When DISH Wireless formed to create the most innovative 5G network across America, it did so by collaborating with a variety of vendors. It is continuing this trend by announcing a partnership with Intel to improve its virtualization efforts with one of the biggest names in tech. The partnership makes sense for a variety of reasons including the fact that DISH Wireless and Intel are part of the O-RAN Alliance and the Silicon Valley semiconductor giant just released many vRAN solutions earlier this year.
While the rest of the wireless world is scrambling to add virtualization elements to their networks such as Verizon, DISH Wireless has been very open about its virtualization efforts and goals beginning from the ground up. “It’s really the architecture,” said DISH Co-Founder and Chairman, Charlie Ergen in 2019. “When you move to virtualization and are doing in software what you do in hardware today, the robustness of what that network will do is a paradigm shift.”
Virtualization allows DISH to take physical aspects of its network and create them online in the cloud. This is useful because building a nationwide 5G network in the physical realm can be challenging and quite expensive. With virtualization, DISH Wireless will save costs and improve its ability to collaborate and maintain its network. Working with a $10 billion budget and looking to beat the timeline of summer 2025 to have at least 75% of major U.S. markets covered or face a multi-billion dollar fine, DISH will rely on virtual components to make these efforts a success. Intel appears to be ready for the challenge.
“Fully-virtualized, cloud-native networks like the one Dish is building bring(s) the same server economics that transformed the data center,” said Dan Rodriguez, Intel’s Corporate VP and General Manager of the Network Platforms Group. “We are excited to partner with Dish to lay the foundation for a truly agile network and have already begun working with our OEM partners who have designed FlexRAN-based servers to enable a variety of new innovative use cases and services,” he continued in a statement.
The collaboration between DISH Wireless and Intel will see the tech giant bringing its Intel Ethernet 800 Series network adapter, Intel’s FlexRAN software reference architecture, the Intel vRAN Dedicated Accelerator ACC100, and Intel Xeon Scalable Processor to DISH’s network. DISH Wireless will ultimately benefit as will its subscribers, but as the company continues to build, the many vendors working on America’s next major 5G network will benefit as well. Better virtualization that is O-RAN compliant will help build solutions cheaper, faster, and easier for the many vendors, such as Nokia, working on the network.
Source: Fierce Wireless