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Dish's 5G goes live across the country

Dish Network appears to be selling 5G services in more than 120 cities around the country. That's important considering June 14, 2022, is the US government's deadline for Dish to launch services before facing millions of dollars in fines.

However, the company hasn't issued a press release announcing the launch, nor has it made any other formal announcements about the topic. The financial analysts at New Street Research wrote Tuesday that they tested the service in 11 US cities and found it up and working in all of them.

Indeed, the only real evidence that Dish did anything today is a tweet from Stephen Stokols, the Dish executive in charge of the company's Boost Mobile brand:

Update: On the morning of June 15, Dish issued a press release stating that it had launched service across more than 120 cities, covering over 20% of the US population. And the company's networking chief, Dave Mayo, posted a video of spiking a football in celebration of the milestone. However, The Verge reported troubles in purchasing a phone for the service.

Dish's initial offering isn't necessarily a mass market play. Dish's smartphone services are only available to customers who purchase a Samsung Galaxy S22 from the operator. "We'll launch additional devices and offers soon, thanks to our close work with our partners to continually certify and optimize mobile devices for use on our Smart 5G network," according to Dish's Project Genesis website. "A cutting edge network requires devices that use the latest technology."

Dish is headquartered in Denver. (Source: Dish)
Dish is headquartered in Denver.
(Source: Dish)

Dish is selling unlimited 5G calling, texting and data services for $30 per month, or data only for $20 per month for customers who purchase a hotspot it's selling. "There are no data caps – these are truly unlimited data plans, of course, subject to our terms and conditions (no BitTorrent please)," the company explains on its website.

Dish also notes that customers will stay connected when they leave the cities it currently covers (Dish has roaming agreements with T-Mobile and AT&T).

Dish launched commercial 5G services in Las Vegas in March via a Motorola smartphone.

Based on Dish's 2019 agreement with the US Department of Justice – modified in 2020 – Dish is required to cover 20% of the US population with 5G by June 14, 2022. The company is required to expand that coverage in annual intervals through 2025.

Under Dish's DoJ agreement, the company is required to submit detailed reports to the FCC about its 5G network buildout. Its first report is due to the FCC by July 14, 2022. Dish is also required to pay for drive tests to outline its network coverage areas starting in 2023.

Beyond the announcement, Dish executives appear to be moving forward. For example, Dish engineer David Noel wrote on LinkedIn this week that "Dish is still hiring like CRAZY! Come build the world's most advanced, standalone, cloud-based, 5G network in the world with us!"

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

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