AT&T and DFW Airport Wireless Partnership To Take Off: Private 5G Network, Public Wi-Fi Upgrades Included

The wireless project is slated to kick off this summer, pending execution of the final deal. Wi-Fi enhancements at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport could be available by fall.

A new enhanced wireless platform will improve service for those who are leaving on a jet plane or working at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.

DFW Airport announced a new partnership with Dallas-based AT&T to provide the airport with a comprehensive wireless platform (CWP) to enhance connectivity and critical infrastructure. AT&T will invest $10 million in upgrades. 

According to Mike Youngs, vice president of information technology services at DFW Airport, “being connected to the internet is an absolute must-have service for our customers.”

The proposed agreement highlights the airport’s commitment to ensuring customers “can reliably stay online for work or entertainment while traveling,” he said in a statement.

Under the agreement, AT&T would invest $10 million worth of upgrades to modernize and expand the network covering the airport to support airport operations and advance the free public Wi-Fi in the terminals.

The airport said that would include installing 200 new access points and updating about 800 existing access points to enable better coverage and faster speeds for customers.

AT&T also will deploy a private 5G network for the airport’s internal use to meet the rising demand for Internet of things use cases and the digitization of airport operations.

Enhanced connectivity for travelers and operations

According to the airport, the CWP will provide enhanced connectivity throughout the airport, including indoor and outdoor spaces, parking lots, and runways. Faster connectivity means travelers will have even faster access to airport services through the airport or airline app such as automated check-in, baggage tracking, and lounge access.

The airport said that the private cellular 5G network will offer more reliability and security, lower latency, and greater capacity, providing operations teams with optimal connectivity that can be used for future use cases such as real-time data analytics and enhanced communication with critical airport systems.

With these use cases, the airport’s management team will be better able to monitor and manage passenger traffic, security systems, and baggage handling—improving efficiency and safety, DFW Airport said.

According to Jason Inskeep, assistant vice president of the 5G Center of Excellence at AT&T, modernizing airport technology should prioritize enhancing both airline and airport operations’ efficiency and convenience and the overall travel experience for passengers. The safety and security of all who pass through the airport’s gates should also remain a key consideration.

Inskeep said AT&T is proud to work alongside DFW Airport and looks forward to continuing their collaboration to bring the “best connectivity solutions for all,”

DFW and AT&T will begin upgrading the network this summer, with the enhancements coming online by the fall. The project is contingent upon a final contract between AT&T and the airport.

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport is one of the most connected airports in the world and serves as a major job generator for the North Texas region by connecting people through business and leisure travel. With 168 gates in five terminals and an area spanning 18,000 acres, DFW Airport is the third-largest airport in the world by size.

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