Boingo Calls for Convergence at Mobile World Congress 2017

Pioneer in Wireless Connectivity Outlines Vision for Networks of the Future; Will Present at the MulteFire Alliance’s Mobile World Congress Event; and Teams Up with Mastercard to Offer Wi-Fi as a Valuable Cardholder Perk

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 23, 2017Boingo Hotspot Blog.

  • A Call for Convergence: A Manifesto

A seamlessly connected society. New environments that drive social and economic development. Smart cities, smart homes, smart bodies. A vast world of possibilities yet to be imagined.

This is our vision.

Since 2001, Boingo has been a pioneer in wireless connectivity, driving innovation in both licensed and unlicensed spectrum. Today, as we survey the ever-evolving wireless landscape, it is clear that we are at a tipping point. The physical and digital worlds are coming together at a pace that requires new thinking, new paths forward, and a new way of working together.

We have the opportunity to leap into the next decade of innovation. But it will require all of us, as a wireless industry, to work in concert. And it will begin with a deep commitment to convergence at every level.

We submit the following:

Convergence will propel our connected lifestyles.

Mobile is no longer a device, it’s a lifestyle. Our phones, tablets, cars, refrigerators – even our pets are connected 24/7. Mobile data consumption is skyrocketing—and forecasters predict it will grow sevenfold by 2021. Our current licensed infrastructure can’t support the coming tsunami of data, so we must embrace new converged solutions that can survive the extraordinary pressures coming our way. The lifeboat has two paddles: one labeled “licensed” and the other labeled “unlicensed.” We’ll need both to survive the storm.

Convergence makes the connected world of tomorrow possible. 

Powering a new generation of connections requires access to more airwaves. This is why the upcoming 5G capacity will be based on the unified aggregation of multiple bands. The industry has largely accepted that this will include the convergence of licensed and unlicensed spectrum, as 5G is not economically practical without coexistence.

Merging licensed and unlicensed networks gives us more throughput, reduced latency, better coverage and lower costs. Convergence opens a larger pool of airwaves, creating more lanes and less RF congestion. This is a win-win as it allows us to answer the demand for more mobile data, more wireless connectivity and new horizons. The best part? Users will not know if their connectivity is coming from licensed or unlicensed bands as networks will be blended through a centralized controller.

Successful convergence calls for unlicensed spectrum.

Data-heavy innovations like M2M communication, autonomous vehicles, virtual reality, and instant streaming demonstrate both the potential and the challenge to our networks. To solve the data onslaught, industry players like the MulteFire Alliance and LTE-U Forum are working on new network trials and deployments where unlicensed technologies are front and center.

Wi-Fi in particular is crucial for enabling next generation networks the ability to handle 5G requirements that include one gigabyte of speed, one millisecond of latency and extraordinary user demand. But it doesn’t stop there. The unlicensed wireless portfolio is full of frequencies we can take advantage of for a more seamless connected experience. Short range, medium range and long range unlicensed technologies such as WiGig, Wi-Fi HaLow and LoRa have shown encouraging momentum for facilitating broad interoperability and roaming capabilities—key attributes for deployments like IoT and smart homes. Unlicensed means more power, more signals, more range and more connected opportunities. Its already made significant impact and will continue to push us forward.

There’s no “I” in convergence.

Mobile network operators, carriers, OEMs, device manufacturers, government entities, cable operators—we’re all in this together. The new wireless frontier is at our fingertips and together we are at the cornerstone of influencing tomorrow’s converged network. We must depend on each other; challenge each other; and leverage our strengths.

We stand for championing convergence and accomplishing incredible things.

Together we’re better. Let’s start now.

“This manifesto is our vision for making the connected world of tomorrow possible and puts forward a call to action that asks for industry collaboration to design networks for the future,” said Dr. Peterson. “Unlicensed pushes the boundaries of the wireless experience and when working in unison with licensed, can support a richer and more flexible set of networks that open up a larger pool of airwave capacity. Boingo stands for smart networked connectivity and we look forward to the aggregation of bands on all sides of the spectrum.”

At Mobile World Congress 2017, Boingo will be discussing the power of convergence and presenting at the MulteFire Alliance’s Business Opportunities Event on Tuesday, February 28 at 2 p.m. CET. Dr. Peterson will participate in the event’s cable operators and service providers panel alongside representatives from Qualcomm and more. Boingo was the first operator to join the MulteFire Alliance, which is building a global ecosystem in support of the application of LTE and next generation cellular technology in configurations that use unlicensed or shared radio spectrum.

Boingo has also announced a new partnership for its “Comes with Boingo” product, which bundles unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi with loyalty and rewards programs. Mastercard announced the adoption of the “Comes with Boingo” offering to provide Mastercard cardholders unlimited access to more than one million premium Boingo Wi-Fi hotspots around the world. The service is now available to select cardholders at no additional cost, and will roll out to additional issuers and cardholders soon. These cardholders have the potential to save hundreds of dollars each year on roaming charges and subscriptions when accessing Boingo Wi-Fi hotspot locations in airports, hotels, restaurants and cafes, inflight and more.

“Wi-Fi is the most desired amenity for people on the go, making our ‘Comes with Boingo’ offering an attractive loyalty program benefit that makes customers feel valued,” said Dawn Callahan, chief marketing officer at Boingo. “Through this partnership, Mastercard is unlocking premium connectivity for cardholders worldwide, catering to their voracious appetite for streaming and sharing.”

For more information on Boingo, visit

About Boingo Wireless

Boingo Wireless, Inc. (NASDAQ: WIFI) helps the world stay connected. Our vast footprint of small cell networks cover more than a million DAS and Wi-Fi locations and reaches more than 1 billion consumers annually – in places as varied as airports, stadiums, universities, and military bases. For more information about the Boingo story, visit .

Boingo, Boingo Wireless, the Boingo Wireless Logo and Don’t Just Go. Boingo. are registered trademarks of Boingo Wireless, Inc.

Contact: Melody Walker,