Dish hopes to serve a new kind of 5G network



For years Charlie Ergen had a design that would turn him from a TV to a mobile mogul.

A billionaire media executive and former professional poker player has spent $ 25 billion over the past fifteen years to buy mobile spectrum and his flagship pay TV company, Dish Network, an AT&T giant. Changed into a phone company that can compete with. Verizon and T-Mobile. Eight years ago, he even approached the $ 25 billion offer from Sprint, which was the third largest network at the time.

Later that year, Dish announced plans to become the first telecommunications company in the world to choose to run its services from the public cloud. Sign a contract with Amazon Use the server to control the new 5G network.

If it works, it may prove the case for a completely different type of communication architecture.

According to Ergen, Dish’s switch to telecommunications was prompted by a “technological paradigm shift” that allows cloud providers to host all of the servers and software features needed to run their networks.

“This technology is important. If it’s too early you’ll be killed on the road, but if it’s too late you’ll miss the window, ”he told the Financial Times in an interview.

Indeed, the government pressured telecom companies in countries like the US and UK to use smaller equipment suppliers after China’s Huawei was banned from rolling out new networks. 5G for security reasons. This corresponds to what you called.

Dish works with Nokia as well as a long list of US software companies such as Mavenir, Altiostar, Matrixx, Ciena and Palo Alto Networks to deliver networks seen as potential pioneers. “Open the RAN” Networks around the world.

“Open RAN” represents a change that allows communications hardware and software from different vendors to work together, rather than depending on a single large vendor such as Huawei or Ericsson. This will allow small, potentially innovative vendors to enter the 5G market. This was approved by the US and UK governments as a way to increase competition after Huawei’s ban.

If Dish proves that the new 5G network can be deployed quickly at a much lower cost (because you don’t have to build and operate your own data center), its launch is a milestone. Could become. “As long as we are successful, others will follow,” Ergen said.

Dish’s 5G network went live in Las Vegas in the third quarter and began accepting customer registration requests this month through a website called ProjectGene5is., However, many in the industry remain skeptical of the significant impact on the US telecommunications market, which is dominated by the three largest groups.

The budget of $ 8 billion to $ 10 billion for building a new wireless network seems small to some. “Half of New Jersey could get decent coverage for $ 10 billion,” said an executive at a rival telecommunications company, who said the new 5G network had spread over the years outside of the areas. urban. He said he is unlikely to be able to provide coverage. It will reduce its appeal to consumers and business clients who need to travel.

Others have pointed out that Dish was heading into telecommunications just months after AT&T canceled its entry into new markets in particular. Spin off DirecTV, the satellite company’s closest competitor.

For some, wireless push is the foundation of Dish’s survival. The Moffett Nathanson research group argued that Dish’s main satellite TV business is expected to bring in a “solid level” of new customers going forward.

“It’s no exaggeration to say that Dish’s core business is wireless, not satellite TV,” analysts said.

Ergen claims he forgot the alleged person in the past. Called Hollywood’s most hated man because of him High stakes battle In content businesses, he has a terrifying reputation. He defeated Rupert Murdoch in 2001 and failed his first attempt to buy DirecTV. Ergen is also active in Britain and has surrounded his satellite rival Inmarsat, Withdraw from the call for tenders At the 11th hour of 2018.

He has certainly eliminated the so-called in the past. His $ 60,000 satellite TV start-up EchoStar was launched in 1980 by installing “big old-fashioned dishes” in the American countryside where reception did not exist.

With the launch of consumer digital broadcasting services under the Dish (Digital Information Super Highway) brand in 1996, it has become a serious multimedia player and a leader in the pay television market. Currently separate from EchoStar, Dish has more than 11 million customers and generated $ 15.5 billion in revenue and $ 1.8 billion in net income in 2020.

Ergen also faced heavy fines from U.S. telecommunications regulators under conditions associated with spectrum licenses if he did not build a mobile network that would reach 40% of the U.S. population by next June. Stressed skeptical people. He previously said that neglecting these regulatory milestones would be “economic suicide” for the company.

Dish already has a small place in the mobile market with the purchase of the Boost brand from T-Mobile in 2020. Boost’s 9 million customers are less than a tenth of its biggest rivals, but Dish says T -Mobile is faster than expected on the old 3G network used by Boost by large companies. “Stop the competition” after the block.

Even though the power of the Amazon is behind him, Ergen did not promise the Earth. “As the fourth player we don’t think we can take over the world in the short term,” he said. He added that there are still enough risks associated with launching network structures that have never been attempted.

Still, he believes his cloud-based network can reshape his business. “We are building Netflix in a successful world,” he said in a unique Tennessee droll. “This is not our first rodeo.”

Dish hopes to serve a new kind of 5G network Dish hopes to serve a new kind of 5G network


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