US satellite pay-TV provider DISH Network has named its first vendor for its planned nationwide virtualised 5G standalone wireless network rollout, selecting Mavenir to supply OpenRAN software under a multi-year agreement. FierceWireless reports that this is the first public 5G network vendor contract announcement from DISH, which has issued five requests-for-proposals for the project since last summer, signalling that the company is finally moving forward with plans to become the fourth nationwide facilities-based wireless carrier in the US. DISH has promised to build its own 5G network capable of reaching 70% of the population by 2023, budgeting around USD10 billion investment, while in a spin-off deal from the recent T-Mobile/Sprint merger it intends to take over the Boost Mobile pre-paid business.
The work with Mavenir is already underway, with the Texas-based software provider delivering cloud-native OpenRAN solutions for DISH, under a wider plan to build an open, standalone 5G network, similar to that of Japanese cellular newcomer Rakuten’s greenfield rollout of a virtualised LTE (and future 5G) network, for which Mavenir is also a vendor, FierceWireless notes. DISH’s chief network officer Marc Rouanne stated: ‘The open and intelligent architecture of our greenfield network will give us the ability to source a diverse technology ecosystem, including US-based solution providers. Mavenir will help us lay the foundation for an innovative software-defined network with the flexibility, intelligence and scalability to deliver applications that will redefine the US wireless industry.’ Mavenir CEO Pardeep Kohli added: ‘Working with DISH, we will be supporting the deployment of the world’s largest cloud-native OpenRAN 5G network.’