Dish pledges Project Genesis expansion in Q1

Project Genesis is 'helping us iron out the operational processes and improve the customer experience, while we prepare for a much broader launch in the first quarter,' explained Dish's Tom Cullen.

Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies

October 25, 2022

3 Min Read
Dish pledges Project Genesis expansion in Q1

Dish Network currently views its Project Genesis 5G offering as a bit of a test of the company's new open RAN network. But a top company official said that early next year Dish expects to significantly expand the offering.

"We're not quite where we want to be," said Dish's Tom Cullen, one of the company's top wireless executives. Cullen made his comments during a recent trade show in Denver.

Cullen explained that Dish is working to expand its 5G coverage area and to add voice services atop its data-only offerings.

Specifically, he said the company currently broadcasts its 5G signal from 10,000 cell towers around the country, and is adding 1,000 towers per month to that total. He added that Dish continues to test Voice over 5G New Radio (VoNR) technology and expects to deploy new and improved software for the offering in the coming weeks.

Figure 1: (Source: Dish) (Source: Dish)

Cullen also noted that Dish has MVNO relationships with both T-Mobile and AT&T, which means that its customers can move onto those networks in locations where Dish doesn't yet operate its own 5G network.

A 5G project

Dish first began offering its Project Genesis-branded 5G service across 120 cities in June via a website. The service costs $30 per month and works across a few devices.

However, in September, The Verge reported that "after three months, Dish's 5G service still feels like a beta."

But that may soon change. "It's helping us iron out the operational processes and improve the customer experience, while we prepare for a much broader launch in the first quarter," Cullen said.

Cullen didn't provide any details about what that broader launch might look like, but he said Dish doesn't expect to operate a widespread network of retail stores like Verizon, T-Mobile and other wireless providers do. Instead, he said the company would rely on online sales and eSIM technology to sell its services to new customers.


Cullen also offered a few more insights into Dish's overall 5G network buildout plans. He noted the company continues to work to build a nationwide network using open RAN principles with vendors ranging from IBM to Cisco to VMware.

Open RAN promises to allow network operators to mix and match equipment from a variety of vendors. However, the technology isn't widely used and is still considered somewhat immature.

Interestingly, Cullen said Dish is currently using RAN (radio access network) software from both Mavenir and Samsung. He did not mention Altiostar, which is now part of Rakuten Symphony, a company that was initially announced as a RAN software vendor for Dish prior to Dish's new agreement with Samsung for 5G radios. Company officials have explained that Dish works with a wide variety of vendors but may lean on specific ones more heavily.

Cullen also said that Dish currently employs 900 people at its Riverfront offices in Denver. He added that Dish operates 34 regional offices all over the US, and that each one maintains staff for legal, RF and construction operations.

"We're making progress," he said. "I think we will be bringing disruptive pricing to the market."

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

About the Author(s)

Mike Dano

Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading

Mike Dano is Light Reading's Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies. Mike can be reached at [email protected], @mikeddano or on LinkedIn.

Based in Denver, Mike has covered the wireless industry as a journalist for almost two decades, first at RCR Wireless News and then at FierceWireless and recalls once writing a story about the transition from black and white to color screens on cell phones.

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