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Dish Taps AWS for Its Cloud-Based 5G Network

Dish Network is betting its 5G fortunes on Amazon Web Services (AWS), announcing a partnership that would make the AWS cloud the backbone of Dish's emerging 5G network.

In a press release last week, Dish and AWS indicated that AWS has been named the "preferred cloud provider" for Dish's "standalone, cloud-based 5G Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN)." The network will be the first of its kind in the United States, according to the two companies, and will be deployed first in Las Vegas, Nev., by year's end.

"Given this marks the first time that a 5G network will be run in the cloud, DISH will achieve agile and cost-effective operations while seeking to redefine the practical applications of 5G," the companies said. "As DISH deploys its network, the company is partnering exclusively with vendors offering cloud-native technology, bringing them together on AWS to provide DISH customers greater flexibility and control of their 5G-enabled solutions."

The partnership would leverage AWS solutions to provide the infrastructure for Dish's 5G network, as well as the telco's "Operation and Business Support Systems," which are responsible for provisioning and monetizing 5G services.

Dish intends to use AWS Local Zones and AWS Outposts to support data processing services across its service area; AWS Graviton2 processors for compute; Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service for containerized workloads; and AWS machine learning solutions to monitor network traffic, anticipate congestions and identify performance anomalies.

Putting Dish's 5G network on AWS poses benefits to mutual customers, the two companies said. For instance, Internet of Things (IoT) devices using Dish's 5G network can easily tap AWS' compute and analytics resources, letting developers access device data in real-time. Dish will also be able to use AWS' telecommunications portfolio to quickly section off parts (or "slices") of its 5G network and assign them to organizations with specific workload requirements.

It's a cost-saver for Dish, as well: Putting its 5G network on the AWS cloud eliminates much of the cost of operating its own network infrastructure hardware, the company said. In addition, helming a cloud-native 5G network is a differentiator for Dish, which is entering the 5G race behind more entrenched rivals Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile. Dish's proposed 5G network on the cloud would be a "telecom industry first," it says.

"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," said Charlie Ergen, Dish co-founder and chairman, in a prepared statement.

About the Author

Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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