The Good Stuff


CBRS for Airports: Secure, Reliable Connections that Streamline Operations

By Team Boingo
  • Article
  • 5 min read

The next generation of airport wireless is here, improving the passenger experience and accelerating innovation. From biometric ticketing to digital signage, security cameras, mobile concessions and more, airports are undergoing monumental change.

To keep up with passenger demands and operational efficiencies, private 5G has emerged as a go-to solution for airport IT teams. Airports must provide reliable, secure and fast connectivity for passengers and staff. Private 5G, leveraging Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) spectrum, rises to the challenge. Providing extensive bandwidth and increased latency—working alongside existing public cellular distributed antenna systems (DAS) and Wi-Fi—private 5G enables secure on-premise data management and uninterrupted coverage for critical operations.

But what is CBRS and how does it work? In this guide, we discuss CBRS, explain how it can improve airport operations, and describe the benefits it brings to airports.



CBRS is a 150MHz wide broadcast of the 3.5 GHz band ranging from 3550 MHz to 3700 MHz that the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established to allow private enterprises and organizations to use the mid-band spectrum.

CBRS is viewed as key spectrum for 5G networks. Large public venues, such as airports and stadiums, are strong candidates for CBRS deployments as the band offers favorable mid-band spectrum for seamless and secure connectivity in dense, high-trafficked areas, and is considered more cost effective than traditional LTE that relies on licensed spectrum.



Airport operations increasingly rely on the Internet of Things (IoT) to power use cases such as asset management, security and safety, baggage tracking, digital signage, mobile concessions, and more. These high-priority activities need reliable and extensive coverage without the possibility of competition with the increasing demands placed on public LTE and Wi-Fi networks. This is where CBRS comes into play. CBRS can be used for providing broadband internet through fixed wireless connections which is particularly useful in areas where laying physical infrastructure may be expensive or impractical.

Private 5G leveraging CBRS makes valuable and protected spectrum available to airports and delivers broad device compatibility to help airports future-proof their network solutions. The technology can be implemented on top of existing infrastructure because it is designed to work alongside LTE and 5G network equipment. So, if an airport has an LTE or 5G network, the infrastructure simply requires adjustments or upgrades to deliver CBRS. CBRS spectrum can deliver high-speed internet to wireless technology users, which can be cost-effective and quickly deployed.



CBRS is an attractive solution due to the many benefits it offers to airports.

  • Increased capacity – The 3.5 GHz frequency band used by CBRS offers a larger bandwidth than lower frequency bands. This allows users to transmit more data simultaneously.
  • Faster speeds – The higher frequency band, wider bandwidth, and interference mitigation processes coalesce to allow CBRS to deliver top speeds for demanding IoT and mobile applications.
  • Low latency – Private 5G leveraging CBRS provides dedicated and secure networks, including management of priority access to these networks. These features contribute to lower latency which is crucial for air traffic control, remote monitoring, autonomous ground vehicle operations, and real-time responses for time-sensitive operations.



In addition to transforming airport operations, CBRS and private 5G can positively impact the passenger experience. Take, for example, Boingo’s CBRS/OnGo solution at a major airport, Dallas Love Field. Boingo launched the first CBRS network at Dallas Love Field to power a world-class passenger experience for the 5G era. With the CBRS network, Dallas Love Field benefits from increased capacity, faster speeds, and lower latency. With Boingo, Dallas Love Field can now enjoy smoother operations and better service to travelers.

To learn more about CBRS and private 5G for your airport, download Boingo’s airport 5G & Wi-Fi eBook or contact us at