It’s been a long time coming, but Dish’s 5G network is finally live in Las Vegas, with more than 120 cities to follow in the next few weeks. Dish originally planned to launch its 5G network in 2020 before revising that time frame to the first quarter of 2021. The company missed that deadline as well but said that it expected to launch its services in Q3, 2021. The first beta trial was announced during the company’s Q2 2021 earnings call.
With the launch of its 5G network, Dish has become the fourth wireless carrier in the U.S. alongside Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. The original fourth carrier, Sprint, merged with T-Mobile in 2020 following an understanding with the FCC to establish Dish as the new player in the sector. As part of the agreement, T-Mobile sold its prepaid brand Boost to Dish Network, allowing the DTH provider to temporarily offer cellular service on T-Mobile’s network as an MVNO.
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Following multiple delays over the past couple of years, Dish Network has finally announced the commercial launch of its 5G cellular service in Las Vegas. The company plans to expand its network to more than 120 cities by June. Called ‘Project Genesis,’ Dish’s 5G service has been in closed beta since the second half of 2021, with the company starting sign-ups in June 2021. The service costs just $30 per month but supports only one phone currently – the Motorola Edge+ (2022) that was released a few months ago. The company plans to add support for more devices in the near future and says that some customers have had success connecting to the network using a Galaxy S22. However, Samsung devices are not officially supported yet.
Dish Will Expand To Over 120 Cities By June
In terms of new markets, Dish has listed more than 120 cities around the country, including Dallas-Fort Worth, Albuquerque, Nashville, Orlando, Salt Lake City, Kansas City, and Charlotte, to name a few. Here’s the full list. In an agreement with the FCC, Dish promised to cover 20 percent of the U.S. population with its network by June, and a timely launch in the new markets will likely help the company go a long way in fulfilling that agreement. As for users in Vegas, Dish says that they will be able to access support through the Project Genesis app that offers NFTs as loyalty rewards.
Per Axios, Dish’s 5G network is based on OpenRAN – an open-source radio access network developed by the O-RAN alliance. While most carriers use proprietary technology, Dish’s use of OpenRAN will allow it to expand its network faster by using off-the-shelf hardware. Earlier this year, Dish announced that Samsung, which previously worked with Verizon to expand low-band nationwide 5G with DSS, will be one of the supply partners for its cellular network, providing vRAN (Virtualized RAN) software and radios.