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DISH 5G Network Now Live For More Than 20% of the U.S. Population - What’s Next?

By Craig Wilson | VP Global Telecom Industry, IBM
August 03, 2022

DISH recently announced the availability of its 5G network in over 120 cities across the country – a major milestone not only for the company, but also the telecom industry overall, as the...

DISH recently announced the availability of its 5G network in over 120 cities across the country – a major milestone not only for the company, but also the telecom industry overall, as the nation's first public cloud deployment of a cloud-native greenfield 5G network. DISH plans to expand its network coverage to 70% of the United States population by this time next year and is expected to continue to co-innovate with IBM and announce groundbreaking updates prior to the next FCC deadline. 

With IBM’s network orchestration software and AI-powered automation technology, paired with IBM’s deep consulting expertise in the telco sector, DISH was able to transform and scale broad 5G network orchestration across its business operation platforms. IBM uses its intent-driven orchestration, network automation and artificial intelligence to drive the operations of DISH's cloud-native 5G network architecture. At DISH’s recent Analyst Day, DISH Wireless CNO Marc Rouanne even described IBM as the “Brains of the Network.” IBM’s technology unlocks the potential for DISH to bring Beyond Connectivity services to market.

What’s next for IBM and DISH now that DISH has met this major milestone?

The next phase of the rollout is enterprise expansion. Today, just under half of communication service providers (CSPs) have developed a business case for 5G, according to an IBM IBV research report; but that number is poised to explode. With design and implementation support from IBM, DISH plans to use advanced network slicing to offer ultra-reliable, low latency use cases and industry vertical opportunities customized for each business and customer leveraging the network’s most advanced capabilities. Network slices, essentially a way for subscribers to ‘reserve’ a logical and dedicated piece of network capacity and performance for a period of time, will be self-provisioned by DISH customers to set service levels for device and use cases specific to the desired experience. Network slicing will support new services with vastly different latency, throughput and availability requirements, whether it be a system of collaborative robots on a factory floor to a metaverse gaming experience or any other type of non-standard experience.

For an example of what network slicing looks like deployed, consider a manufacturer. The manufacturer has connected machines in its warehouse for production, safety sensors to keep employees in the warehouse safe as they oversee production operations, as well as an ERP system that is taking in all of the warehouse data, so systems and production leaders can make optimal decisions around shipments and inventory. Since each of these connected devices is running on separate slices, the enterprise-to-enterprise system of activities can operate with greater performance certainty and thus the manufacturer assumes less risk, there are fewer opportunities for lost revenue, and more importantly, fewer physical risks to employees.

DISH has the potential to be the first organization to make 5G network slicing a reality, offering enterprises unprecedented network control and scalability.

“IBM’s work with DISH on its greenfield 5G network is transformative for the telecommunications industry, and we’re delighted for the entire DISH organization in achieving this significant industry milestone,” said IBM Telco GM Stephen Rose. “We look forward to continued innovation in our longstanding collaboration with DISH.”

For more about IBM’s work in network slicing, please visit our blog: Network Slicing at the Edge.

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