Intel secures 5G contract with Dish Network

Intel has signed a partnership with U.S. operator Dish Nework to supply virtualized RAN (vRAN) equipment for a standalone 5G deployment, the chipmaker said in a release.

As part of the deal, Intel’s 5G infrastructure technology will create the foundation for Dish’s greenfield 5G network.

The deployment will include the Intel Xeon Scalable processor, the Intel Ethernet 800 Series network adapter, the Intel vRAN Dedicated Accelerator ACC100 and Intel FlexRAN software reference architecture. Through this collaboration with Intel, Dish will be able to consolidate and optimize multiple workloads at locations across its network for increased efficiency.

“Fully virtualized, cloud-native networks, like the one Dish is building, bring the same server economics that transformed the datacenter,” said Dan Rodriguez, corporate vice president and general manager of Intel’s Network Platforms Group. “We are excited to partner with Dish to lay the foundation for a truly agile network and have already begun working with our OEM partners who have designed FlexRAN-based servers to enable a variety of new innovative use cases and services.”

In addition to working together on the fully virtualized RAN, the two companies are also collaborating to enable edge applications for enterprises and driving O-RAN standards, and are cooperating in the areas of data optimization and machine learning for future phases of the network buildout.

In September, Nokia and Dish Network have entered an agreement in which Nokia’s cloud-native, standalone 5G Core software products will provide support in a number of areas including data management, device management and integration services.

As part of the deal, Nokia will deliver additional cloud-native products that will provide 4G, 5G standalone and Voice over Wi-Fi access to core network functions.

Dish Network has also selected VMware for cloud capabilities; Matrixx Software for its charging system; and Mavenir, Altiostar and Fujitsu to deliver open RAN software and radio equipment.

In January, Dish Network announced its intention to provide standalone 5G broadband coverage to 70% of Americans by June 2023.

In September, the Federal Communications Commission’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau officially granted Dish Network until mid-2023 to meet build-out requirements for its AWS and lower 700 MHz spectrum holdings.

The FCC is requiring Dish to build out “5G Broadband Service,” which it defines as 5G New Radio, as laid out in 3GPP Release 15 or later, that is capable of providing Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) functionality.

Dish had planned to build a narrowband IoT network to fulfill its FCC build-out requirements, but the new rules on its licenses mean that it must offer 5G NR service instead — and specifically say that each of its licenses are now “expressly conditioned on Dish building, deploying, and offering 5G Broadband Service.”

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