Dish Network claimed another significant step in deploying an open RAN-based 5G network in the US, awarding a key contract covering the cloud platform for the move.

Software vendor VMware was chosen, with Dish Network explaining the company’s Telco Cloud service will accelerate the standalone (SA) 5G plan by opening access to network software from “industry-leading vendors”.

In a statement, Dish Network EVP and chief network officer Marc Rouanne, said VMware’s platform will “serve as a powerful foundation” for the operator’s network, opening the door to provision of “customisable, secure solutions that will be more cost-effective than legacy, vertically-integrated, hardware-reliant alternatives”.

The platform delivers key features around automation, security and resiliency, Dish Network explained. It also highlighted its use of “US-based foundational technology” in a fresh 5G deployment, potentially a swipe at traditional, non-domestic, vendors.

Testing and onboarding of “dozens of cloud-native 5G network functions from multiple software vendors” had already been conducted, the operator explained.

Dish Network aims to deliver SA 5G coverage to 70 per cent of the population by June 2023, though it is initially providing service under an MVNO deal with T-Mobile US.

The mobile newcomer has already contracted Mavenir, Altiostar and Fujitsu to deliver open RAN software and radio kit.