Ruckus Wireless has announced the launch of its dual-band concurrent ZoneFlex 7055 WiFi wall switch, the first of its kind in the world. 
The ZoneFlex 7055 WiFi wall switch gives hotel and resort operators an elegant, low-cost and inconspicuous solution that leverages their existing wired infrastructure, while enabling the delivery of high-speed WiFi to support an ever-expanding assortment of IP-based guest services over multiple virtual LANs (VLANs).
The only integrated solution in the industry to offer the simultaneous operation of 2.4 and 5GHz 802.11n WiFi along with wireless meshing, the ZoneFlex 7055 WiFi wall switch uniquely combines wired and wireless connectivity within a universal low-profile form factor (13,6cm square by 30cm deep) that fits into any standard United States or European electrical junction box, among others.
Since introducing the first 802.11n WiFi wall switch in 2009, Ruckus WiFi wall switches have now been installed in over 100 000 hotel rooms in some of the world’s most prestigious properties such as the Mandarin Oriental New York, the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort in the Bahamas, the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City, the Star City Casino in Sydney and the Ritz-Carlton Bahrain Hotel and Spa.
“The ZoneFlex 7055 now lets us better support new smartphones and future 802.11ac devices that only operate within the channel-rich 5 Gigahertz band,” says David Heckaman, VP of IT for Mandarin Oriental in North America.
“Like many hotels, the costs of running additional Ethernet cabling into every room to enable new services like IPTV while needing to provide a reliable WiFi experience we’re daunting. This new Ruckus WiFi wall switch will effectively solve these problems for us.”
One of the world’s most prestigious hotels, the five-star Mandarin Oriental New York, situated in New York’s Columbus Circle overlooking Central Park, is one of the first organisations to test the new ZoneFlex 7055 WiFi wall switch and has been using ZoneFlex 7025 WiFi wall switches in hundreds of its guest rooms.
“Since installing Ruckus WiFi wall switches, we’ve seen phenomenal improvements in performance and reliability,” says Heckaman. “But the ultimate endorsement has been the resounding silence we’ve heard from our guests. WiFi complaints are now the exception and not the rule.”
Mandarin Oriental New York is one of seven acclaimed Mandarin Oriental hotels that have now installed Ruckus Smart WiFi, including their properties in Tokyo, Manila, Jakarta, Sanya (China), London and Hong Kong.
Functioning as a standalone device or managed centrally by the Ruckus ZoneDirector wireless LAN (WLAN) controller, the ZoneFlex 7055 WiFi wall switch is an ideal solution for hotels, schools and large institutional organisations wishing to address the proliferation of 5GHz capable client devices like the Apple iPhone 5 and others, while continuing to support 2.4GHz and wired access.
Featuring dual 802.11n (2×2:2) radios and 16 virtual WLANs (SSIDs), the ZoneFlex 7055 WiFi wall switch offers up to 600Mbps of throughput. The ZoneFlex 7055 also features a Gigabit Ethernet uplink port, plus four front-facing Fast Ethernet ports that provide wired connectivity for guests, IPTV systems, and other networked in-room devices such as printers, minibars and environmental control systems.
The new Ruckus ZoneFlex 7055 delivers 802.3af Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) to power devices such as a VoIP phone, using one of its front-facing Ethernet ports.
An additional pass-through port allows direct wired connectivity for devices that need to bypass the Ethernet switch altogether or provide a guest with VLAN connectivity. It can be powered by 802.3af/PoE through the uplink port, which means only a single cable drop is required behind the wall. In the absence of PoE, a standard power adapter can also power the ZoneFlex 7055.
With support for Ruckus Wireless SmartMesh Networking, the ZoneFlex 7055 is an excellent solution for buildings where running Ethernet cable behind the walls is difficult or prohibitively expensive.
In-room wired and wireless access can be provided in several rooms, each hosting a single ZoneFlex 7055 powered by a power adapter and meshed with a centrally wired (root) access point (AP). Since only the root AP requires a cabled Ethernet uplink, multiple rooms are covered with just a single cable drop.