Business is booming for WiFi company Boingo Wireless as carriers look for solutions to handle a surge in data traffic spurred by unlimited plans.
Speaking during Boingo’s recent earnings call, CEO David Hagan said the resurgence of unlimited data plans is “great for our business,” noting carriers are looking to both offload data onto WiFi networks and densify their own infrastructure to accommodate the uptick in traffic. And the numbers back him up. Boingo posted revenue growth of 25 percent year over year in the second quarter to hit $49 million.
“This top line growth is a result of consistent execution against our strategic plan leveraging explosive mobile data growth by obtaining long-term wireless rights at large values deploying DAS, WiFi, and small cell networks at those venues and then monetizing the networks with deploying those unique mix of products and services,” Hagan commented.
Hagan didn’t provide names on the call, but said offload services continue to expand with Boingo’s two carrier partners.
According to Hagan, Boingo expects WiFi offload to remain a key part of carrier strategies in the months ahead as those operators seek relief for overburdened cellular networks. The revival of unlimited plans has reduced user incentives to switch to WiFi of their own volition, Hagan noted, exacerbating traffic and congestion issues on cellular. Thus, “unlimited plans are great for our business both for WiFi offload and network densification in general,” he said.
But the unlimited bump is also proving to be a boon for Boingo’s small cell business. Hagan indicated Boingo is “very encouraged” by carrier interest in small cells. The company, he said, is currently in talks with all four Tier-1 carriers, and has proposals on the table for deployments that will cover thousands of locations. Hagan said the company expects it will be able to share more details on specifics installations in future quarters.
“Small cells are very exciting, because they effectively expand our addressable market for venues and allow us to pursue new venues that may not have made financial sense in the past. We remain very enthusiastic about how small cells can help drive growth on our business in future years,” Hagan concluded. “We are always talking to the big 4 carriers on what their priorities are both by market and type of venue. Those discussions continue. So, we feel like we have got a good handle on what they are interested in and we feel like our pipeline is incredibly strong.”