOD), as well as the simultaneous growth of IoT sensor networks for building automation and security.

Furthermore, the use of video for digital learning, online collaboration and campus safety exerts more capacity demand on Wi-Fi networks.

Working in tandem with CommScope’s power-over-ethernet (PoE) cabling, the new Ruckus products meet the capacity and requirements of a modern digitally-enabled school, the company states.

Working with Soter Technologies for sensor tech

To address the increasing epidemic of ‘vaping’, Ruckus is working with Soter Technologies to bring sensor systems that detect vaping, smoke and noise disturbances into schools.

With these sensors, schools are better able to monitor for e-cigarette use, including in areas such as restrooms where cameras cannot be placed.

Ruckus has integrated Soter’s FlySense family of real-time sensors into the Ruckus IoT Suite, enabling alerts to be sent to this centralised IoT dashboard when vaping is detected.

School staff may choose to enable such an alert to trigger actions by other devices, such as a nearby hallway camera, managed by the IoT Controller, by making use of the embedded rules engine, the company states.

Soter Technologies founder and CEO Derek Peterson says, “Fly Sense is a tool that allows high schools and middle school administrators to respond to the growing vaping epidemic happening across the nation and internationally. Together we will bring this important technology to more schools.”

Ruckus Networks senior vice president of worldwide sales Bart Giordano says, “Digital learning, the vaping epidemic and overall student safety are top of mind for school administrators and principals."

“Schools are turning to Ruckus to provide converged network and IoT solutions that support both their digital learning and student safety initiatives. We are committed to the primary and secondary education markets and will continue to innovate to help schools meet their digital learning, student safety and wellness objectives,” says Giordano.