Dish Network inked deals with four major fibre players to deliver nationwide fronthaul and backhaul capabilities for a planned 5G network.

The company said agreements with Everstream, Segra, Uniti Group and Zayo Group will cover mobile sites connecting around 60 million people.

Uniti Group CEO Kenny Gunderman stated it would support the operator’s 5G deployments “over the next several years”.

The move builds on a multi-year contract Dish Network recently signed with communications infrastructure provider Crown Castle covering access to 20,000 US tower sites and fibre transport services, along with a host of other network-related deals.

During its Q3 earnings call, Dish Network chairman Charlie Ergen said it aims to launch standalone 5G in a handful of smaller markets in Q1 2021 and add a larger market in Q3 2021.

At the time, CMO Stephen Bye added it expected to deploy a minimum of 15,000 cell sites to meet a government-imposed target of covering 70 per cent of the US population by June 2023.