Up until now, 5G service has been more hype than substance. But that may change with the new 5G service from Dish Network, which the company asserts will actually be a new kind of 5G service.
Dish Network: An Evolving Company
Dish Network has been a major satellite television provider for decades and has helped to shape the pay television arena. But the cutting the cord trend changed everything. Dish has been losing customers every quarter for years now. With increased competition in the television content space in addition to increased competition in the satellite Internet space, there is very real concern for the future. Several years ago, the company put a plan in to place to leverage its existing communication resources to move into the cell phone space where it can get new market share and bolster its existing business ventures.
The Sprint and T-Mobile Merger
The Sprint and T-Mobile merger was the opportunity that Dish needed. In fact, Dish Chairman and co-founder Charles Ergen spent weeks testifying in defense of the merger. Sprint and T-Mobile argued that the merger was necessary in order to make building out a 5G network nationwide feasible for them. The problem was that the merger would reduce competition and likely cause increased prices for customers. One solution was to allow the merger but to facilitate a third party that would build out a different 5G network that would serve as competition, and that is where Dish network comes in.
Dish Network the Cell Phone Company
Dish Network acquired Boost Mobile from T-Mobile along with a couple of other prepaid mobile brands. It had to agree contractually with the government to have a 5G network that could serve at least 70 percent of Americans by June 2022. T-Mobile also had to agree that it would provide Dish access to its networks so that it could serve customers as it developed the new network. Since the agreement, the relationship between Dish and T-Mobile has been rocky, and Dish has reached a separate agreement with AT&T and now plans to minimize its use of the T-Mobile network as much as possible.
Amazon Is a Major Player as Well
Amazon—a business behemoth that needs no introduction—is a big reason why Dish Network is able to move so quickly into the 5G space. Amazon is one of the world’s largest suppliers of cloud-based services, and it entered into an agreement with Dish to use its Amazon Web Services in order to deploy Dish 5G. This makes Dish 5G the first 5G to use a public cloud as opposed to private data centers.
The Future of 5G
Does the use of the public cloud make a difference in terms of the end-user experience? According to Dish and Amazon, the answer to that question is a resounding yes. The Dish network will be less reliant on physical hardware, which will make it more reliable and more flexible. In addition, developers will have far greater real-time access concerning latency, bit rate and so forth. That will allow them to develop apps that take advantage of 5G in a way that has not previously been possible.
Dish promises significant upgrades to things like contextual advertising and AR gaming experiences. Amazon asserts that responders will even be able to control robots at disaster sites via the network. Of course, this is the first attempt at such a service using the cloud and there could therefore be unforeseen issues.
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