DISH Network understands that being fast is important. With faster internet speeds, customers are able to do much more in terms of streaming and interacting with content in a variety of ways online. It’s also important for a company like DISH to remain innovative, decades after launching their first satellite and clearly establishing themselves as a premier option in the satellite television and internet game. The next step in this marriage of speed and technology will be DISH’s move to 5G in the near future.
The company has been hinting at this for some time now and recently stated that it was prepared to build out its wireless capabilities by creating a proprietary high-speed network and have it in place by 2020. Charlie Ergen, DISH chairman and CEO, had this to say on a call with analysts and investors—regarding his company’s plans to hit a tough deadline that is less than three years away:
“We decided in 1992 that we were going to build satellites and by 1995 we launched our first satellite and we were able to cover the whole country and utilize our licenses. It was a complex three-year build. My experience has been those things go a lot smoother when you spend a fair amount of your time planning and not just doing things and then changing things. We’ve spent a lot of time planning and we feel like we’re in pretty good shape.”
This wireless build out is possible with the proliferation of cost-effective 5G services. DISH needs less cell sites to provide reliable services with less latency and more capacity than ever before. The company is capable of shouldering the cost without bringing in outside help and should be able to build out 5G to 70% of the United States in the next three years—as mandated by the FCC.
DISH Network isn’t the only company working on a 5G network rollout, as it will be joining fellow communication giants such as Verizon, Nokia and AT&T in this venture. Some believed that DISH would need to partner up to facilitate a 5G build out, but leadership is hinting that there may not be any major merger or acquisitions. DISH has stated it would consider partnering for some aspects of this hefty project, but it is completely possible without one. According to Ergen: “Things could change, but we continue to believe we can control our own destiny. We do not need to do an M&A transaction to meet the buildout schedule.”
Expect to hear much more on this front over the next few years, as 5G becomes more common and the pressure for DISH to deliver it to the country mounts.