“We are well on track in terms of our deployment to meet those objectives. We have not made too many public statements about the timing of when markets are coming on but we have activity going underway nationwide right now, said DISH’s Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Stephen Bye.
Over the last several months, we have seen DISH Wireless do great things including the beginning steps to launch in Vegas, Orlando, and D.C. Bye recently gave updates about the company’s 5G progress at an Open RAN event held by the FCC.
Monisha Ghosh, a professor at the University of Chicago, and a former CTO for the FCC asked Bye about the challenges DISH has faced by using so many different software vendors. “When you put these multiple vendors together to create this network, and you have this data coming from different pieces, who has ownership of the data?” asked Ghosh.
Bye responded to the inquiry pointing out the fact that DISH Wireless was careful in its handling of the data. The company’s process ensures that the amount of sharing and visibility of information is at an appropriate level. “There’s always sensitivity about data that is proprietary or confidential, but there are ways to mitigate that through a governing structure,” said DISH’s CCO.
There is a shift in the wireless world towards more and more software instead of as much hardware. This change is known as virtualization, and it has been a part of DISH Wireless’s vision for its 5G network from the beginning. Virtualization allows DISH the ability to build out and maintain a nationwide network for much less. Another important attribute that virtualization brings is the ability to collaborate much easier. By visualizing the 5G network, DISH can also continue to evolve its network to meet the needs of consumers as they change in the future.
Because DISH Wireless is also using an Open RAN interface, this is allowing a faster deployment while receiving specific solutions from its many vendors. It’s also the reason there are so many vendors building its 5G network. Bye is excited to have the roster of talent DISH currently has enlisted to provide their solutions via software.
“This is to me, one of the most exciting parts of an open system and open architecture that we have with O-RAN is the speed at which we can do feature development and deployment,” said Bye. “In a traditional model, and I have years of struggling through there, we would be talking about a two-year roadmap and functionality two or three years out and working to prioritize what we wanted in that roadmap,” continued the DISH executive. Bye would go on to speak on the cost-saving benefits that come with Open RAN and how the company is looking at the network as a whole for cutting costs, not just a singular component.
Speed and cost-cutting are very important if you are DISH Wireless. The wireless provider set out with a $10 billion budget that many industry insiders scoffed at. It also has to appease government powers by sticking to its mandated deadlines of covering 20% of the American population with its 5G network by June 2022, and 70% of the U.S. population by 2023. Failure to do so will have DISH paying fines reaching over $2 billion.
“We have activity underway coast to coast, border to border right now across the country. It is a construction project, and dealing with inventory, supply chain…it is fun to see the sites come on air,” said Bye.
Source: Fierce Wireless