Ruckus Wireless, Equinox Telecom chosen to turn USS Midway Museum into 'wireless wonderland'

Ruckus Wireless, Inc. (NYSE: RKUS), in partnership with Equinox Telecom, said it has been selected by the USS Midway Museum to supply next generation 802.11ac Smart Wi-Fi products and technology to transform the visitor experience and guest engagement at one of the most visited maritime museums in the world.

The length of three football fields, the USS Midway, the longest-serving aircraft carrier of the twentieth century now docked in San Diego Bay, is as high as a 20-story building, weighing almost 70,000 tons with more than 200 exhibits, nine classrooms, shops and retail operations. The carrier contains 2,000 compartments. The surface of the flight deck alone covers more than four acres.

Serving millions of visitors since opening, the USS Midway viewed reliable and pervasive Wi-Fi as an essential utility to enhance the customer experience in a variety of ways. But given its location, size and solid-steel construction, delivering a robust wireless service was a huge challenge. The USS Midway wanted to give guests the ability to post their experiences in real-time to social media outlets from anywhere within the facility as well as to use their own smart mobile devices to access engaging content based on their location within the museum.

“The big problem we had was obvious,” said Joe Gursky, director of Information Technology at the USS Midway. “Because this is effectively a massive floating metal box constructed of the most RF-unfriendly materials you can imagine, we found it extremely challenging to deploy a reliable and ubiquitous Wi-Fi infrastructure capable of delivering all services we needed while supporting future services that would add tremendous value to the visitor experience.”

After evaluating a number of Wi-Fi products and technologies from Cisco, Aerohive and others, the USS Midway selected and began deploying Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi.

Because of the way its legacy Wi-Fi system was designed, unless visitors were right next to an access point it was almost impossible to maintain a consistent connection as signals interfered with each other and bounced all over the metal floors and ceilings and walls.

“Once we installed the Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi technology, those challenges disappeared,” said Gursky. “This opened the door for us to begin leveraging the Wi-Fi network as an electronic utility upon which we could build. Ruckus was the only system we found that was really designed with RF in mind to deliver the highest possible strength and coverage within the most difficult environments. Our use of the technology has completely validated this. We are now able to deliver fast, reliable Wi-Fi services where we just haven´t had them before.”

Headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA, Ruckus Wireless is a global supplier of advanced wireless systems for the rapidly expanding mobile Internet infrastructure market.