Dish Network has joined hands with Amazon to build its cloud-based 5G Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN) on Amazon Web Services’ platform to rival the best 5G networks. The Open RAN architecture significantly reduces the need for physical equipment, as pretty much all the key network functions can run from the cloud.
Charlie Ergen, Dish co-founder and chairman, said in a statement:
Through this collaboration with AWS, we will operate not just as a communications services provider, but as a digital services provider harnessing the combined power of 5G connectivity and the cloud. Together, we will enable our customers to take full advantage of the potential of 5G. Our approach will revolutionize wireless connectivity by giving customers the ability to customize and scale their network experience on-demand. As a new carrier, leveraging AWS and its extensive network of partners enables us to differentiate ourselves by operating our 5G network with a high degree of automation, utilizing the talent of AWS-trained developers and helping our customers bring new 5G applications to market faster than ever before.
Dish says it will roll out its cloud-based 5G network in the U.S. later this year, beginning with Las Vegas. Its nationwide 5G network, however, won’t be ready anytime soon. Dish’s 5G network is expected to cover 20% of the U.S. by June 2022 and around 70% of the population by mid-2023. Once the network expands nationwide, Dish will finally be able to realize its goal of becoming a strong rival to the big three U.S. carriers.
Dish also claims that running on AWS will allow its 5G network to “significantly outpace legacy networks in the speed with which it can facilitate hardware and software upgrades.” It adds that the partnership with AWS will “simplify the process” for developers to create 5G applications — including low-latency AR games.
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