Dish selects Mavenir software for OpenRAN on 5G network

Dish: ‘An OpenRAN architecture provides the opportunity to utilize “a diverse technology ecosystem’

Now that the Sprint/T-Mobile merger has officially been finalized, Dish Network is on its way to being one of the big four U.S. mobile operators. As part of its plan to develop a software-defined 5G network, the company has entered in a multi-year agreement with network software provider Mavenir to deliver cloud-native OpenRAN software.

An OpenRAN architecture can provide a number of benefits, like cost savings and the elimination of vendor lock-in.

For Dish, specifically, Marc Rouanne, Dish’s chief network officer, said that an open and intelligent network architecture will provide the company with the critical opportunity to utilize “a diverse technology ecosystem.”

“Mavenir will help us lay the foundation for an innovative software-defined network with the flexibility, intelligence and scalability to deliver applications that will redefine the U.S. wireless industry,” he continued.

Mavenir President and CEO Pardeep Kohli said, “Working with Dish, we will be supporting the deployment of the world’s largest cloud-native OpenRAN 5G network.”

Dish ended up playing a significant role in pushing the Sprint/T-Mobile merger through; the US Department of Justice ruled that in order for the merger to be approved, Sprint and T-Mobile must divest their pay-as- you-go businesses to Dish, to ensure adequate market competition.

On a July 2019 earning’s call, then T-Mobile CEO John Legere stated that, per the terms set by the DoJ, Sprint’s prepaid businesses, including Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile, will go to Dish along with some 800 MHz spectrum licenses and access to wireless infrastructure sites that would be made redundant with the merger.

Legere also called Dish a “serious and credible” wireless market entrant, adding that AT&T and Verizon should keep an eye out.

“I’m not usually the one…to be positive on others’ capabilities, but I would say it’s very clear that with the spectrum Dish has, with the acquisition of Boost with the MVNO arrangement, with the transition services agreement while they build out their network, with the ability to get some the decommissioned towers and stores, Dish has a real, significant opportunity to be a very credible, disruptive fourth wireless carrier,” Legere said. “That certainly is something I’m sure that AT&T and Verizon should keep an eye on but it’s not to the detriment of our ability to achieve our ambitions.”

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