In what may be overlooked by some as "just another acquisition" former Comunicano client (right up to the IPO) Boingo made a very shrewd buy today that gets them into the growing apartment and condominium market quickly. Long the provider of choice in airports, shopping malls and office buildings, this expands their reach into apartment houses and condominiums which either rely on an IT company to wire up their building, or the cable or telcos to install Wi-Fi that worked in the common areas like hallways, gyms and lounges.
With more new properties going mixed use, and the eventual arrival of 5G Boingo's bet is more than just about installing Wi-Fi and some fiber to connect to it. Long the connector that overcomes dead cell zones at airports, Boingo is really one of the largest DAS players on the planet, and their leadership likely sees how having more apartments and condo properties under their control can give them even more leverage with the mobile operators. But it also gives them the ability to be an ISP of sorts.
If you look at FON which has struck deals with the telcos to make it easy for subscribers to roam from place to place and stay connected, Boingo is poised to be that and more, serving as the connective tissue between work, residence and play as the customer who is a resident of a Boingo powered apartment can then be connected once they get to work or while they're traveling too.
The reason this is so important is wireless in an apartment house, like in a hotel, requires far less cost to install vs. going room to room, or apartment to apartment. With everything going more and more wireless, Boingo can install their wireless gear, connect it to fiber, 5G or both and be easily upgrading wavelengths or connective devices to Wi-Fi access points. This eliminates the running of cables or the very expensive truck roll, as all you need to do is connect to a WiFi SSID and you're online.
So, how does Boingo take this to market? Via property management companies for established and already built properties and by working with developers, architects and builders for new properties. Given we're seeing a high rise housing continue to happen in the major cities, the timing for Boingo couldn't be better.