Dish enlists Qualcomm as partner to build out 5G network

FILE PHOTO: A Qualcomm sign is pictured at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Shanghai, China June 28, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - U.S. satellite TV provider Dish Network has signed up Qualcomm as its latest partner in efforts to build its 5G network using open and cloud-based platforms by 2023, it said on Wednesday.

Dish is building its U.S. network using a new technology called Open Radio Access Network (RAN), which uses software to run network functions on the cloud, thereby reducing the need for physical equipment.

The company plans to use Qualcomm’s 5G RAN platforms through its network vendors and device partners.

Dish, which is sitting on an unused wireless spectrum portfolio worth $20 billion, is also working with Fujitsu, Nvidia, Altiostar and Mavenir to supply various parts of the network.

Nokia, Ericsson and Huawei [HWT.UL] have traditionally been the main suppliers of equipment for telecoms networks, but a U.S. ban on Huawei has narrowed the options, pushing operators to look for alternative vendors.

U.S. tech giants including Qualcomm, Microsoft and Intel hope that will give them a chance to expand their presence in telecoms equipment, where they already play a role as suppliers of routers, chips and software.

“With our vast 5G portfolio, from smartphone to infrastructure, we are committed to supporting Dish’s network vendors and device partners to bring new capabilities to life,” said Durga Malladi, senior vice president and general manager at Qualcomm.

Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Stockholm and Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by David Goodman