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Federated Wireless to relocate to Crystal City, bring new 5G capability to the area

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(Updated 11/06/22 at 11:40 p.m.) Ballston-based Federated Wireless is moving its corporate headquarters to Crystal City — and it is bringing 5G connectivity with it.

The move marks the next step developer JBG Smith is taking to turn the area into the world’s first large-scale “Smart City,” with futuristic experiences such as self-driving cars and virtual reality powered by a speedy wireless network.

Federated Wireless, currently located at 4075 Wilson Blvd, will occupy approximately 36,000 square feet of office space at 2121 Crystal Drive, per a press release from property owner and developer JBG Smith.

This building is home to aerospace company Lockheed Martin and a park, as well as a forthcoming restaurant called “Surreal.”

As part of the move, the wireless services company will design, deploy and manage 5G Private Wireless networks for commercial tenants and residents living and working in JBG Smith’s offices and apartments in Pentagon City, Crystal City and Potomac Yard (known collectively as National Landing).

The area is saturated with companies that need what private 5G provides: high-speed data and few communication delays. National Landing’s roster includes Amazon’s second headquarters, Boeing’s recently relocated global headquarters, Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus and numerous tech, defense and cybersecurity companies.

“We will be developing a showcase to demonstrate the power and cutting-edge capability that Private Wireless can bring defense contractors, government, retail clients, residential tenants, smart cities, and other customers and citizens in the area,” Federated Wireless Chief Commercial Officer Chris Swan said in a statement.

That could draw more innovative companies to the area, too.

JBG Smith has said its “smart city” would be replete with Internet-connected devices supporting futuristic experiences such as self-driving vehicles, immersive and augmented reality, building automation and environmental sustainability.

2121 Crystal Drive (via Google Maps)

The company already had expansive real estate holdings, from existing office space and apartments to developable land, to realize this goal — but it needed the technology to do so.

Over the last two years, it has assembled the radio frequencies and fiber networks needed to support the vision.

In 2020, JBG purchased seven blocks of Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) spectrum from the Federal Communications Commission. In 2021, it announced partnerships with AT&T and Arlington County to bring about ubiquitous indoor and outdoor public 5G in 2021.

And now, Federated Wireless is providing a third piece to the puzzle.

Cloud, Edge, and [Internet of Things] combined with 5G Private Wireless represent a once in a generation opportunity to transform buildings, cities, and citizens’ experience. The game-changer here is that the 5G Private Wireless network we’re building with JBG Smith is the catalyst that will bring that reality to life in National Landing,” Federated Wireless CEO Iyad Tarazi said in a statement.

“Our partnership with JBG Smith is all about enabling shared spectrum solutions to power the next generation of connected businesses, cities and people,” he added.

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