Boingo to equip 12 airports with AT&T’s mmWave 5G
Boingo Wireless, well known for its distributed antenna system (DAS) and Wi-Fi expertise, is bringing millimeter wave 5G connectivity from AT&T to 12 airports across the U.S.
Boingo CEO Mike Finley anticipates other carriers to follow in bringing 5G to airports.
FierceWireless spoke to Finley during an AT&T 5G media event this week, where he also joined a panel session discussing current and future applicability of 5G.
Boingo already serves major airports and large venues across the country, operating as a neutral host to provide connectivity through a variety of technologies with both licensed and unlicensed spectrum. It’s also working with the DoD for 5G on military bases.
The deal with AT&T includes busy hubs such as JFK International Airport, LaGuardia Airport, Chicago O-Hare International Airport and Midway International Airport.
AT&T plans to bring its mmWave “5G+” service to seven major airports this year and expand to 25 by the end of 2022. Most of AT&T’s millimeter wave holdings are in the 24 GHz and 39 GHz bands.
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As for adding 5G, Finley said it’s very complex – from both the spectrum side, as carriers’ respective bands can range from low 600 MHz to upper mmWave bands (and will be combined with unlicensed technology like Wi-Fi 6) – as well as new and more radios and antennas to set up. But Boingo doesn’t shy away.
“For us, the more complicated the better because not many people can do it,” he said. “It just takes a little time, a little more engineering to set up, but the end results are just phenomenal.”