STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – U.S. satellite TV provider Dish Network (DISH.O) said on Friday it had picked software maker VMware Inc’s (VMW.N) telco cloud platform to build its next-generation wireless network.
Dish, which is racing to build a 5G network in the United States by 2023, has chosen a new technology called Open Radio Access Network (RAN) to deploy its network.
Open RAN uses software to run network functions on the cloud, allowing flexibility to add new features and reducing the use of physical equipment. The use of software and open-source technology could reduce costs as Dish will not have to depend on a few vendors for buying network equipment.
Dish, which is sitting on an unused wireless spectrum portfolio worth $20 billion, has also partnered with Japan’s Fujitsu (6702.T) and U.S. companies including Altiostar and Mavenir to supply various parts of the network.
Open RAN technology has been talked about in telecom circles for years but has been used only by Japan’s Rakuten, to launch a 4G network earlier this year.
Britain’s Vodafone (VOD.L) and Spain’s Telefonica (TEF.MC) are also trialing the new technology.
As part of a deal with the Federal Communications Commission, Dish has agreed to deploy 5G services by June 2023 to at least 70% of the U.S. population, or pay a fine of up to $2.2 billion.
Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Stockholm; Editing by David Holmes and Devika Syamnath