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The Era of Frictionless Mobility

Dr. Derek Peterson, Chief Technology Officer, Boingo Wireless [NASDAQ: WIFI]
Dr. Derek Peterson, Chief Technology Officer, Boingo Wireless [NASDAQ: WIFI]

Dr. Derek Peterson, Chief Technology Officer, Boingo Wireless [NASDAQ: WIFI]

Today, the rising need for digital transformation is driving businesses to deploy new-age mobility solutions that can establish seamless connectivity within and outside their premises. At Boingo Wireless, we help the world stay connected by powering next-generation indoor wireless networks at a range of venues. For instance, we work with airports to help them provide innovative services such as mobile ticketing. Similarly, at stadiums, we design and manage Wi-Fi, cellular (both 4G and 5G), and IoT networks to enable next-gen applications like ticketless entry, in-seat food delivery, and live updates of the game. In corporate venues, our goal is to unify all the telecommunications networks and ensure the effective management of connected devices and equipment.

Our ability to deliver the connectivity that aligns with the varying needs of our diverse clientele is at the heart of client engagements. And our mission is to continue providing seamless connectivity and helping enterprises make the most of the flexibility that digital transformation offers.

The Rise of Connected Experiences

Traditionally, enterprise connectivity has heavily relied on wire-based communication, which comprised of running wires to every desk, camera, and communication device for creating a connected experience across an organization. As a result, employees had to remain static at their desks and cubicles. Today, workspaces have become increasingly creative and mobile, with employees using personal laptops and other devices to perform tasks on the fly. With this boost in mobility, businesses are recognizing the increase in fault lines along with the network infrastructure and the subsequent need for enhanced data. Furthermore, enterprises are recognizing the need to deploy connected technologies—smart lighting, adaptive heating systems, and more—that can be customized to suit the needs of a company to enable the economical use of enterprise resources.


  ​Analogous to how we buy phones based on the flexibility they offer, CIOs must choose to implement solutions that enhance the flexibility of their overall network architecture   



Another rising trend is the need for networking solutions with scalable capacities that can adapt to the varying networking needs of the organization. The current enterprise landscape is driving the development of flexible workspace mobility architectures to simplify the unified management of different technology deployments and provide the best-in-class connected experiences.

The Impact of 5G on Mobility

Boingo’s extensive experience in deploying wireless networks in indoor environments makes us well versed in handling high-frequency millimeter waves that power 5G. A prominent example of 5G’s application is the evolution of airline ticketing. Just a few years ago, travelers were required to possess a paper-based ticket to board a flight; today, the inefficiencies and delays of using printed tickets have been eliminated by mobile ticketing. With 5G, airports will offer ticketless travel by leveraging facial recognition ticketing that can analyze thousands of points of reference on a user’s face in real-time with low latency. Concurrently, to capitalize on the state-of-the-art capabilities of 5G, enterprises must assess the different types of network frequencies within their premises and ensure their appropriate usage.

A CIO’s role in Enterprise Mobility

As CIOs, we sometimes tend to over-utilize a readily available tech-based tool instead of weighing the efficacy of all the devices in the marketplace. While this approach might still function in legacy networks, it can cause hindrances in modern, agile enterprise environments that have many diverging technologies using different spectrums of connectivity.

Traditional CIO approaches would center on buying servers and continuing to add computing capacity and storage in tandem with the growing needs of their businesses. Today, cloud computing and its ability to enhance the network capacity and storage with the click of a button has changed the way CIOs work. This pattern is predicted to continue in the future, where the deployment of solutions that deliver resilience and flexibility will be critical.

The transition from the cloud to open network connections will be similar to the shift from on-premise data centers to the cloud. For instance, legacy phones could only support a specific frequency, but today, smartphones have the flexibility to move across Wi-Fi and a multitude of cellular networks. Analogous to how we buy phones based on the flexibility they offer, CIOs must choose to implement solutions that enhance the flexibility of their overall network architecture.

The Future of Enterprise Connectivity

CIOs must always look to the future and focus on solving broken models. For example, as an avid flyer, I always book a ride share service (Uber, Lyft) from the airport. However, most of these engagements are highly time-consuming due to the lack of a sharable reference that can relay information on my estimated time of arrival at the pickup point to the driver. Alternatively, if ride share drivers had this information, the overall experience for both parties would be significantly smoother. Looking ahead, as we connect more things around us, our experiences will become frictionless. This requires the establishment of effective data privacy and security to ensure that our experiences are shared only when we allow it. When consumers are aware of their relationship with the systems around them, they will become capable of leveraging connectivity to their advantage.

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