CTIA 2023 - DISH Wireless Leadership in 5G and Open RAN


May 18, 2023

By Dave Mayo, EVP of Network Development

CTIA is the voice of America’s telecommunications industry. It is my pleasure to not only represent DISH Wireless on the CTIA Board of Directors, but also give a keynote address at this year's CTIA 5G Summit - an opportunity to share the DISH Wireless journey, Open RAN learnings and more to a variety of key industry leaders.


Our vision at DISH has always been to change the way the world communicates. We began our journey in the satellite TV business - launching the first DBS satellite and world’s first MPEG-2 digital service. Over four decades later, DISH remains determined to connect people and things in a transformative way. At DISH Wireless, we are deploying the world’s first cloud-native Open RAN (O-RAN) 5G network to provide Americans with the very latest in connectivity technology. 


The modern telecom network needs to be different from legacy networks. With a design relying on cloud-based technologies and automation, DISH has a massive opportunity to accelerate innovation. Incorporating O-RAN provides DISH with a variety of benefits - such as observability, reliability, product modularity, sustainability and zero-trust security. 


Open RAN makes it possible for DISH to mix and match the vendors within our network ecosystem, giving us a lot more flexibility than legacy networks. A major takeaway from our 5G deployment process was that DISH needs to own the end-to-end system integration of our O-RAN ecosystem, which is where we now excel - we wrote the book on it.


While similar to other wireless networks, the DISH 5G network has fundamental differences that set us apart. Firstly, our entire core network is in the cloud, enabling us to deploy our network in record-time. We were the first provider to deploy Voice over New Radio (VoNR) service and are actively expanding with 5G broadband in markets all across America. Secondly, O-RAN enables us to separate radios from software, equating to increased flexibility across vendors, and connecting with our customers. Third, we’re deploying over 100 MHz of spectrum - something I’ve never seen done before in a provider's initial deployment. 


Deploying a first-of-it-kind network is not an easy feat, it requires immense teamwork and dedication. DISH couldn’t have done it without our outstanding team and our valued partners’ continued support.