DISH says it is providing 5G service to 70% of the U.S. population and has launched more than 15,000 5G sites and therefore has met a key FCC buildout milestone related to its acquisition of Boost Mobile.
DISH faces additional buildout requirements two years from now, however, and some question whether the company will be able to meet those requirements, citing funding and timing constraints.
The company says that it has continued to add functionality and markets to its voice over new radio (VoNR) service, which it claims is the first service featuring the technology in the U.S. The service now covers more than 70 million people through Boost Mobile and Boost Infinite. The rollout will continue, the company says.
The FCC required DISH to meet several conditions, including provisioning of 5G to 70% of the U.S. by yesterday as a condition of its purchase of Sprint’s Boost Mobile prepaid business. Sprint had to divest Boost Mobile as a condition of its acquisition by T-Mobile.
“As a leader in Open RAN technology, DISH is playing a major role in the transformation of America’s wireless infrastructure and the way the world communicates,” DISH Wireless president and chief operating officer John Swieringa said in a press release about the DISH 5G buildout milestone.
“We have made significant progress on our network buildout, and can now focus on monetizing the network through retail and enterprise growth. With more markets across the country offering the DISH 5G network for voice, text and data services, our business can start realizing the benefits of owner economics.”
Some people would argue that a provider needs to cover more like 95% of the country to have a nationwide network. But DISH does have an agreement with AT&T to use the AT&T network in areas where it lacks its own infrastructure.
DISH uses the term Project Genesis to refer to connectivity in areas where the company operates its own network. The company notes that the DISH 5G network is available to DISH subscribers and to Boost Mobile and Boost Infinite subscribers with a network compatible device in more than 50 markets nationwide. More markets and compatible devices will be added this year, the company said.