Aviat Networks is joining DISH Wireless as the newest face in 5G prepares to deliver an innovative 5G network throughout America. The role Aviat Networks will play as a vendor to DISH Wireless will be to supply solutions that can leverage microwave transport for midhaul and backhaul in its 5G network. In 2020, DISH Wireless brokered deals for fiber with Everstream, Segra, Uniti, and Zayo for fronthaul and backhaul with Crown Castle also providing fiber services in part of a larger agreement to lease 20,000 tower sites.
While financial details are not yet released, Aviat’s agreement will see DISH Wireless using its hardware and software. Most notably, DISH will be using the AviatCloud software platform, WTM 4000 microwave, mmWave, and multi-band radio platform from Aviat. According to a spokesperson, the AviatCloud software platform will “simplify all aspects of microwave, which includes software for design, support expert systems for network management, and e-commerce for faster procurement and next day shipping.” As for its multi-band radio platform, a combination of E-band (70-80 GHz) and traditional microwave (6-42 GHz) are used on a single microwave with one antenna on each end.
The vendor hailing from Austin, TX was excited at the move because of the opportunity to showcase the benefits of E-band while also fixing problems including short-distance link distance of 2-3 km. Aviat is also touting the fact that E-band capacity can be switched on if needed through software. DISH Wireless is pointing to the value Aviat is bringing to the table noting that it would provide the “highest system gain radios for optimum capacity and radios with integrated software-defined networking (SDN) capabilities.”
DISH Wireless is also acquiring additional products from the Aviat Store, an e-commerce store. Aviat Networks has the exclusive rights as a distributor of NEC microwave gear, services, and customer service in North America. Whie it is unclear at the moment if DISH Wireless will implement NEC microwave solutions into its 5G network, DISH’s Executive Vice President of Wireless Network Operations, Jeff McSchooler pointed to the exciting prospects that this newfound partnership will bring. “Aviat will play a central role in helping us utilize microwave, which has become a highly sought-after component of the wireless transport mix,” McSchooler said. “This microwave-based solution will help deliver the midhaul and backhaul connectivity we need while excelling in affordability, reliability, and resilience.”
Fiber has a bright future ahead of itself in transporting 5G but there are many markets in which using fiber can be impractical and expensive. This is where microwaves come in. Companies can use the technology in the meantime while waiting for market conditions and opportunities that provide a viable path to use fiber going forward. Considering the amount of time digging and installing fiber can take, greenfield fiber could be a while to deploy in hard to reach markets. Speaking on the importance of microwaves going forward, Jimmy Yu, the Vice President of the Dell’Oro Group, released a statement saying, “The 5G wireless transport market is expected to grow exponentially to over $1B in 2023, and microwave will play a critical role in this growth. Despite common perception, it’s not just about fiber.” The Dell’Oro Group is an industry-leading research and marketing group for networking and telecommunications.
According to analysis from the Dell’Oro Group, Aviat continues to prove to be a force within the industry. The company is one of the top six microwave vendors and was capable of contributing towards the collective holding almost 80% in revenue share for the first three quarters of 2020 and only one of three of these companies to outperform the market by increasing their market share.
It’s no secret that DISH wireless is building its 5G network to align with the guidelines and techniques of the O-RAN Alliance. President and CEO Pete Smith believes that the partnership with DISH Wireless and the ability to implement wireless backhaul with Open RAN equipment will benefit both parties. “As 5G networks migrate to O-RAN, operators are able to choose the best-in-class backhaul vendor. As the leading specialist, the evolution to O-RAN creates exciting 5G opportunities for Aviat,” said Smith.
The prospects of how DISH Wireless will use wireless backhaul for 5G are exciting but the deal with Aviat doesn’t end there. It is important to remember the benefits midhaul will bring to the company’s ambitions. Acting as a transport segment, midhaul links distributed units (DUs) and centralized unit (CU) network components. Network functions can become split up when they occur in baseband units as a part of an Open RAN and virtualized architecture.
Virtualization is another big part of DISH Wireless as it builds its 5G network across America. A proud member of the O-RAN Alliance, the idea is that through virtualizing the network using other innovations through collaborative efforts, DISH can keep costs lower, buildout faster, and create a state-of-the-art 5G network from the ground up. Time is an important factor for DISH Wireless as is staying on budget. Despite pessimism from outside analysts, DISH Wireless persists that its $10 billion buildout will be enough. Facing a fine of more than $2 billion should it fail to cover 70% of the U.S. population by June 2023, DISH Wireless will continue to rely on innovative vendors such as Aviat Networks to make this a possibility.
Source: Fierce Wireless