DISH Wireless Tower

DISH will add yet another big technology name to its 5G network partner list, with Dell Technologies now included. Dell has been selected to provide an open ecosystem of RAN and edge infrastructure for DISH’s 5G buildout.

DISH has long touted its approach of building the first cloud-native, Open RAN-based (O-RAN) 5G network from the ground up. DISH can make this claim because it has no legacy wireless network to transform. Starting from scratch has some advantages with this approach. The downside of course is the company is relying on untested technology at massive scale.

Other carriers are also implementing much of this technology, but at less scale and layering it onto an existing network. Open RAN’s advantage is based in the idea of reducing the cost and enhancing the flexibility of radio access networks by using an open standards-based approach.

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One goal of such an approach is it’s supposed to make the network vendor agnostic, giving a carrier the ability to leverage lower cost “white box” solutions from any number of vendors.

Dell’s primary role in this symphony appears to be focused on the network’s edge, where edge computing is one of the key enhancements related to 5G. By bringing more computing power from the core of the network to the edge, mobile operators can offer a better experience to end customers and develop enterprise and industry specific applications.

For example, DISH intends to leverage Dell open hardware and software infrastructure to power 5G and edge use cases in industries across healthcare, education, government, retail, manufacturing, and banking, among others.

The two intend to collaborate on a go-to-market strategy for these applications, which makes sense given Dell’s deep pedigree in the enterprise world.

Other partnership goals include:

  • Dell and DISH are creating private 5G wireless network solutions, software-defined wide area networks and multi-access edge cloud platforms.
  • The companies will co-develop technology for Open RAN, SmartNICs, emerging micro-edge colocation, operational automation and other areas of R&D.
  • Joint teams will pursue and create multi-access edge computing (MEC) solutions for enterprise and small business opportunities.
  • The companies are designing and certifying Dell 5G-enabled laptops with DISH connectivity options.

“By collaborating with Dell Technologies, we will have the hardware and software infrastructure needed to harness the power and potential of 5G,” said Marc Rouanne, DISH chief network officer in a press release. “Dell’s open ecosystem approach will help us scale our RAN network with agility, speed and consistency, bringing about new business opportunities for both enterprise customers and consumers, completing our cloud strategy,”

Dell joins a growing list of DISH 5G partners including Qualcomm, Oracle, Amdocs, Fujistu, Mavenir, and others.

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