Besides announcing tomorrow’s launch of its 5G Ultra Wideband service in Phoenix, Arizona, Verizon disclosed today that it’s working with Boingo Wireless to bring its 5G service indoors and to public spaces like airports, stadiums, arenas, office buildings, hotels and other venues.
Verizon said it’s working with Boingo to architect a “hyper-dense network designed for large and small indoor spaces” as part of Verizon’s ongoing 5G network expansions. The deal involves Boingo’s cellular/distributed antenna system (DAS) business, and does not comprise its Wi-Fi offload business, which is a separate area in which it works with U.S. carriers.
“Boingo is thrilled to work with Verizon to bring its 5G Ultra Wideband service to our venue partners. This is an exciting step for our business that will fuel an enhanced guest experience at our venues and set the stage for future growth at Boingo,” said Boingo CEO Mike Finley in a statement.
The companies didn’t reveal many details, including the number of venues/markets or the length of their collaboration.
In the past, Boingo has explained that carrier offload for Boingo is when a carrier like Sprint puts traffic on the network and Boingo collects revenue on a per-megabyte basis. Separately, with its service provider business, Boingo runs the network on behalf of a carrier, and that typically involves a monthly fee to Boingo. To be clear, the Verizon announcement did not mention any fees or other terms.
Boingo revealed earlier this year that it passed a milestone by deploying 10 new DAS networks in the second quarter in partnership with Tier 1 carriers. The deployments were at high traffic venues throughout the U.S., boosting the company’s total live DAS venues to 69.
Finley explained during the company’s second-quarter conference call that it’s deploying the technology that makes sense for a given venue, whether that's 5G, 4G LTE with a 5G upgrade path, Wi-Fi 6, private LTE, CBRS or other wireless technology that evolves.
“We are not a Wi-Fi company. We are not a cellular company,” he said, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript. “Boingo is a wireless infrastructure company with long-term wireless rights to the venues in which we operate, which means every type of wireless technology is a potential opportunity for us.”