Charlie Ergen drew back the curtain a little more on the Dish’s 5G plans today, announcing that Fujitsu 5G radio units (RUs) will be deployed on macro sites, which will be interoperable with all Dish cloud-native distributed unit (DU) vendors
The use of Fujitsu’s low-band tri-band and mid-band dual-band radio units are both industry firsts for O-RAN radios. In addition to radio units, Fujitsu will provide support through its integrated supply chain to deliver radio and antenna integration. Additionally, Fujitsu will manage DU/RU hardware validation between vendors, including Altiostar, which is delivering cloud-native 5G radio software to DISH.
Altiostar will provide cloud-native, virtualized RAN (vRAN) software through a multi-year agreement with Dish. Leveraging Altiostar’s software solution, Dish will be able to dynamically scale its network depending on the type of applications and services being deployed. The openness, modularity, agility and scalability provided by Altiostar will enable Dish to quickly deploy new 5G services for consumers and businesses.
Jonathan Chaplin, New Street Research, recently wrote, “At the heart of [Dish’s] vision is a 5G network that will be able to deliver capacity at a quarter of the cost per unit of Verizon’s network. The cost advantage is driven by Dish having more capacity, with a lower fixed network cost. We show that Dish can generate a 50 percent margin at a price per gigabit that is half of what it costs Verizon to manufacture a GB.”
In April of this year, As Dish Network announced that it would build out the nation’s first software-defined 5G wireless broadband network, beginning with a multi-year agreement with Mavenir’s cloud-native OpenRAN software.
“By using open architecture to build the first standalone 5G network in the U.S., we are able to work with the best vendors from across the supply chain to effectively serve multiple segments, including consumers, enterprises and emerging 5G vertical markets,” said Marc Rouish, Dish executive vice president and chief network officer.
On June 24, Dish priced an offering of $1 billion aggregate principal amount of 7.375 percent senior notes due 2028.
Presaging today’s announcement, on June 11, Mavenir announced that it had entered into a collaboration with Altiostar to deliver a portfolio of radios based on OpenRAN for the U.S. market. Both companies will be supporting the development of radios through third party OEM’s that will be based on O-RAN open interfaces and will address the frequencies of Tier-1 and regional/rural operators.