It seems DISH Wireless is making some headway with rolling out its 5G network. Recently, the satellite TV company turned wireless provider asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for a special temporary authorization for three months to use 600 MHz spectrum that’s currently licensed to Bluewater Wireless. The goal is to test 5G sites in Denver and Las Vegas using carrier aggregation technology in the 600 MHz band.
Bluewater has already provided their consent for these tests, but DISH had to make its request via a formal letter to the FCC because the FCC’s STA process doesn’t allow usage of spectrum that’s licensed to someone else.
DISH Wireless said in its filing to the FCC, “The Bluewater licenses that are the subject of this request are in two of the markets where DISH is validating and testing equipment for its new Open-RAN compliant 5G broadband network. DISH will use this additional spectrum to test carrier aggregation functionality paired with DISH-licensed 600 MHz spectrum. DISH is unable to adequately test CA using only its own licensed spectrum due to insufficient bandwidth in the two test markets and because the contemplated CA tests require non-contiguous 600 MHz spectrum blocks.”
DISH has entered into partnerships with over 30 vendors including Amazon, Dell, Nokia, and Qualcomm, to name a few, to help build its nationwide cloud-native, open RAN-based 5G broadband network.
“In both Denver and Las Vegas, DISH holds the 600 MHz F and G blocks, providing contiguous blocks of paired 5×5 MHz licenses. However, DISH anticipates needing more low band spectrum in some markets to meet customer demand in the future. When and if additional 600 MHz spectrum becomes available, either when the Commission auctions unassigned spectrum or through future partnerships, DISH plans to use carrier aggregation at the market level to combine multiple 600 MHz assets to add capacity and improve data throughput speeds,” DISH wrote in its filing.
The operator added, “To realize this goal, DISH needs to conduct CA testing in a real-world environment using the specific radios and handsets developed by its vendors for its 5G broadband network. And to test 600 MHz CA, DISH requires non-contiguous spectrum blocks. Bluewater’s A Block licenses in Denver and Las Vegas meet this need.”
DISH Wireless is also looking to access additional spectrum resources “to enhance its buildout and offer 5G service with sufficient speed and capacity to compete with the incumbent carriers.”
DISH is on track to release a beta 5G network in Las Vegas, NV by the end of 2021 and is currently on track with its final phase of construction. The 5G beta test will need a minimum of three months, in which the operator plans to troubleshoot issues and gather feedback before pushing live out to the real world.
Source: RCR Wireless