Wednesday Wi-Fi Whispers: Ruckus Files for IPO, Qualcomm Stadium Gets DAS

It’s about as far from a whisper as you can get, but in the Wi-Fi world the big news of the week was Wi-Fi vendor Ruckus Wireless filing for a $100 million IPO last Friday. As you’ve read here earlier Ruckus is heavily involved with the growing market for big-space Wi-Fi (like stadiums, racetracks and other event areas) and with healthy revenues ($120 million in 2011) the long-rumored move became a reality with the SEC Filing that makes for such good hard-data reading.

The part we like the best in Ruckus’ S-1 is this bit about how big the market is getting for what Ruckus calls its “carrier class” Wi-Fi products:

According to Infonetics, the market for Wi-Fi networking solutions for carriers is expected to grow from $296 million in 2011 to $2.8 billion in 2016, representing a 57% compound annual growth rate. According to Gartner, the market for Wi-Fi networking solutions for enterprises is expected to grow from $3.4 billion in 2011 to $6.9 billion in 2016, representing a 15% compound annual growth rate. Carrier-class Wi-Fi addresses the needs of both of these markets.

Stadium and sports deployments probably fall somewhere in the middle of those markets, since many such deals are being done as partnerships between enterprises (teams) and carriers. But the good news for vendors like Ruckus is, there’s no getting away from the need for Wi-Fi. And the gear needs to be better than earlier technology to handle the needs of big events.

Qualcomm Stadium Gets AT&T DAS; N.Carolina State, U of Kentucky also get upgrades

We’ve always found it more than a bit ironic that Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, namesake of the chip giant, didn’t have any Wi-Fi to speak of and from what we heard, it had bad cell coverage too. That should change going forward at least a little bit thanks to a new DAS (Distributed Antenna System) deployment AT&T has installed at the home of the Chargers, which will bring AT&T’s new 4G LTE network to football fans in SoCal.

AT&T is also putting some cellular upgrades into college stadiums, including N.C. State’s Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, N.C., which is getting some of the cool new multi-beam antennas. The University of Kentucky‚Äôs Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Ky., is also getting an upgrade via an AT&T DAS, so SEC fans should be able to get their mobile game on better while cheering on the Wildcats.

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