Thailand's Largest Buddhist Temple Goes Wireless

Ruckus Wireless Smart Wi-Fi Selected to Cover Massive 80-Acre Facility, Supporting Over 100,000 Devotees at Wat Phra Dhammakaya

Sunnyvale, CA / Pathumthani, Thailand — Aug 25, 2010 — Ruckus Wireless™, the smart mobile networking company, today announced that Thailand’s largest Buddhist Temple, Wat Phra Dhammakaya, has completed the deployment of Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi products and technology throughout its massive 80-acre facility.

Situated at Tambol Klongsam, Klonglaung District, Pathumthani Province, Wat Phra Dhammakaya serves the congregation on Sundays and also hosts major religious festivals that attract over 100,000 devotees to the temple. These festivals created the need to set up service booths and video surveillance systems for crowd control, driving Wat Phra Dhammakya to look for an effective solution for supporting all these important applications by a robust Wi-Fi network.

The Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi system now supports operations and communications systems used for worship services by over 100,000 devotees, especially during major festival events. To cover its facilities, the temple has deployed a centrally managed wireless LAN (WLAN) system that includes 56 Ruckus ZoneFlex outdoor Smart Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n access points (APs) managed by a single ZoneDirector WLAN controller.

“Cost, performance and ongoing operation support were all major concerns for the temple,” said K. Kanokphoom Kantachai, Project Manager of Pantex Computer, which was appointed by the temple to offer all computer and network systems. “Providing Wi-Fi coverage across an 80-acre temple campus was unprecedented. Wat Phar Dhammakaya temple needed wireless network equipment that could go beyond just providing basic Internet access, offering stable wireless connections for its point-of-sale terminals and IP phone systems.”

Covering More with Less

“We picked several major brands’ Wi-Fi equipment and conducted trials of the POS terminals and phones during devotees’ gathering. Throughput, range and stability of the WLAN equipment were then tested. With its high-gain directional antenna array, Ruckus gave us the furthest range of coverage, therefore requiring fewer APs and Ethernet cable drops,” Kantachai said.

In Maharattana Viharnkata, which occupies 1,000 square meters of floor area for worship, 15 Ruckus ZoneFlex 2942 outdoor APs have been deployed. Across the Sabhadhammakaya Sakol, which serves as a functional area, 39 units of Ruckus ZoneFlex 2741 outdoor APs and two Ruckus ZoneFlex 7762 dual-band outdoor APs are deployed. These APs are centrally controlled by Ruckus Wireless’ ZoneDirector 3000 WLAN Controller.

Interference Mitigation with Smart Wi-Fi

“We conducted the trials at festival events so that we could more accurately predict any possible problems,” added Kantachai.

“A large percentage of a person’s body is comprised of water, which Wi-Fi signals can’t penetrate,” said Victor Shtrom, co-founder and chief RF architect at Ruckus Wireless. “This causes problems for conventional Wi-Fi systems that have no way to steer signals around such obstacles. With massive numbers of people this presents big problems for standard Wi-Fi.”

“We’ve spent years perfecting smart Wi-Fi systems designed to automatically steer Wi-Fi signals around obstacles as well as actively reject interference caused by devices that invade the unlicensed bands that Wi-Fi uses,” said Shtrom. “Our patented antenna arrays only transmit signals over paths we know deliver the highest performance and lowest packet loss for each client.”

Ruckus’ self-learning, self-optimizing BeamFlex adaptation algorithm selects the optimum antenna combination to steer each packet over the best path based on direct feedback from each client station. Learning from the feedback, if performance to a given client begins to degrade due to interference, obstacles or other environmental conditions, BeamFlex immediately adapts to the current optimum antenna combination, thereby avoiding problem signal paths to ensure the highest performance possible.

Wi-Fi Boosts Confidence and Flexibility

Ruckus’ Smart Wi-Fi system provides Wat Phra Dammakaya’s staff with more reliable and better connectivity and increases their productivity and efficiency when organizing large scale events and festivities. It also provides remarkable flexibility for temple staff to scale up the coverage of their wireless network free of hassle to expand their services and support functions to support high traffic events simultaneously in different locations. This includes the ability to deploy service booths and wireless surveillance cameras overnight without having to re-configure their network design.

Going forward, the temple envisages that the Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi network will support Wi-Fi phones for in-house communication, RFID badges and wireless panel displays for directional signage and monitoring vehicle traffic and parking availability.

“Using cables is expensive and inflexible to support such a massive campus. Setting up service booths and surveillance cameras for large scale worship festivities is too tedious and usually takes days or even weeks to test, configure and set up,” said Kantachai. “Only Ruckus offers cable-like reliability for integrating the myriad of network applications seamlessly, quickly and cost effectively.”

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