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Exploring the Software-Defined 5G Network of the Future from DISH Wireless

Software code in a server room for 5G

When you think of the actual wireless network, it can be easy to picture large towers sending their signals to millions of users. We are all familiar with routers within our homes transmitting WiFi, or you may have seen smaller cellular sites and radios that transmit their signal to our favorite devices. While 5G will require many physical sites to unleash its full potential, several incredible functions that are also necessary for powering the speeds 5G has to offer don’t come from a large looming tower but rather the software used to program your wireless network which is why DISH is working on a software-defined 5G network.

The move to software-defined and programmable 5G networks is an emerging trend in the wireless industry and will help deliver 5G speeds that can surpass even current wired connections such as cable or fiber Internet. This is important because the concept along with cloud-based services has already been used in some of our favorite apps including popular SaaS (software as a service) apps Netflix or Microsoft Office 365. Moving wireless networks into the cloud and using a software-based approach will help wireless companies lower costs while providing consumers with faster networks and better solutions. This means more 5G coverage, a greater range of wireless applications, and a transformative network capable of things limited by current technology. Leading this change is DISH Wireless and its cloud-native standalone (SA) 5G network.

Building a 5G network that is less reliant upon expensive hardware, DISH Wireless and its software-based approach to 5G will bring a cost-efficient 5G network that can reach more markets. This is important in many ways for both DISH Wireless and consumers. Let’s review how DISH is planning to deliver this approach and the many ways 5G users will benefit from its software-defined 5G network.

DISH Wireless Will cut Costs While Delivering a Better Network

For many years, DISH collected 5G spectrum and even pushed to purchase Boost Mobile as it looked for a way to monetize its spectrum and step into the wireless industry. DISH would finally get its chance in 2020 when it agreed to purchase Boost Mobile from T-Mobile once T-Mobile acquired Sprint. This was all part of a deal done by multiple businesses looking to appease government bodies working to protect against a monopoly from forming due to a lack of major wireless carriers.

The framework of that deal includes a multi-billion dollar fine if DISH is unable to provide what is now 75% of wireless markets in America with a nationwide 5G network by summer 2025. DISH Wireless has also been vocal about a buildout cost estimated to be around $10 billion. A figure many within the wireless industry have raised an eyebrow towards as deploying and maintaining a 5G network can be quite expensive. Using a software-based approach, engineers will have a much easier path to creating a 5G network for DISH Wireless quicker and for less money than traditional routes. Using a software-based model will also allow DISH Wireless to reach different markets for a lower cost, thus fulfilling the need to cover 75% of the population as needed.

Passing these savings to customers is an obvious, yet powerful benefit of cutting costs, but outside of the consumer realm, the same principles ring true. 5G is here to power much more than our favorite videos and apps but will transform wireless within the commercial landscape as well. Billions of devices running on the Internet of Things (IoT) are expected within years and other fixed wireless functions will be capable due to 5G’s ability to achieve download speeds that reach 300, 500, and even over 1,000 Mbps! Lower maintenance and deployment costs will help businesses across many industries work with DISH Wireless for a fraction of the cost while receiving America’s most innovative 5G network.

Innovative Partnerships are Bringing Software to DISH Wireless

Bringing to life a complex, innovative software approach is a team effort. Luckily, DISH Wireless is enlisting some of the best vendors in the wireless industry to assist in creating its cloud-native SA 5G network. DISH Wireless is also a proud member of the O-RAN Alliance which promotes openness and intelligence to fuel innovation, collaboration, and automation. You can learn more about DISH Wireless’ involvement with the O-RAN Alliance here, but for now, get to know some of the amazing vendors working with DISH Wireless from a software perspective:

Each partnership brings a different piece to an ever-growing puzzle with each piece playing a part of the bigger picture. Being a member of the O-RAN Alliance and its foundation of established vendors is putting DISH Wireless in the right place to succeed in using a software-based approach for its 5G network.

How a Software-Based and Programmable 5G Network Benefits Everyone

Many benefits will come from DISH Wireless building a software-based and programmable 5G network. We’ve touched on the cost-cutting benefits that will be seen by both consumers and enterprises, but there are plenty of other positive features DISH Wireless will gain by taking this approach:

Network BenefitWho BenefitsHow They Benefit
AccessibilityConsumers and Enterprises
  • Greater access means cheaper maintenance.
  • Software-based means your network can be fixed even if it is in a hard-to-reach market.
  • DISH Wireless can enhance, upgrade, and patch your network without disrupting service.
DeploymentConsumers and Enterprises
  • Faster deployment means more 5G access for consumers and enterprises alike.
  • It also means new features can be deployed faster and cheaper than by using other methods.
Faster Development and SpeedsConsumers and Enterprises
  • Similar to deployment, DISH Wireless and its vendors will be capable of developing improvements at a faster rate to its 5G network.
  • The faster improvements are created, the faster DISH Wireless' 5G network will run for both personal devices and fixed wireless applications.

As partnerships and technology progress, you can expect to see the capabilities and benefits of DISH Wireless grow. These are but a few of the highlights that DISH Wireless is bringing to its subscribers right off-the-bat. One of the most impressive feats is that unlike many other 5G networks in America, rural Americans can expect to see this DISH’s 5G network extend its coverage to their markets sooner rather than later.

Rural and Underserved Markets Will Gain Access With DISH Wireless

According to the Pew Research Center, around 46 million Americans reside within rural areas. Of this number, we can see that according to the FCC, 14.5 million Americans are without fixed broadband Internet at threshold speeds. This is a problem for consumers and businesses but an opportunity for DISH Wireless.

The software-based 5G approach will empower many things as we have seen and for some, it simply means gaining access where there never was a viable connection before. Everything from the boost of supporting complex functions such as the IoT and automation for businesses, to download speeds surpassing wired connection, rural markets will see plenty of improvements to their Internet experience throughout the country thanks to DISH Wireless.

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