San Diego State University (SDSU) awarded 15-year distributed antenna system (DAS) rights to Boingo Wireless to build, operate and maintain a 5G-ready, neutral host cellular DAS network for the university’s new Aztec Stadium, which is due to be completed for the 2022 football season.
According to Boingo, SDSU selected Boingo as the stadium’s DAS partner after a competitive review process where the company stood out for its 5G expertise and neutral host approach. Boingo says its neutral host strategy ensures that all Tier One cellular carriers can access the network.
From the sound of things, Boingo is going to be busy, deploying service throughout Aztec Stadium, including the playing field, seating areas, concourses, entry gates, press box, locker rooms, media center, administrative offices and the surrounding parking lots. The stadium is part of a $3.5 billion SDSU campus expansion project in the Mission Valley neighborhood of San Diego.
“The new Aztec Stadium will be a world-class sports and entertainment venue with world-class connectivity built for the 5G era,” said Boingo CEO Mike Finley in a statement. “We’re proud to enable the stadium’s tech-forward initiatives to keep guests connected — whether live-streaming kickoff, engaging on the Aztecs mobile app or using a mobile ticket.”
The award supports Finley’s expectation that there’s room for growth in the DAS space. While changes in the industry could lead one to question the future of DAS, he told Fierce last year that he didn’t see DAS doing anything but growing.
Indeed, the company added three new DAS venues in the second quarter, bringing its total at the time to 137 DAS venues. The DAS locations include NCAA, NFL, NBA and MLS stadiums across the country. With the addition of the Aztec Stadium, Boingo’s footprint expands to more than 30 venues in California across airports, stadiums, transportation hubs, multi-family communities and military bases.
During that call, Finley also said that with many venues closed during the pandemic, that’s enabled the company to get some work done and do some upgrades faster than it would have otherwise.
There’s no word on whether Boingo has found a buyer for all or part of its business. During its earnings conference call in August, CFO Peter Hovenier said the company was continuing to engage with “multiple interested parties” regarding a potential strategic transaction. Boingo reports third-quarter results on Monday, November 9.