Meet Dish's 5G network team

Dish Network has pledged to spend up to $10 billion constructing a state-of-the-art, cloud-native, open RAN 5G network across the US. It's a tall order.

Here are the five men charged with making that happen.

From left to right: Stephen Bye, Tom Cullen, Dave Mayo, Jeff McSchooler and Marc Rouanne. Click here for a larger version of this image. (Source: Dish)
From left to right: Stephen Bye, Tom Cullen, Dave Mayo, Jeff McSchooler and Marc Rouanne. Click here for a larger version of this image.
(Source: Dish)

"We have a very energetic team. It's a team that really knows what they're doing, and that's fun to work together," said Marc Rouanne in a recent interview with Light Reading. "It's a good team, a strong team, and it's fun."

Importantly, both Rouanne and a Dish representative confirmed that the company's network team operates in a mostly flat reporting structure – meaning, no one is anyone else's boss.

"I think we all have our domains, but it's really a team," Rouanne explained.

Here's who's who:

  • Rouanne is a longtime Nokia executive who joined Dish late last year. Rouanne is essentially in charge of designing Dish's network, and so far has helped decide the network will adhere to open radio access network (RAN) principles and will use a cloud-native design. He has also helped to select Dish's first three vendors: Mavenir and Altiostar, which will manage Dish's radios, and Japan's Fujitsu, which will supply those radios. Like Verizon's Hans Vestberg – formerly of Ericsson – Rouanne brings with him a deep understanding of the vendor side of the business.
  • Bye has enjoyed a colorful career in the US wireless carrier industry, having helped cable company Cox build a wireless network and, later, working as CTO for Sprint. Just prior to his shift to Dish late last year, he was the CEO of Connectivity Wireless, which builds cellular networks inside of buildings. His role at Dish involves selling the company's 5G offerings when they're available – Dish executives have said the company will target the consumer smartphone market alongside verticals ranging from healthcare to automotive.
  • Cullen, working with Dish chief executive Charlie Ergen, has essentially been the point man for Dish's wireless strategy. Cullen previously worked at cable companies including Charter and MediaOne, and joined Dish in 2006 at the start of the company's journey into the wireless industry. Since then, Dish has spent more than $20 billion collecting spectrum licenses that the company is now finally poised to put into widespread use.
  • Mayo is Dish's most recent addition to its networking team; he joined the company just last month and he will oversee the nuts and bolts of Dish's network buildout strategy. Mayo had been in charge of T-Mobile's fixed wireless and IoT operations until he left the operator last year. During his time at T-Mobile, Mayo led the strategic, development and financial areas for T-Mobile's network organization over the course of two decades at the company.
  • McSchooler is the longest-serving Dish employee on its wireless network team, having helped the company launch its TV satellites in 1995. Since then he has overseen the company's nationwide operations for satellite TV and Sling-branded streaming services. Thus, it's no surprise McSchooler is leading the Dish team responsible for the physical construction and operation of the company's planned national wireless network.

Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading | @mikeddano

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