Dish Network readies 5G beta for Q4 - Mobile World Live

Dish Network readies 5G beta for Q4

09 AUG 2021
Dish

Dish Network executives used its Q2 earnings call to reveal it is at least 60 days away from launching a beta of its 5G network and is on track to meet a government mandate to cover 20 per cent of the US population by June 2022.

The operator plans to trial its 5G set-up in Las Vegas for a minimum of 90 days, with chairman Charlie Ergen predicting it could be available to delegates attending CES 2022, which is scheduled to take place in January 2022.

Stephen Bye, EVP and CCO, explained it had now signed “substantially all leases needed to meet the 20 per cent mandate”, adding construction was underway in around 30 markets.

He noted a recent deal with AT&T to be Dish Network’s primary MVNO service provider will add a new element to the network launch. “We have to be able to provision on AT&T. That will take some time”.

EVP of network development Dave Mayo explained the “majority of usage will be on our network” for Las Vegas customers, with AT&T complementing the service.

AT&T agreement
Ergen explained not all current MVNO customers will have to switch to AT&T, with some continuing to use current provider T-Mobile US’ infrastructure.

The chairman added the AT&T agreement could grow to be a “much bigger deal than the $5 billion we are committed to” and the operator is buying “other services from AT&T like backhaul”.

Ergen expects enterprise 5G customers to be more profitable than mobile broadband, because in the consumer market no-one “can charge more for 5G in the US today”.

By contrast, the operator has never had a “conversation with a company where they don’t want what we’re building”.

“You just can’t get there with legacy networks because you have to automate.”

Bye said Dish Network is handling multiple requests for proposals and information from enterprises, is engaged in several proofs of concept and working with a number of systems integrators.

Net income grew 48 per cent year-on-year to $671 million on revenue of $4.5 billion, 40 per cent higher.

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Martha DeGrasse

Freelance tech journalist Martha DeGrasse (@mardegrasse) is delighted to be contributing to Mobile World Live. Martha has written for a number of telecom and wireless publications, and was a writer, editor and video producer at RCR Wireless News for almost...

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