Ruckus Solutions - Smart Cities
Using Wi-Fi to provide the wireless infrastructure for a Smart City
Smart Cities have become a very important topic in recent years. There are many different elements to a Smart City deployment of which one of the most important is broadband wireless connectivity. Cities want this connectivity to attract more businesses into the community, increase tourism, enable a host of new public services, and support internal city operations. There is also a very strong desire that these networks be "free", which tends to introduce business model challenges.
Many different business models have emerged to address the cost of these deployments, and different cities target different coverage areas. Many cities target the high volume, high traffic areas like downtown city centers, airports, transportation hubs, and convention centers, while others target the underserved areas in the community. Business models can include options totally funded by the taxpayers, options funded by service providers, and finally options that include some sort of public/private partnership. For MSOs, franchise agreements will sometime obligate the cable operator to buildout a Wi-Fi network in selected areas.
Regardless of the funding model there is always a desire that a carrier-class network be deployed. A free service still must be a high quality service, and for this reason Ruckus Wireless has been involved in SmartCity deployments all over the world. Included here is the Wickedly Fast deployment in San Jose, CA which is linked to the municipal Wi-Fi network deployed by the City of SF via a Hotspot 2.0 roaming agreement. Rukus is also involved in Project Isizwe in South Africa, which targets the underserved areas in that country with "free' Internet access. The goal here being to bridge the digital divide.
There are a wide variety of different business models that fund these programs and a wide variety of different objectives for these deployments.