Ruckus, Smartac Building Smart Stations for China’s Railway System


Ruckus Smart WiFi Networks is Being Deployed at Over 300 Passenger Railway Stations in Beijing, Guangzhou, and Lanzhou as part of Massive Systemwide Upgrade

Ruckus Wireless, Inc. is working with Smartac Group China Holdings Limited (Smartac) to help build Ruckus Smart WiFi networks covering more than 300 passenger stations for three major railroad systems in China—Beijing, Guangzhou, and Lanzhou.

Ruckus Wireless is showcasing its latest product innovations at the ongoing ICT mega event, CommunicAsia 2015 happening in Singapore.

The ongoing deployment is part of a long-term project to upgrade wireless networks across China’s vast passenger railway transportation system. These Ruckus Smart WiFi networks will not only provide a high-performance wireless Internet access experience for railway passengers, they will also provide comprehensive, real-time passenger data for railway station operators.

The entire project is designed to make China’s railway passenger stations “Smart stations.” These new Smart stations are part of the emerging global trend to create Smart cities. The concept involves using state-of-the-art communications technology that improves municipal operations and services to enhance the way of life for residents and visitors of major urban centers.

Smartac Group is one of the most experienced ‘new-generation’ mobile Internet gateway providers in China. As one of the largest service providers of wireless networks for China’s railroad passenger stations, Smartac business includes 379 of the busiest stations in two municipalities, Beijing and Tianjin.

Smartac also provides network services to 11 other provinces and autonomous regions (Gansu, Guangdong, Guizhou, Hunan, Hubei, Hebei, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Shandong, Shaanxi, and Shanxi), serving 2 billion passengers a year.

China has a huge number of daily railway passengers, armed with mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. These commuters are increasingly demanding free, reliable WiFi service in order to connect to the Internet and perform various tasks whenever, wherever. This requires a smarter WiFi network infrastructure to provide more reliable service across China’s massive railway system.

Smartac has already completed deployment of Ruckus Smart WiFi networks at one Beijing Railway Bureau station, 100 Guangzhou Railway (Group) Corporation stations, and at four Lanzhou Railway Bureau stations.

Future deployments at 70 additional Guangzhou Railway (Group) Corporation stations are planned next, in addition to more Lanzhou, and Beijing Railway Bureau passenger stations. Future deployment plans also include adding the Ruckus virtual SmartZone™ (vSZ) controller for highly scalable network management in the cloud.

Smartac chose Ruckus Wireless as its wireless network infrastructure vendor because of the company’s expertise in helping to successfully build large-scale, high-density and high-capacity Smart WiFi networks like these. Ruckus was also chosen for its ability to provide stable, reliable WiFi performance in environments that experience high levels of radio frequency (RF) interference.

“The quality, performance and reliability of Ruckus products and technology were the most important reasons Smartac chose Ruckus as its partner,” said Jason Kwan, executive director of Smartac Group. “Ruckus access points have a proven track record of successfully handling high levels of concurrent RF traffic in environments with strong interference, such as China’s railway stations. We were very comfortable and satisfied in choosing them to help us deploy these new wireless networks across the country.”

For the initial Guangzhou Railway (Group) Corporation deployment at 100 of its stations, Smartac has deployed more than 1,500 Ruckus ZoneFlex™ dual-band indoor access points (APs), centrally managed with Ruckus ZoneDirector™ 5000 and ZoneDirector 3000 controllers. For the Beijing Railway Station and four Lanzhou West Stations, Smartac has deployed 78 and 130 ZoneFlex indoor access points, respectively. Ruckus ZoneFlex APs leverage patented BeamFlex™ adaptive antenna technology to continuously help mitigate interference in order to deliver optimal WiFi coverage, especially in high-density environments. Ruckus Smart WiFi deployments can provide better, more reliable coverage using fewer access points, compared to products from other vendors, which effectively reduces deployment costs for Smartac.

According to data from the Guangzhou South Railway Station, during peak hours, the station has approximately 1,300 concurrent users. Highest data usage has been measured at up to 36 Gbps per hour, which has reached 2.2 Terabytes in 24 hours.

Ruckus Smart WiFi networks deployed by Smartac not only meet the demands of China’s passenger railway users for reliable, high-performance WiFi, they are also enabling Smartac to generate additional revenue by partnering with advertising agencies to further utilize these networks.

Ruckus Wireless has extensive experience in building Smart WiFi networks for China’s transportation industry.

In addition to these ongoing deployments with Smartac, Ruckus has helped successfully build Smart WiFi networks for eight passenger railway stations within Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanjing and Hefei run by the Shanghai Railway Bureau. Ruckus has also helped to deploy the Smart WiFi networks for China’s two largest airports—the Beijing Capital International Airport and the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, in addition to Japan’s Kansai International Airport (KIX). The Beijing Capital International Airport handles 83.69 million passengers a year, and its counterpart in Guangzhou handles 52.65 million passengers a year. The new Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi network at KIX serves more than 50,000 travelers every day, and served over 19 million travelers in 2013.