Federated builds private wireless networks in National Landing redevelopment

Federated Wireless has partnered with the infrastructure developer JBG Smith to deploy 5G private wireless networks in National Landing, an area in Northern Virginia encompassing parts of the Crystal City and Pentagon City neighborhoods of office buildings, residential high-rises and retail.

Federated is already headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, but it’s moving its office to National Landing — occupying about 36,000 square feet of office space — to be close to the project.

Kurt Schaubach, Federated’s CTO, said the whole National Landing area is undergoing a major transformation, which was largely ignited by Amazon’s decision to build its second national headquarters there.

He said the area “was getting kind of long in the tooth” and in a little bit of a state of decline. But it’s super prime real estate in the Washington D.C. metro with access to mass transit.

JBG Smith is the exclusive redeveloper of National Landing, although it’s working with several industry partners. JBG Smith’s National Landing portfolio includes 6.8 million square feet of existing office space, 4,439 residential units including those under-construction, and 6.5 million square feet of additional commercial, multi-family and retail development opportunities.

As part of its redevelopment, JBG Smith is creating a converged digital infrastructure platform that includes a dense neighborhood fiber network, edge data centers, indoor and outdoor public 5G and private 5G networks.

Private wireless
Federated is the vendor for the 5G private networks. Schaubach said, “As part of this multi-year partnership, we will be their exclusive partner to build private wireless networks. It’s going to be a huge growth engine for us.”

In 2020, JBG Smith paid $25.3 million to buy priority access license (PAL) CBRS spectrum from the FCC, covering all of Arlington County and the City of Alexandria, including National Landing. The area is anchored by the Pentagon, Amazon’s HQ2, Boeing’s global headquarters and Virginia Tech’s STEM innovation campus.

Schaubach said he expects many private wireless customers in National Landing will take advantage of JBG Smith’s PALs spectrum to anchor their networks, but they will probably also augment with GAA spectrum.

To begin, Federated and JBG Smith will create an interoperable 5G private wireless network showcase in National Landing to demo next-generation technologies including IoT, AI, advanced robotics, AR/VR, and edge and cloud computing.
“We will be developing a showcase to demonstrate the power and cutting-edge capability that private wireless can bring defense contractors, government, retail clients, residential tenants, smart cities, and other customers and citizens in the area,” said Chris Swan, chief commercial officer of Federated Wireless, in a statement.