Dish Network launched its 5G service to consumers in Las Vegas on Wednesday after several months of delays as the telecom firm tries to build out a nationwide network and reduce its reliance on T-Mobile.
The service — dubbed “Project Genesis” — was initially supposed to launch in the city in September and help cut dependence on the T-Mobile network that powers Dish’s Boost prepaid wireless service.
Dish acquired Boost as part of the T-Mobile and Sprint merger, which won antitrust approval in 2020 after the companies agreed to divest some assets including some wireless spectrum to create a new wireless competitor.
T-Mobile has since then allowed Dish to use its network but the relationship between the companies soured after T-Mobile announced plans to shut down its older CDMA wireless network — a service still used by a significant number of Boost customers.
That has prompted Dish to create its own cellular network, which it plans to make available in 120 markets by June.
Customers signing up for the service will have to pay $30 per month (roughly Rs. 2,200) and Dish is selling its first smartphone – the Motorola Edge+ — loaded with the service for about $900 (roughly Rs. 68,600), the company said in a statement.
In another recent development, Dish has signed a multi-year deal with Samsung to buy equipment for its upcoming 5G network in the United States, one of the largest radio deals for the South Korean company since its major Verizon contract in 2020.
Samsung set itself up as a challenger to top telecoms equipment suppliers Nokia and Ericsson in the United States by winning a $6.6 billion (roughly Rs. 50,490 crore) deal with Verizon, and the contract with Dish further cements its position.”This is a greater than a billion-dollar agreement for Samsung Networks,” Alok Shah, vice president at Samsung, told Reuters. “We will be delivering our first products to Dish later this year.”Dish already has Taiwan’s Microelectronics Technology (MTI) and Japan’s Fujitsu as suppliers for 5G radios.
© Thomson Reuters 2022