broadband connectivity

DISH has reached an agreement with Cisco that will give the vendor a big role in supporting the 5G network that DISH is building, helping DISH tailor services for the enterprise market.

The companies say that the agreement is “multilayered” and aims to accelerate the evolution of 5G in the United States. A key goal is to support emerging hybrid business models.

Cisco will provide cloud networking and automation software and end-to-end lifecycle services from Cisco Customer Experience.

The companies offered these highlights of the partnership:

  • Go-to-market strategy: DISH will join Cisco’s Reseller and Managed Services Program to deliver private 5G services to the enterprise The companies will invest in joint go-to-market plans. 
  • Deployment of an intelligent transport network: Cisco is helping DISH to plan, design and deliver an “open, cloud-based network that will predict, self-heal and self-optimize with closed-loop automation for transport network slicing.”
  • Co-innovation on virtual routing: DISH’s 5G network use “fully automated Cisco XRv9K virtualized routers running on AWS, along with virtual Cell Site Routers (vCSR) at the tower.” According to the companies, this is a “state-of-the-art, fully containerized virtual routing implementation with a purpose-built data plane to unlock the full potential for cloud-native networking.”
  • New operational models: Cisco is helping DISH establish a “lean, world-class DevOps organization that drives automation and improves operational efficiency.” The goal is to achieve faster time-to-market for new services. “Key outcomes” are continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) testing and zero-touch onboarding aimed at enabling DISH to quickly go from development to pre-production, and from staging and testing directly to production. 
  • World-class technology: Cisco will supply DISH with: IOS-XR operating system for 5G, backhaul and fronthaul transport via Cisco NCS series routers, segment routing for automated traffic management and network slicing, Nexus 9000 series with an Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) fabric for data center switching, and Cisco Crosswork Network Controller as the transport domain controller including automated service provisioning and assurance.  

Network slicing, a key enabler of some of the capabilities on which DISH and Cisco are cooperating, is a key element of the plans. Slicing is possible only standalone 5G networks such as the one DISH is building. These networks are seen as the next evolutionary step in 5G.

“DISH has compiled an outstanding roster of partners in the wireless industry, and Cisco is a key player helping us launch a customizable, automated, 5G network optimized for enterprise performance,” DISH Chairman Charlie Ergen said in a press release. “Working with Cisco is central to achieving our goal of delivering a best-in-class experience for enterprises. Our ability to continually drive value and enhance capabilities for our customers is a key differentiator for DISH, and positions us to disrupt the industry with more innovation, speed, agility and security.”

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