FreeBostonWiFi Launched as RCN Business Services Partners with DAS Communications, LCC and PTS on WiFi and Small Cell Technology to Improve Wireless Access in Urban Areas

Gives New Purpose To Old Pay Phone Booths

Apr 24, 2013, 09:49 ET from RCN Business Services

BOSTON, April 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- RCN Business Services, DAS Communications (DAS), LCC International Inc. (LCC) and Pacific Telemanagement Services (PTS) today announced a partnership that will bring wireless services to urban areas through existing infrastructure, including traditional pay phone booths. This solution is expected to increase the quality of service and reduce costs when compared to traditional wireless solutions.  The partnership was announced at the WiFi and Small Cells North America Conference held at the Hyatt Regency Boston April 24-25, 2013.  RCN, a local telecommunications company, is providing the backhaul necessary to connect the small cells to the core network. The partnership will also launch FreeBostonWiFi at 2 locations in downtown Boston in conjunction with a trial with DoIT, the City of Boston's Department of Innovation and Technology. FreeBostonWiFi is expected to expand to a wider phase of deployment by midsummer.

"The partnership is giving new life to telephone booths that have almost become extinct due to the evolution of the cell phone," said Jeff Carlson, VP and General Manager, RCN Boston.  "RCN Business Services is proud to partner with DAS, LCC and PTS because it's our priority to provide customers with access to the latest technology they need to conduct their lives.  Small cell and WiFi technology deployed through this partnership is another step toward delivering high quality wireless by lighting up hot spots in Boston using RCN's unparalleled fiber network." 

"This is an exciting time to be in wireless," said Tyler Kratz, President of DAS Communications.  "DAS and PTS are very pleased to be working with companies that have valuable assets, such as the backhaul capabilities of RCN and the deployment capabilities of LCC.  DAS and PTS very much look forward to expanding the deployment of licensed small cells and free WIFI to ensure that Boston and other world class cities stay on the vanguard of wireless access and innovation."

RCN Business Services, DAS, LCC and PTS will demonstrate the use of existing infrastructure, in this case, traditional pay phone kiosks, to house the small cell technology. RCN is providing bandwidth to DAS in locations around Boston using fiber feed to the small cells located in the pay phone kiosks. Additional pay phones are serviced off that location using micro-backhaul links.  LCC has provided the technical expertise to design and deploy this small cell solution. 

"LCC is excited to support this innovative partnership and help bring a turnkey solution to the market.  It's interesting and a little ironic that capacity demands from the cellular market has allowed for the repurposing of existing phone infrastructure, like payphone kiosks. Utilizing small cell technology, we can take advantage of the excellent kiosk locations throughout an urban area and deliver high quality cellular capacity at the street level," stated E.J. von Schaumburg, Vice President of Advanced Mobility Solutions, LCC.

DAS Communications secures real estate in urban areas using existing infrastructure such as pay phone booths and street furniture, then deploys wireless solutions to provide easy access to networks for commercial users. This partnership is the first of its kind in the Boston downtown area and it's anticipated that RCN, DAS, LCC and PTS will add new sites soon.  At each connected pay phone location, DAS will provide free WiFi to residents and visitors.  Users need only select the FreeBostonWiFi SSID on their mobile device, accept the Terms and Conditions, then browse an unlimited amount of time for no cost.

WiFi and Small Cell Technology provides  carriers the ability to offload data from the traditional, macro-cell networks that are already overburdened and facing a "spectrum crunch " as data consumption grows exponentially with smartphones and tablets adoption and usage.

WiFi and Small Cell Technology are expanding rapidly in the commercial market because of increased quality of service and cost efficiencies.  The technology works by 'cell splitting,' the use of lower power transmissions resulting in lower circle of coverage.  Carriers are now using lower power transmitters covering smaller areas similar to WiFi.  WiFi is, and has always been, a low power, cell splitting technology which is why WiFi has lower coverage range but high speed.  Licensed small cells allow handoffs to other small cells or to the macro network significantly reducing drops in coverage.  Many small areas of coverage also prevent network crashes when usage surges such as during the Super Bowl, the Presidential inauguration or other large public events.


SOURCE RCN Business Services