Skip to main content

AT&T’s 5G+ promises better and faster connectivity at U.S. airports

Hunting for sketchy and unreliable airport Wi-Fi could soon become a thing of the past as AT&T has partnered with Boingo Wireless to deploy 5G+ — also known as mmWave 5G  —  at major airports nationwide. A total of 12 of the largest airports will be getting the service including John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia in New York City, and O’Hare and Midway in Chicago. Seven airports will get 5G+ in 2021, and AT&T aspires to connect a total of 25 by the end of 2022.

Boingo is one of the largest operators of airport Wi-Fi and DAS networks in the U.S., and undoubtedly a name you’ve seen if you’ve ever checked your Wi-Fi list at an airport. “As travel picks up, we’re excited to invest in combining the power of AT&T 5G+ with Boingo Wireless’ infrastructure expertise to provide faster connectivity for both travelers and the businesses and people that are critical to running airports across the U.S,” said Mo Katibeh, who leads AT&T’s Network Infrastructure and Build.

Pittsburgh International Airport
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Kellyn Smith Kenny, chief marketing and growth officer of AT&T Communications spoke to Digital Trends about the rollout of 5G+ to airports, pointing out that it’s particularly timely as the pandemic eases and travel increases. “There’s a massive resurgence of leisure travel,” she said, “and airports are a critical, untapped area [when it comes to connectivity].” She noted that 24 million people were recently screened by the TSA, surpassing pre-pandemic numbers and that mmWave 5G was designed to excel in heavily congested areas like stadiums, airports, concerts, and other crowded centers.

The 5G+ service will be available for AT&T customers, and it will cover major gates and concession spaces. Kenny envisions travelers being able to use 5G+ for lag-free teleconferencing, streaming, and downloading shows with “no latency, no disruption, and seamless connectivity.” AT&T anticipates 250 million people have access to C-band by the end of 2023. Boingo CEO Mike Finely also sees it being valuable for airport employees and businesses. “5G’s speed and capacity enable airports to transform business operations for greater cost savings and efficiencies,” he said.

After the initial rollout, AT&T plans to bring 5G+ to Dallas Love Field Airport, Los Angeles Airport, and Denver International Airport in the coming months. The company is also collaborating with Delta Airlines to provide 19,000 flight attendants with iPhone 12s, allowing them to use AT&T’s 5G network. These announcements come after AT&T making changes to its unlimited plan to remove throttling and improved the daily rates of its International Day Pass.

Editors' Recommendations

Ajay Kumar
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Ajay Kumar is the Section Editor, Mobile overseeing Digital Trend's coverage of phones, tablets, wearables, and other mobile…
Were you affected by the AT&T outage? You may get some free money
A photo of the AT&T logo on a building.

Last Thursday was a bad day for AT&T. Early in the morning on February 22, AT&T's network went down for thousands of people across the U.S.. The network was offline for hours and outage reports on Down Detector peaked at nearly 75,000. It was eventually fixed, but the damage was still done. Thankfully, if you were among the many people impacted by the outage, we have some good news for you.

On February 24, AT&T published a page on its website called "Making it right." In short, if your AT&T service was down and you were affected by it, you're getting a discount on your next bill. The AT&T page reads as follows:

Read more
Everything you need to know about the massive AT&T outage
Large 5G cellular tower with multiple mmWave transceivers against a blue sky.

Happy Thursday! February is drawing to a close, the weather is getting slightly warmer in parts of the country, and AT&T experienced a massive outage that affected its cellular and internet services. It was a bit of a mess.

How many people were without service? When was service restored? Here's a quick recap of what you need to know.
When did the AT&T outage start?
At around 4 a.m. ET on Thursday, February 22, more than 32,000 outages were reported across AT&T's network. Once 7 a.m. rolled around, that number jumped to over 50,000 people. Per the Down Detector website, there were nearly 75,000 outage reports just before 9:15 a.m. ET.
Is the AT&T outage over?
Thankfully, the AT&T outage has finally ended. At 11:15 a.m. ET, the company had restored "three-quarters" of its network. Then, at 3:10 p.m. ET, AT&T confirmed that it had "restored wireless service to all our affected customers."

Read more
T-Mobile just set another 5G speed record
Cell phone tower shooting off pink beams with a 5G logo next to it.

T-Mobile’s rivals may be nipping at its heels in the 5G race, but the Uncarrier is determined to stay ahead of the game. It not only boasts the fastest and most expansive 5G network in the U.S., but it’s actively working on technologies that will help it reach even greater peak speeds.

Two years ago, T-Mobile used a relatively new technique known as 5G Carrier Aggregation (5G CA) to achieve the kind of 3Gbps download speeds on midband frequencies that had previously been the exclusive domain of extremely high (and extremely short-range) mmWave technologies. Now, it’s chalked up another 5G first by taking advantage of the latest developments to shatter the traditional cap on upload speeds over sub-6GHz frequencies.
T-Mobile's newest 5G record

Read more