DFW International Airport Taps AT&T To Provide Faster Passenger Wi-Fi

May 5, 2023

DFW International Airport is partnering with AT&T to bring faster in-house Wi-Fi to travelers.

The Dallas-based telecommunications giant will invest $10 million in upgrades to modernize the network, adding 200 new access points and updating 800 access points AT&T already provides. The airport’s internal operations will now use a private 5G network to manage passenger traffic, security systems and baggage handling.

Mike Youngs, vice president of information technology services at DFW Airport said Wi-Fi is an “absolute must-have service” for DFW’s travelers. The airport and AT&T will begin upgrading the network this summer and enhancements will be online by the fall, contingent upon a final contract between AT&T and DFW at Thursday’s board meeting.

“This proposed agreement signifies our commitment to ensure our customers will always remain connected at DFW Airport, so they can reliably stay online for work or entertainment while traveling,” Youngs said.

The airport went out for a competitive bid because it felt the need to assess the market, Youngs said, but also wanted to take a look at the airport’s internet needs for operations. Ten proposals were evaluated by DFW. AT&T will also pay DFW $750,000 annually to offload cellular services onto the airport’s Wi-Fi network.

“We wanted to get efficiencies, economies of scale, by having a single provider, manage both environments and all the associated infrastructure,” Youngs said.

The plan calls for improved connections throughout indoor and outdoor spaces, parking lots and runways.

According to Ookla Insights, DFW Airport is one of 17 airports with over 100 megabits per second download speed for free. Dallas Love Field also is on the list.

Jason Inskeep, assistant vice president, 5G Center of Excellence at AT&T said improving the airport technology will need to focus on improving convenience for airlines and airport operations, while creating a better travel experience for passengers.

“We’re proud to work alongside DFW Airport and look forward to continuing our collaboration to bring the best connectivity solutions for all,” Inskeep said.

AT&T and the airport will enter a five-year initial contract with options to extend one year annually after.

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