Author Archives: Dave

About Dave

With over 25 years' experience in the cutthroat telecommunications and Internet arenas, Dave has developed a knack for adventure — and a need for speed — in the boardroom, on the road and in the wild. An avid mountain biker and vintage racecar driver, though born in the midwest, Dave is right at home in LA — and he loves the fact that only a couple hours separate him and a good wine tasting in Napa Valley!

Featured Article

This guest post is authored by Scott Phillips, Boingo’s Vice President of Airports. Airports are prioritizing improving the passenger experience, and there’s a specific trend that is prompting airports to re-evaluate communication strategies and initiatives with passengers.

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Boingo Named A Best Place to Work in Los Angeles

Yesterday we learned Boingo has been named one of the Best Places to Work in Los Angeles by the Los Angeles Business Journal and the Best Companies Group. While it’s always gratifying to win awards, this one is particularly meaningful, because it’s an awesome tip of the hat to something we put a lot of effort into—making Boingo a place where people really want to work. A place where people feel rewarded, valued, and empowered.

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The Spirit of Boingo

According to the corporate consulting firm Bain, winning cultures combine two key elements—high performance values and behaviors + unique personality and soul. We know we have both. From the founding of the company in 2001, culture came first at Boingo. We built our culture as thoroughly as we built our Wi-Fi network. We consciously built a company where people wanted to work and people would succeed.

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The Endless Journey: How To Build A Great Company

Four years ago, I had the great privilege of standing alongside an amazing leadership team in New York City as Boingo rang the NASDAQ opening bell in celebration of going public. As anyone involved in a venture-backed business will tell you, the road from start-up to IPO is incredibly difficult. In fact, only 5% of VC-backed companies ever go public. So the fact that Boingo succeeded where so many others have failed was not simply the result of a great idea, good timing, sound leadership and patient investors. It included plenty of luck, too. And believe me, every one of us who had a hand in Boingo’s journey from start-up to IPO felt very lucky that day. But in many ways, it was a day like any other. That’s because – as I shared with our team many times – “going public” was never Boingo’s ultimate goal. It was just one more step in the ongoing journey of building a great company. That’s really important. Because if we felt we’d “arrived” on May 3, 2011, then we wouldn’t have been prepared to take on the significant headwinds that blew our way not long after going public. Boingo was built on

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A Big Day at Boingo

It’s a big day at Boingo! The office is buzzing today. For a lot of reasons. We started the day with the announcement of our multi-year agreement with Sprint. This relationship will bring blazing-fast connectivity to millions of Sprint customers through “Wi-Fi offload.” As pioneers in the Wi-Fi space, carrier Wi-Fi offload is a promise we’ve been working toward for years, and that day is finally here. As more and more consumers have more and more mobile devices that consume more and more bandwidth, the pressure on cellular networks intensifies. By offloading mobile traffic to unlicensed spectrum – in this case, carrier-grade Boingo hotspots – forward-thinking carriers like Sprint will deliver a better mobile experience to their customers. Here’s how it works: Sprint devices within proximity of a Boingo hotspot will automatically connect to our Wi-Fi network, seamlessly and securely. It will be invisible to the consumer – there is nothing she needs to do – no software to download, no passwords to remember, no hoops to jump through. It just happens. As Sprint’s CTO Stephen Bye said, “By enabling our customers to move seamlessly between secure Wi-Fi and cellular, our customers will have a better mobile experience in more

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Hello, Project Fi: Google Launches Cell Phone Service Featuring Wi-Fi

It’s an exciting day to be in Wi-Fi! Today, Google announced Project Fi, a new wireless service that will mix traditional cellular service (provided by Sprint and T-Mobile) with Wi-Fi service (free and open public hotspots). “Wherever you’re connected to Wi-Fi — whether that’s at home, your favorite coffee shop or your Batcave — you can talk and text like you normally do,” wrote Nick Fox, Google’s vice president of communications products, in a blog post. “If you leave an area of Wi-Fi coverage, your call will seamlessly transition from Wi-Fi to cell networks so your conversation doesn’t skip a beat.” Google’s move into a Wi-Fi based wireless service helps prove once again that the “Wi-Fi First” world is a reality. There is now more mobile data traffic on Wi-Fi than cellular, and that is expected to accelerate over the next several years. Wi-Fi First products that were being led by start-ups like Republic Wireless and FreedomPop are now amplified by heavyweights such as Cablevision and T-Mobile. With Google and Project Fi jumping in to the mix, it is clear that the separation of cellular and Wi-Fi is now gone. By enabling seamless connectivity between cellular and Wi-Fi – like

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Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Dear Boingo Customers, Friends and Family, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! As we wind down 2011, I thought I’d take a moment to express gratitude, reflect on the year, and reinforce our 2012 efforts as a company. On behalf of the Boingo team, thank you for supporting the company. Boingo is fortunate to have a customer community who celebrates our successes, engages with us through our social channels, and provides feedback for improvement. Your involvement is a big motivator in our efforts to deliver the best Wi-Fi service possible. 2011 was quite a year for Boingo, most notably because of our IPO in May. This year also marked our ten-year anniversary. The past decade has flown by, and I’m proud we’ve built a sustainable company for the long term. In 2011, we also made great strides toward our strategic goals. We grew from 200,000+ to 400,000+ Wi-Fi hotspots worldwide through existing and new partnerships. We deployed additional Boingo-operated networks in new types of venues including stadiums, malls and restaurants. We launched Wi-Finder, an app that helps you find and connect to free and Boingo hotspots. We expanded our portfolio of gadgets we support. We introduced more flexible Wi-Fi plans and payment options. We

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Boingo is a Mashable Awards Finalist

We’d like to thank everyone who nominated Boingo Wireless for the 4th Annual Mashable Awards, and we’re delighted to be among the top five finalists for Best Social Media Customer Service! Voting is in full swing from now until December 15, 2010. Mashable has designed the process so supporters can vote every day through Twitter and Facebook. We’d be honored to earn your vote. While it would be fantastic if Boingo won the Mashable title for Best Social Media Customer Service, I’m thankful we’ve been recognized, both as a finalist and a case study in Mashable’s recent article, “3 Examples of Stellar Social Media Customer Service.” These nods to Boingo indicate we’re on the right path to serving your customer care needs. The good folks at Mashable recently interviewed us about our customer care approach. Below, I’ve shared our reply. Feel free to post comments. We like it when you connect with us. What inspired you to start using social media for customer service? We believe there’s a distinction between customer “service” and customer “care.” Customer service means you’re doing just that – servicing a customer. It’s old school. It’s doing the minimum. We like to think of ourselves as

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Social Media For Business: A Marketing or Customer Care Strategy?

There seems to be growing debate among businesses over whether to use social media as a marketing or customer care channel. While I can’t speak to what’s best for other organizations, I’ll share with you what seems to work for Boingo and our customers. Boingo’s social media efforts are geared primarily at providing support to customers. We’re in the business of keeping people online. If our customers encounter difficulty, we want to know and we want to fix it. It’s that simple for us. Customers contact us by phone, email, and increasingly via Twitter and Facebook. We want to be where our customers are so, for example, if they choose to tweet to us for help, they can count on us to tweet a reply. When we’re not answering questions or troubleshooting via our social media channels, we’re secondarily focused on having a conversation with our community. Since Boingo customers are predominantly travelers and/or tech enthusiasts, we post news about travel and technology. We’re often delighted by the conversations and debates spurred by these news items. On occasion, we use Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to post news about Boingo, e.g., new hotspot locations, partnerships, software updates, product integrations and most

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The iPad: Just a Fun Toy or a Game Changer?

When Apple pre-announced the iPad, I was disappointed at what appeared to be an iPod Touch on steroids. I didn’t understand what was so “revolutionary” and “magical” about it. Now that I’ve been using the iPad for a couple of weeks, I get it. The device does live up to the hype. In fact, I like it better for just about every online activity…watching a video, e-reading (even over the Kindle), typing out a business email, gaming or just plain web browsing. My iPad sits on the coffee table in our family room so that it’s always within reach, and I find that I prefer it to my laptop and other mobile devices (which include an iPhone and a Nexus One). It’s fun, intuitive, and magical. I love my iPad (as you can see from the photo that my wife took). So far, my only complaint about the iPad is that it’s heavy. As a lap device, it’s fine. But if it’s not resting or propped against something, it’s a bit cumbersome. I’ve read some reviews that suggest the iPad is only for certain usage scenarios such as home entertainment. I disagree. I think the iPad will eventually find its

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A Big Fat Apology

On Saturday, an email campaign that we were testing went terribly, terribly awry. (Think Hal taking over in 2001: A Space Odyssey.) If you received an email message (or many, many messages) from us about your account status, kindly disregard it. We’re terribly sorry for any confusion or inconvenience this might have caused. In the annals of Email Marketing Fiascos, this ranks right up there, and for that we’re embarrassed and appreciate your understanding. If you’d like additional information, or have some questions, please check out our frequently asked questions here. Sincerely, Dave Hagan President & CEO