Tuesday October 04, 2022

Samsung will supply radios and software for Dish’s long-delayed 5G network

Dish Network owes Dish Network a 5G network — this was the key to the deal that allowed T-Mobile and Sprint to buy Sprint, reducing our options to just three wireless carriers. Dish Network has announced a new partner, Samsung, as the deadline for its first 5G network was fast approaching. As it works to build a 5G network, the company joins Dish. Dish isn’t just building any 5G network. The network is built on a cloud-based technology called ORAN (Open Radio Access Network). This technology relies on off the shelf hardware rather than proprietary hardware. To make it all work, Samsung will supply vRAN (Virtualized Radio Access Network… you get the idea) software and radio units.
The FCC was promised by Dish that it would cover 20% of the population using its new network by June this year. This is a significant milestone on the road to eventually covering 70% of the population by June 2023. The project has been plagued by delays. For those who keep score at home, June is next year. The network’s current state was not painted in the most positive light by Dish’s last earnings call. As of February, it was still beta testing with Las Vegas friends and family. While Vegas is home to many things, it doesn’t actually have 20 percent of the US’s population.
Dish isn’t the only US-based operator Samsung has worked with. It helped Verizon expand its low band Nationwide 5G network with a technology called DSS (or Dynamic Spectrum Sharing). Let’s hope this partnership with Dish yields better results than the previous venture, as the clock is ticking.

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