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DISH taps AWS to power its 5G network

DISH Network Corporation announced this week that it selected Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its preferred cloud provider. DISH will construct its 5G network on AWS as part of a strategic collaboration agreement where both companies will work to transform how organizations and customers order and consume 5G services or create their own private 5G networks.

DISH will deploy the first standalone, cloud-based 5G Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN) in the United States, beginning with Las Vegas later this year. The company will also connect all of its hardware and network management resources through the world’s leading cloud to enable secure, rapid scaling and innovation as well as on-demand responsiveness to customers’ wireless needs. Since this is the first time a 5G network will run in the cloud, DISH will perform cost-effective operations while looking to redefine practical 5G solutions.

As DISH deploys its 5G network, it wants to only partner with vendors that offer cloud-native technology, which helped create the AWS partnership. AWS will provide DISH customers with more flexibility and control of their 5G-enable solutions.

DISH will use AWS’s infrastructure and variety of services to deploy a cloud-native 5G network that incorporates O-RAN (the antennas and base stations that link phones and other wireless devices to the network) and the 5G Core (the architecture that directs traffic flow within the network). AWS will also power DISH’s fully automated Operation and Business Support Systems (OSS and BSS) that will enable the company to provision and operate its customers’ 5G workloads and monetize its network.

Building its 5G network on AWS allows DISH to simplify developers’ 5G application creation process. Both the DISH and AWS developer communities can create innovative 5G solutions for various industries by using the standardized application programming interfaces (APIs) to engage with data on DISH network attributes. The attributes include user equipment latency, bit rate, quality of service, and equipment location. Developers can then leverage AWS services and partner capabilities in machine learning, analytics, security, and more to create responsive solutions that use that data.

“Through this collaboration with AWS, we will operate not just as a communications services provider, but as a digital services provider harnessing the combined power of 5G connectivity and the cloud, DISH Co-Founder and Chairman Charlie Ergen said in a statement. “Together, we will enable our customers to take full advantage of the potential of 5G. Our approach will revolutionize wireless connectivity by giving customers the ability to customize and scale their network experience on-demand.

The New Carrier on the Block

“As a new carrier, leveraging AWS and its extensive network of partners enables us to differentiate ourselves by operating our 5G network with a high degree of automation, utilizing the talent of AWS-trained developers and helping our customers bring new 5G applications to market faster than ever before.”

5G wireless is quickly emerging as an enabling technology for industry use cases such as smart factories, personalized healthcare, self-driving vehicles, and immersive gaming that require extreme low latency, connectivity and data processing. DISH will use its 5G network to connect mobile and IoT devices like smartphones, robots, factory equipment, wearables, and other physical sensors to AWS to offload compute, analytics, machine learning, and related workloads, enabling systems to act on device data in real time.

“DISH’s cloud-native and truly virtualized 5G network is a clear example of how AWS customers can use our proven infrastructure and unparalleled portfolio of services to reinvent industries,” Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web Services, Inc. said. “This collaboration means DISH and its customers can bring new consumer- and enterprise-centric services to the market as quickly as they’re created to deliver on the promise of 5G. Together, we’re opening the door to new technologies that will transform factories, workplaces, entertainment, and transportation in ways people have only dreamed.”

Joe Dyton can be reached at

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