Wireless LAN gaining popularity in education

Meru Networks, Inc.,provider of 802.11nwireless LANsolutions, today announced that it has achieved record growth across the higher education, K-12, primary and secondary school markets.

Meru’s significant growth in sales in the education market since 2009 is driven by the company’s unique approach. Meru puts the network, not client devices, in control, enabling Air Traffic Control™ and Airtime Fairness™. Unlike client-controlled approaches to wireless, Meru’s System Director OS virtualizes the WLAN by pooling the access point resources, partitioning bandwidth and customizing the experience for each user based on device speed ad application need. Meru’s Air Traffic Control technology allocates bandwidth across the RF spectrum based on that need, while Meru’s Airtime Fairness makes it possible for high-demand applications and devices to have fair access to the bandwidth they require, without compromising lower-demand devices.

Students at all levels benefit from connected learning environments and interactive educational experiences whereby they can share ideas and communicate with other students and teachers. For example, in K-12 and primary school classrooms 1:1 laptop initiatives and online learning have quickly gained popularity for their ability to improve student performance. On campuses worldwide,wireless connectivityfosters collaboration with professors and fellow students, and enables more convenient and effective learning.

“Meru’s wireless network powers our 1:1 laptop initiative and has enabled next-generation learning environments where students and teachers thrive,” said Chris Carey, technology coordinator, Bellarmine College Preparatory. “Our kids engage with vast sources of educational content on laptops and tablets. Reliable wireless connectivity is critical. The Meru network is reliable and cost effective and it allows our teachers to focus on engaging the students with rich educational experiences rather than losing precious class time acting as the IT helpdesk.”

Universities, including Villanova University and Utah State University, are among the thousands of schools that have standardized on Meru for wireless access across their campuses. “Our job is to provide students and faculty with uncompromising network access–and we have to do so without incurring additional costs or overhead," said Robert A. Mays, director, network and communications, Villanova University. "We moved to Meru because we needed to scale our network quickly, without expanding our IT team. With Meru, we are able to provide reliable, high-performance wireless connectivity for our students and staff anywhere on campus.”

In-Stat forecasts that 1.9 billion Wi-Fi devices will be in use by 2014–presumably, many of these will find their way onto college campuses. Just months after the release of the first iPhone, Wakefield Research did a survey for the Wi-Fi Alliance, which found that 48 percent of college students would give up beer before giving up Wi-Fi. Seventy-five percent also said that Wi-Fi access helps them get better grades. The first iPad, released in April 2010, sold 3 million units in the first 80 days—a well-documented trend that continues today even as the iPad is joined by hundreds of other types of Wi-Fi devices. Today, virtually 100 percent of college students have at least one Wi-Fi device on campus at all times–and they’re all accessing network resources continuously and simultaneously. These campuses require a state-of-the-art wireless network that controls the way devices access network resources to meet this demand.