DISH deploying 5G in 137 locations by June; resolves CDMA dispute with T-Mobile

25 Feb 2022

US satellite TV operator and fledgling 5G network provider DISH has updated its rollout plans by publishing a list of 27 major metro areas and 110 additional cities which will receive its 5G mobile network services ahead of its June 2022 20% population coverage commitment. Currently operating pilot services in Las Vegas, the company invested around USD1 billion in 5G-related CAPEX in 2021 and it projects a further USD2.5 billion spend for 2022, as it works towards its pledge to cover 70% of the US population with 5G by June 2023.

Separately, in an earnings call DISH chairman Charlie Ergen confirmed that the company has resolved a dispute with T-Mobile over the shutdown of the latter’s 3G CDMA network, with no change to T-Mobile’s existing shutdown target date of 31 March 2022. According to Ergen, the pair’s resolution is pending approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Justice. As a by-product of 2020’s T-Mobile/Sprint merger DISH obtained customers of Sprint’s Boost Mobile brand using the CDMA network, and had argued that T-Mobile should give legacy users longer to switch network before shutdown. DISH says that its own costs related to the CDMA closure have reached USD250 million.