Much of the tech world is either heading to Las Vegas this week or is watching from afar as CES, the world's biggest tech show, gets underway.
However, Dish Network's brand new 5G service in the city remains mostly off limits to CES attendees. Although Dish has installed more than 100 cell towers around Las Vegas, the company has not yet launched commercial 5G services in the city. Dish's Vegas network remains in "beta" testing, available only to "friendly" users – presumably employees and potential customers.
However, Dish is now pushing one new thing: its trademarked 5G tagline, "America's First Smart Network." The company used the tagline in a series of social media posts about its new video series, "Exploring the Possibilities," which Dish said will show how "America's First Smart Network will change the way the world communicates."
Dish said the video series will dive into how technologies including 5G might impact various industry sectors ranging from healthcare to mining to autonomous driving.
But, as SDxCentral recently pointed out, Dish so far has little to show for years of hype and discussions around 5G. Company executives at the beginning of 2021 had hinted that Dish's commercial 5G service might be up and running in multiple US cities by the end of the year. But so far that has not happened.
The result is that Dish has missed several promising 5G launch events, including partner Amazon's AWS re:Invent trade show at the end of November and, now, CES.
A Dish representative told Light Reading late last year that Dish Network doesn't plan to have a formal presence at the CES show (a venue where it has previously launched a number of new satellite TV services). Instead, the company planned to send a few executives to the CES show for meetings.
There is one major deadline looming over Dish. Based on its 2019 agreement with T-Mobile and the US Department of Justice, Dish is required to cover 20% of the US population with 5G by June 14, 2022. 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
- Amazon, Dish peddle 5G products for the enterprise
- Some 5G providers step back from CES