By Mike Robuck
Converged 5G key to solve connectivity challenges
Fast, secure connectivity is a must have across smart cities, homes, agriculture and schools, but Derek Peterson, CTO for Boingo Wireless, said there needs to be a mix of 5G spectrum and Wi-Fi to democratise the benefits.
“Wireless is too complex in the 5G era to go it alone,” he said. “Connecting everyone across everywhere and everything is very, very complicated. Today’s smart cities are navigating CBRS, mmWave, Wi-Fi 6/6E, LoRa, licensed and unlicensed spectrum, private networks and the list goes on. To realise smart cities on a large scale, we all need to collaborate across carriers, OEMs and the public-private ecosystem.”
Peterson stated the combination of 5G and Wi-Fi connectivity “promises to benefit the economy, the environment, safety and quality of life”.
“As an industry, we need to continue moving toward collaboration and look to the power of public-private partnerships,” he said.
One example of blending wireless connectivity is transportation hubs, that use Wi-Fi for public mobile demands, distributed antenna systems (DAS) for stable mobile connections and private networks for secure digital operations. Private networks, 5G, Wi-Fi and DAS should all work together.
Peterson stated Boingo Wireless is focused on building smart cities from “the inside out” by connecting airports, hotels, public transit centres, hospitals, office buildings, retail and entertainment venues.
“By connecting these venues, you can unlock new applications like monitoring energy use, traffic patterns, smart parking and emergency response,” Peterson explained. “And you can successfully connect applications to roll out the touchless entry points and cashless facilities residents’ desire.”
Public partnerships combined with private partnerships are essential to bring 5G connectivity to large-scale infrastructure projects. The partnerships help minimise financial risks while also speeding up innovation.