Despite Aviation Interference Warnings, AT&T to Bring “5G+” Service to 7 U.S. Airports in 2021; 25 By The End Of 2022

By B.N. Frank

Aviation experts have been warning for years about potentially catastrophic 5G interference issues (see 1, 2, 3, 4).  In France, regulators have recommended that 5G smartphones should be turned off during flight because interference could cause errors “in instruments that are extremely critical” while landing!  Nevertheless,  AT&T partnered with Delta Air Lines in April to make it the first 5G-equipped global airline.  More recently, Boingo Wireless has announced that the company is helping AT&T install it in other airports as well as working with the Department of Defense (DoD) to install it on military bases (see 1, 2).

From Fierce Wireless:


Boingo to equip 12 airports with AT&T’s mmWave 5G

Boingo Wireless, well known for its distributed antenna system (DAS) and Wi-Fi expertise, is bringing millimeter wave 5G connectivity from AT&T to 12 airports across the U.S.

Boingo CEO Mike Finley anticipates other carriers to follow in bringing 5G to airports.  

FierceWireless spoke to Finley during an AT&T 5G media event this week, where he also joined a panel session discussing current and future applicability of 5G.

Boingo already serves major airports and large venues across the country, operating as a neutral host to provide connectivity through a variety of technologies with both licensed and unlicensed spectrum. It’s also working with the DoD for 5G on military bases.

The deal with AT&T includes busy hubs such as JFK International Airport, LaGuardia Airport, Chicago O-Hare International Airport and Midway International Airport.

AT&T plans to bring its mmWave “5G+” service to seven major airports this year and expand to 25 by the end of 2022. Most of AT&T’s millimeter wave holdings are in the 24 GHz and 39 GHz bands.

RELATED: AT&T’s mmWave 5G takes off at Tampa airport

As for adding 5G, Finley said it’s very complex – from both the spectrum side, as carriers’ respective bands can range from low 600 MHz to upper mmWave bands (and will be combined with unlicensed technology like Wi-Fi 6) – as well as new and more radios and antennas to set up. But Boingo doesn’t shy away.

“For us, the more complicated the better because not many people can do it,” he said. “It just takes a little time, a little more engineering to set up, but the end results are just phenomenal.”

Network capabilities ready as travel bounces back

The travel industry was hit especially hard amid the Covid-19 pandemic, with people staying home and restrictions on travel but people are starting to get on the move again.

Passengers going through TSA dropped dramatically from the roughly 2 million travelers per day pre-pandemic, Finley said during a panel session. However, the industry is bouncing back, he noted, particularly in the past six weeks. At Wednesday’s event AT&T Chief Marketing and Growth Officer for Consumer Kellyn Smith Kenny cited data from TSA, which reported 24 million unique travelers in May 2021 compared to 3 million in all of May in 2020.

It’s high-density and high-trafficked areas that major operators are initially targeting for deployments of mmWave spectrum, which provides a ton of capacity for use also in spaces like sporting arenas and entertainment venues.

RELATED: Boingo launches Wi-Fi 6 at São Paulo airport

Although transportation and travel were down amid the pandemic, Finley said the lack of passengers and visitors did mean work both for airport upgrades and on other Boingo projects, like the Long Island Railroad, was able to happen faster (of course emphasizing nothing good about Covid-19). Boingo also won a contract for the new East Side Access (ESA) tunnel in New York, which doesn’t have any active lines running yet.

“One of the things the pandemic has changed is I think a lot of this capability is now going to get utilized,” Finley said, referring to bandwidth, high-speed and low latency at airports, arenas and stadiums.

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Opposition to 5G is worldwide.  Research continues to be published that there are significant and potentially catastrophic cybersecurity, biological, economic, environmental, privacy, and public safety risks associated with this technology (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10).  Cities AND entire countries have taken action to ban, delay, halt, and limit 5G installation AS WELL AS issue moratoriums.

In May, scientists submitted a letter to President Biden asking him to protect the public from 5G and other unsafe technology.  Americans opposed to 5G may click here to sign a letter asking the Biden administration to stop deployment immediately.



Activist Post reports regularly about 5G and other unsafe technology.  For more information visit our archives and the following websites:

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