CIO East Africa (Nairobi)

13 February 2013

Africa: Wi-Fi Giving Education a Boost

Ruckus Wireless, Inc. (NYSE: RKUS) is making strides in the education industry - providing Wi-Fi to access hungry students across Africa says Michael Fletcher, sales director for Ruckus Wireless sub-Saharan Africa: "Schools and universities everywhere are looking beyond the current generation of Wi-Fi technology to support more users and diverse applications.

At the same time, today they are faced with greater financial and staff resource constraints. Many have found conventional WLAN technology to be overly costly and complex while delivering inconsistent performance and inadequate signal coverage - preventing many schools and universities from making Wi-Fi a ubiquitous multimedia communications utility that provides students with a better learning experience. With our Smart Wi-Fi, this is now history."

Ruckus Wireless Smart Wi-Fi technology uniquely eliminates the Wi-Fi barriers for schools with state-of-the-art technology that directs Wi-Fi signals only where needed and adapts transmissions around environmental problems such as interference. By controlling the form and direction of signal energy rather than radiating omni-directionally all the time, Smart Wi-Fi delivers higher reliability and more extensive coverage. Furthermore, it provides for a 'greener' Wi-Fi environment as fewer Access Points (APs) are needed to provide ubiquitous coverage.

Continues Fletcher: "As information becomes more borderless, flexibility and mobility are critical to increasing productivity and innovation. A WLAN facility that enables access and communications anywhere, anytime helps schools and universities increase enrollments and competitiveness by fostering a more collaborative and creative learning environment. In fact, technology has become an integral part of educating students all around the world. Gone are the days where a teacher would sit down with their class and teach using just a textbook, blackboard and piece of chalk. Students today can now enjoy the use of Tablets, and Internet in the classroom, offering a richer and more interactive learning experience."

With the right infrastructure, the installation of Wi-Fi technology in the academic arena can not only furthercollaboration and educational participation, but can also allow students toaccess the school's online portal where the teacher posts their homework or study material, actively engage with peers, and on the converse, allow their parents to keep track of their children's results. The introduction and increase of tablets that have the syllabus' applications installed also allows students to actively participate in the learning process.

"Wi-Fi is becoming more and more pervasive in South Africa and Africa alike with hotspots becoming readily available everywhere and it is no different in schools and campuses - where theflexibility, mobility and overall cost effectiveness of Wi-Fi is helping toprovide much needed access for students and facilitate the learning and creative process. We are likely to see this increase in 2013 and beyond," concludes Fletcher.

Ruckus Wireless solutions have been selected by a large number of universities in Africa including: The University of Namibia, University of Botswana, University of Mauritius, University of Nairobi and Strathmore University in Kenya. Schools in South Africa include, Crawford, Redhill and Herschel Girls School in Cape Town to name but a few.

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