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Moto, T-Mobile invest in Wi-Fi home networking startup

Tue, 10/10/2006 - 8:49am
Brian Santo, CED

Motorola, Deutsche Telekom and a handful of venture capital companies are investing a combined $16 million in Ruckus Wireless, which makes Wi-Fi routers designed for distributing not only data but also video and music within homes.

Separately, Ruckus Wireless introduced its MediaFlex NG router, which is based on the current generation of Wi-Fi technologies, but uses a multidirectional antenna to monitor different wireless paths for potential interference, switching to another route when static is detected.

While the problem of interference might be addressed by the introduction and use of 802.11n, that version of Wi-Fi is only beginning to be commercialized; Ruckus Wireless says its approach works now.

The MediaFlex router is based on the current generation of Wi-Fi technologies but uses a multidirectional antenna to monitor different wireless paths for potential interference, switching to another route when static is detected.

Ruckus Wireless said it will use Moto's and DT's money to expand production and marketing. The MediaFlex router, priced at $159, is being used by dozens of companies, predominantly rural IPTV providers.

The router is plugged into a set-top box provided by the phone company. The router then beams the signal to a laptop or desktop computer with Wi-Fi capabilities. A TV in another room also can pick up the signal using a $100 receiver.

Ruckus Wireless said it has been selected by the national telecommunications providers in Belgium and the Czech Republic to supply its MediaFlex system.

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