Dish Network has promised to become the fourth nationwide wireless network operator in the US.
But how, and when, will it do that?
First, over the course of last year and early this year, the company assembled its network team: Stephen Bye, Tom Cullen, Dave Mayo, Jeff McSchooler and Marc Rouanne. Rouanne is in charge of designing Dish's network, Mayo and McSchooler are in charge of building it, Bye is in charge of selling it, and Cullen has been overseeing it all since 2006.
In recent months, Dish has begun assembling its vendors. Although the company likely will name additional vendors – including cloud computing providers and cell tower operators – over the next few months, here's where things stand now:
Table 1: Dish's 5G vendors
|RAN management software||Altiostar, Mavenir|
|RAN silicon and software architecture||Intel|
|Network intelligence and automation||Ciena's Blue Planet|
|OSS/BSS||MATRIXX Software, Hansen Technologies|
|Usage data platform||DigitalRoute|
Finally, Dish has said it expects to begin its 5G network buildout in earnest – physically installing radios atop towers – in the second quarter of next year. The company has said the effort will cost around $10 billion.
Dish has already activated its first 5G cell site, in Littleton, Colorado, where the company's wireless networking business is based.
However, on September 11 the FCC issued an order that modified and extended Dish's spectrum buildout deadlines. The company still must cover 20% of the US population by June 14, 2022, using most of its spectrum licenses, but if it reaches 50% coverage by June 14, 2023, then some of its broader coverage goals can be pushed out by a few years.
If Dish fails to meet its coverage goals, it could lose its spectrum licenses and pay up to $2.2 billion in penalties.
- Where Dish Network is going in 5G, and how it will get there
- Dish Networks turns on first 5G test site, taps Intel for silicon
- Dish lays out its 12-month 5G agenda
- Meet Dish's 5G network team