Dish Network says its 5G network is available to more than 240 million people and covers 70% of the U.S. population. That 70% threshold is what regulators demanded for it to keep valuable spectrum licenses. Dish says it has satisfied all June 14th deadlines set by the FCC, including having launched over 15,000 5G sites. Dish will continue to face 5G buildout deadlines set by federal regulators, including one in 2025 that Dish will likely need to invest billions in a rural buildout to meet. Investors have punished the stock, sending shares to near their lowest level since around 1999 amid worries that the company is struggling to stand up its wireless network without a partner.
Dish is also the first wireless service provider to launch 5G voice service – called voice over new radio (VoNR) – in the U.S. Since going live in Las Vegas last year, Dish steadily increased VoNR functionality to additional markets. Our VoNR service now covers more than 70 million people across the U.S. through both Boost Mobile and Boost Infinite. Dish plans to continue rolling out VoNR service as the network is further optimized for this next-generation voice technology.
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“As a leader in Open RAN technology, Dish is playing a major role in the transformation of America’s wireless infrastructure and the way the world communicates,” said John Swieringa, president and chief operating officer, Dish Wireless. “We have made significant progress on our network buildout, and can now focus on monetizing the network through retail and enterprise growth. With more markets across the country offering the Dish 5G network for voice, text and data services, our business can start realizing the benefits of owner economics.”
The company “can now focus on monetizing the network through retail and enterprise growth,” COO John Swieringa said in a news release, a nod to shareholder impatience with a costly project. Dish now has a month to prove it to the Federal Communications Commission with detailed documentation. Dish will file its FCC buildout report no later than July 14, 2023.
LightShed Partners analyst Walt Piecyk notes that confirmation that regulators are satisfied might soothe investors, but he doesn’t expect the FCC to comment “for the foreseeable future, if ever,” a silence that poses an “incremental hurdle for Dish to raise needed capital.”
For a complete list of DISH’s wireless partners, please visit DISHWireless.com/home