Does Wi-Fi Affect Cellphone Connectivity?

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“Does Boingo Wi-Fi affect my 3G/4G cellular connectivity while I’m at a Boingo hotspot?”

“I’m at an airport where Boingo manages the Wi-Fi network, and I think they’re blocking my cellular access to force me into buying Wi-Fi.”

We’ve fielded questions and comments like the above through our social media channels, so we’d like to share our response here on the Boingo blog for everybody to see.

The answer is no, Wi-Fi has no effect on cellular service. It’s technically impossible for Wi-Fi to interfere with cellular connectivity because each technology runs on different frequencies. Cellular service is delivered over licensed spectrum, meaning that your service provider owns its specific frequency range, to ensure they can provide service without interference. Also, it’s actually illegal for anyone to interfere with cellular transmission.

It is possible for things such as Bluetooth and microwaves to interfere with Wi-Fi, because they all use the same unlicensed spectrum frequencies. But none of those technologies can interfere with your cellphone Internet service.

We do want you to buy Wi-Fi – because it’s a great experience, not because we’ve tinkered with the cellular access.

Further reading:

About Melody Demel

Melody is Senior Manager, PR for Boingo Wireless, where she is responsible for media relations, brand building and thought leadership initiatives. Melody is a die-hard Nebraska Cornhuskers fan and retired NCAA DI college field hockey player.
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