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Swivelling Eye-of-Sauron style WiFi maker preps $100m IPO

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Wi-Fi signal booster biz Ruckus Wireless has set in motion a $100m stock market debut, and hopes to be listed early next year.

The company requested the stock symbol RKUS but didn't specify how many shares will be sold nor which exchange will host the listing - the fields are blank in the initial public offering paperwork filed with US regulators. The registration fee is specified and indicates a maximum listing of $100m.

Breaking with Silicon Valley tradition, Sunnyvale-based Ruckus is already making money and turning a profit in the first half of this year in a trend that shows every sign of continuing. Annual revenue is growing: the company took $120m in 2011 compared to $75m in 2010, up 60 percent year on year.

Ruckus makes directional Wi-Fi technology, which is incorporated into wireless routers and access points to point the radio signal in the right direction thus improving connectivity while reducing the need to bump up transmission power. The basic concept - having multiple antennas and switching between them depending on where the user is - is deceptively simple, but the implementation is a little more complicated.

The beauty of the Ruckus tech is that client devices are not aware that clever stuff is going on. So a punter's laptop, phone, tablet or iDevice is tracked as it moves around the office, but it isn't required to support directional signalling.

Ruckus isn't alone in doing that, even Cisco is in on the directional act these days, and Ruckus also competes with Meru and Aruba Networks, not to mention the 802.11ac standard that mandates standardised beam forming (as the technique is known). But despite that, Ruckus is an innovator and is prepared to paste the faces of its senior management over bizarre pop hit Gangnam Style, which surely counts for something. ®

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