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The dish marks progress in 5G network building

Dish Network is making progress on its unique open radio access network (RAN) in the United States, and Dish President Charlie Ergen said “we will just do it,” rather than trying to convince skeptics of what they are doing.

Dish needs to get through RF planning, permission and acquisition of seats and the actual installation of gear like antennas, but it is still looking to launch a market before the end of the year. Dish will build a 5G network covering 70% of the US population by June 2023.

There is nothing technical that prevents it from building the network and it has a good team to perform, according to Ergen. The company has said it estimates the network building will cost about $ 1

0 billion, and it has not changed that guidance.


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“There’s nothing stopping us from building … the best network in the United States,” Ergen said during the company’s second-quarter revenue call on Friday. There is no physics or law. “It really is execution … We are not inventing anything again,” but it uses more modern technology.

“We just have to do it. We do not spend much time talking about it, externally, because everyone will be skeptical “until it is time to turn it on, and then people will have their opinions on it, he said.

Dish has announced several suppliers and will choose more before everything is said and done. VMware will provide its telco cloud platform and Altiostar, Fujitsu and Mavenir are also on board to help deploy its 5G standalone network (SA) with cloud-based, open RAN architecture.

Dish officially entered the wireless retail space on July 1, when it closed a $ 1.4 billion deal to acquire the prepaid Boost Mobile brand from T-Mobile, with about 9 million subscribers. Earlier this week, it announced the acquisition of most of Ting Mobile’s subscribers (PDF) and the decision to use Ting-mother Tucow’s Mobile Services Enabler (MSE) solutions.

Currently, Dish uses T-Mobile’s network in an MVNO arrangement to serve Boost prepaid customers, but eventually it will benefit the owner’s finances when it can serve customers with its own 5G network. It is currently in talks with tower companies, including the three largest public companies and other vendors.

RELATED: Dish Closes $ 1.4B Acquisition of Boost, Enters Wireless Retail

While the bowl marks progress, MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett said in a research report for investors on Friday that another quarter passed without much to say about Dish’s wireless business.

“It simply came to our notice then substantially building, ”he said. “And they still have not found a strategic partner. They have still not gone to the capital markets for financing. And they still haven’t changed their capex guide to wireless for this year – a handsome $ 250 to $ 500 million, excluding capitalized interest rates. Nor have they changed their long-term $ 10B guide to building a virtualized network, a number we no longer need to reserve by saying we do not believe. “

Dish & C-band auction

New Street Research analysts expect the bowl to bid on the C-band auction in addition to the CBRS auction that is currently taking place. In addition, “we do not think they will bid just to raise prices and annoy the other market players; we think they will bid to win,” wrote analyst Jonathan Chaplin.

In analyzing the CBRS and C-band auctions, New Street expects Dish to spend $ 6 billion, mostly on C-band licenses. “We would not be surprised to see them spend more; it will all depend on whether they can find the funding. We expect that they will have an anchor tenant locked into the network when the C-band auction starts; that the tenant or partner will have a strong interest in seeing Dish win more licenses; Whether they fund the bowl directly or whether the bowl raises capital in the public markets, we suspect that they will have the capital they need to bid and win when the auction breaks up. “

Ergen was mostly non-commitment to the C-band when asked about it during the company’s revenue call.

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