LIVE FROM MWL UNWRAPPED: A top Dish Wireless executive argued changes in its leadership team during 2023 reflected a shift in approach from deploying its open RAN network to generating revenue.

Marc Rouanne, EVP of global partnerships (pictured), said Dish Wireless spent the past three months moving into the revenue generation phase after it met government-mandated broadband coverage targets.

The company’s former EVP and chief network officer told Mobile World Live the operator needed time to generate revenue, noting he is “not a strong believer that 5G is for consumers. It’s nice to be faster, but it doesn’t make a huge difference. But for enterprises, what is very different about 5G is that it was designed to be cloud-native”.

He claimed Dish Wireless would be better able to take advantage of technology innovations including generative AI and microservices which have APIs to connect with customers because it has designed a cloud-native, open RAN from the ground up.

“Whenever there’s innovation coming our network is ready.”

“We can plug it in and we can just experience it, which is a big benefit for us.”

He noted US competitors including AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile US have complex installed bases largely built on legacy technology, which means they must “mix and match the different parts of the system”.

“They have to introduce openness and new technology there, so it’s taking more time,” he noted.

“Obviously, the more open the better, because it gave us a lot of flexibility and capabilities. We’re starting to see how easy it is to evolve, adapt, change and innovate.”

He stated there is a misconception that open RAN means a lack of network security, arguing the opposite has proven to be true.

“In a network where you have much more visibility and you see what’s happening, you can take actions extremely fast,” he stated.