Nestled far away from any major city is a town that has a population that is estimated to range between 80 and 300 residents. Loving, Texas is not what one would call an urban center of civilization. 5G is the next generation of wireless technology that will transform much more than the way we talk but also the way we conduct so many areas of our lives. This technology thrives in urban, dense areas where it is expecting to supply its fastest speeds first as it begins its life cycle. These factors and more are what make DISH’s foray, or anyone’s for that matter, into 5G communication in Loving, so interesting.
Why would companies who participated in the FCC’s auction for more mid-band spectrum licenses be willing to spend an astounding amount for the rights to access this spectrum?
With the national average for bids in this summer’s auction reaching $0.215 per MHz/POP, the fact that the seven licenses that were up for grabs in Loving reached an average of $141 per MHz/POP is remarkable to put things lightly. A “blink and you’ve missed it” kind of town without the population or infrastructure to support 5G in the way experts believe it would need to be, it is apparent that the opportunity does not lie in the people but rather, the machinery that this town has to offer.
No other industry is looking to take advantage of the 5G capabilities for machines in Loving, Texas than the oilfield. Located on the Delaware Basin, the region holds over 500 working oil rigs and right under 250,000 oil-producing wells. This accounts for almost 50% of the nation’s count and the opportunities that 5G can bring this industry cannot be overstated. Everything from transporting, exploration, drilling, and more will be positively impacted by 5G. DISH’s interest in the region raises eyebrows because while Loving may not be the perfect place to provide the best 5G cell phone coverage available, it is positioning itself for opportunities in private fixed wireless network access.
There were seven licenses available this summer and while one went to DISH, the other six of them went to well-established oilfield companies with strong roots in the Loving region, EOG Resources, and Occidental Petroleum Corporation. We are already seeing companies provide oilfield companies with data services in companies such as Infrastructure Networks. The opportunities are arising for DISH, EOG, and Occidental to provide these services and more for themselves and other oilfield-related organizations.
“It speaks to the fact that the revenue opportunity in Loving is tied to machines using the spectrum (oil & gas), not people,” said Brian Goemmer, the founder of AllNet Insights & Analytics.
This statement is a great snapshot of the opportunities that Loving, Texas is presenting to those willing to invest in the wireless sector. While people use devices to communicate daily, 5G is going to assist with the way machines communicate with not only humans but each other. The Internet of Things (IoT) powered by 5G is paving the way for greater machine function. The idea is that due to increased levels of artificial intelligence (AI), lower latency, and the ability to communicate amongst themselves, 5G will power machines to work seamlessly and collaborate. At times, this could mean completing tasks that don’t even require the input of a human worker. Capable of adjusting on the fly and communicating in real-time, the IoT will push machines to new heights that will elevate the oil industry in Loving, manufacturing in Mexico, factories in China, and everywhere else machines are being used. DISH Wireless is in the prime position to create an impact in Loving and elsewhere due to its capabilities and licenses.
Source: Light Reading