MLS Austin FC taps Boingo for stadium Wi-Fi 6 and cellular services

Aug. 4, 2020
Boingo will design, install, operate and maintain neutral host cellular DAS and Wi-Fi 6 networks throughout the new Major League Soccer stadium in Austin, TX, including bowl seating, suites, club sections, concourses and the field.

Distributed antenna systems (DAS) and Wi-Fi provider Boingo Wireless (NASDAQ: WIFI) has been awarded the wireless rights at the new Major League Soccer (MLS) stadium currently under construction in Austin, Texas.

Boingo will design, install, operate and maintain neutral host cellular DAS and Wi-Fi 6 networks throughout the stadium, including bowl seating, suites, club sections, concourses and the field, to power a highly-connected, fan-focused experience. The new stadium will be home to Austin FC and is scheduled to open in Spring 2021 for the club’s inaugural MLS season. 

Austin FC said it selected Boingo after a competitive review process. The MLS team said the company stood out for its strong wireless carrier relationships and its ability to build converged neutral host networks that meet data demands of the 5G era. Boingo says its DAS will be designed for multi-carrier coverage, with flexibility for seamless 5G upgrades.  

“The important selection of Boingo Wireless as a technology provider represents a significant addition to the Austin FC stadium project,” said Andy Loughnane, Austin FC President. “Our stadium will be a world-class facility that prioritizes technology, hospitality, and above all, the fan experience. We selected Boingo to achieve our tech-forward objectives and keep guests connected during all stadium events, notably on matchday. We look forward to Boingo delivering a best-in-class experience to all Austin FC fans and stadium guests.” 

Boingo notes the Wi-Fi 6 deployment will mark one of the first Wi-Fi 6 launches at an MLS stadium and will offer fans fast, free connectivity. Wi-Fi 6 is the latest generation of Wi-Fi designed to deliver enhanced coverage, capacity, speed and performance in dense, demanding Wi-Fi environments like stadiums. Passpoint, a next generation hotspot technology, will also be offered to connect fans to a seamless and secure Wi-Fi 6 experience. 

“We’ve entered a new age of sports where the action takes place not only on the field, but also on the fan’s device,” said Mike Finley, Boingo CEO. “This immersive experience requires strong wireless connectivity that fuels fan engagement and satisfaction. From DAS to Wi-Fi 6 to Passpoint, Boingo has Austin FC covered, and we’re proud to play our part to provide a next generation connected fan experience.” 

The Austin FC soccer park and stadium is a $260 million, 100% privately financed project in the tech-savvy City of Austin. When completed, Boingo says the 20,500-seat multipurpose, open-air stadium will represent one of "the most tech-forward, modern and ecofriendly sporting, entertainment and community venues in North America. In addition to hosting Austin FC, the stadium is designed to accommodate other sporting events, concerts, community activities, and cultural events. 

Austin FC adds to Boingo’s growing list of MLS, NBA, NFL and NCAA stadium deployments in the U.S. and expands its wireless footprint in Texas. Boingo and Austin FC will present at the upcoming SportTechie webinar, “5G and the Future of Live Sports” on Wednesday, August 5 at 12:30 p.m. ET. Register for the webinar here.

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