Dish Network Co-Founder and President Charlie Ergen underscored the company’s commitment to building a 5G wireless network in today’s Q4 2020 earnings call. He reiterated the intention to bring 5G online in its first major cities by the end of the third quarter of 2021, which is the period from July to September, and was optimistic about Dish’s ability to boost EE’s somewhat depressing global position. .
Ergen spent several minutes on today’s call recapping what the company has done so far in its network building effort. With the acquisition of Boost Mobile last year, it currently offers prepaid service as an MVNO on the T-Mobile network, but has also been building up its own spectrum to become a full-fledged operator. That’s a good sign for wireless competition in America; Since Sprint is no longer available as an option, Dish is positioned to move forward as the fourth major carrier option. And it has to be that way to meet the conditions of the T-Mobile-Sprint merger.
To that end, Dish made purchases of low-, mid-, and high-band spectrum last year, and is estimated to have spent $ 2 billion on the recent C-band auction. With access to these different types of spectrum, Dish has the pieces. 5G so-called “layer cake” to help you establish fast service with wide coverage.
“This is not our first rodeo,” Ergen said, emphasizing his confidence in the company’s ability to execute, despite the considerable risks. Nor did it stop there; Ergen believes Dish can “help America become a leader in wireless technology again.”
Maybe he is right. There’s a big challenge ahead for Dish, but the company doesn’t face one of the challenges plaguing major carriers right now – keeping 4G data flowing while adding 5G. This has led Verizon and AT&T, in particular, to turn to a technology called Dynamic Spectrum Sharing, or DSS, with poor results. Sadly, the bar is pretty low right now for US networks, which could help Dish get started.