Dish gets Amazon on board to build 5G network, to launch in Las Vegas

Dish, with its new network built on the latest technologies, could become a threat to traditional telecom operators

  
The sign in the lobby of the corporate headquarters of Dish Network is seen in the Denver suburb of Englewood, Colorado April 6, 2011. Dish Network Corp won Blockbuster Inc in a bankruptcy auction for about $320 million, boosting the satellite TV provider's online features and marketing reach. Dish, the second-largest U.S. satellite TV company after DirecTV, trumped at least three other bidders, including activist investor Carl Icahn, for the one-time leader in video rentals. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

The sign in the lobby of the corporate headquarters of Dish Network is seen in the Denver suburb of Englewood, Colorado April 6, 2011. Dish Network Corp won Blockbuster Inc in a bankruptcy auction for about $320 million, boosting the satellite TV provider's online features and marketing reach. Dish, the second-largest U.S. satellite TV company after DirecTV, trumped at least three other bidders, including activist investor Carl Icahn, for the one-time leader in video rentals. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Rick Wilking

STOCKHOLM - Dish Network on Wednesday signed a deal with Amazon to build its 5G network on Amazon Web Services' (AWS) cloud platform and said it will launch its first network in the United States in Las Vegas later this year.

Dish, racing to build a 5G network in the United States by 2023, has chosen a new technology called Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN) that uses software to run network functions on the cloud, reducing the use of physical equipment.

As part of the collaboration, Dish and Amazon will help develop 5G applications, such as low-latency augmented reality gaming experiences, serve contextual advertising, or orchestrate the movements of a robot at a disaster site.

"We have exposed our ambition and our technology to a number of enterprise customers and we are in deep discussions," Dish Chief Network Officer Marc Rouanne said in an interview.

AWS Vice President David Brown said the partners had discussed working together for around 18 months ahead of the deal signed on Wednesday.

It is not exclusive and AWS has an existing partnership with telecom operator Verizon.

"If AWS and Dish were to partner on going after the enterprise opportunity together – leveraging Dish's network and AWS' enterprise services infrastructure and sales force – that would be exciting," Jonathan Chaplin, an analyst at New Street Research, said.

Dish, with its new network built on the latest technologies, could become a threat to traditional telecom operators, such as Verizon and AT&T T.N .

"They will have a lower cost than Verizon and so will be able to undercut on price," Chaplin said.

Rouanne said Dish is on track to reach its goal of covering 20% of the U.S. population by June next year, and at least 70% of the population by mid-2023, as part of its commitments to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee, European Technology & Telecoms Correspondent, based in Stockholm; editing by Barbara Lewis) ((supantha.mukherjee@thomsonreuters.com; +46 70 721 1004; Reuters Messaging: supantha.mukherjee.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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