Dish finally lights up the first 5G market in Las Vegas

US newcomer Dish Wireless kicked off the first commercial market for its highly anticipated but long-delayed 5G network in Las Vegas today (April 4), with more than 120 cities to watch over the course of 2022.

The launch of the commercial 5G service, which Dish Wireless calls Project Genesis, was first reported by Axios. The Project Genesis website proclaims that the service is now live in Las Vegas.

A map on the Project Genesis website shows some of the cities where the service is slated to launch, including Forth Worth and Houston, Texas, St. Louis, Missouri, Salt Lake City, and Stockton, California. It is also planned for Dallas, Texas. , where main rival AT&T is headquartered.

Axios reported that Dish Wireless is starting with one phone, the Motorola 5G Edge+, but plans to add support for additional devices.

The launch was heavily delayed. Dish Wireless first said its 5G service would be available in 2020, then revised that timeline to the first quarter of 2021.

He announced a beta trial in Las Vegas during the company’s second-quarter 2021 earnings call. Meanwhile, Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen predicted the service would be available to delegates attending the CES 2022 in January.

The wireless carrier is on a deadline with the US government to cover 20% of the country’s population with 5G by June 14 – a goal that now looks increasingly difficult.

During the company’s fourth quarter earnings call in February, Dish Network CEO Erik Carlson was confident the operator would hit the mark.

He also noted that Dish Wireless had more than 25 major metropolitan markets ready to roll out before the deadline, including about 100 smaller cities across the country.

It claims to be building America’s “first virtualized, open 5G RAN broadband network.”

The company announced yesterday (April 3) that Samsung will supply it with 5G and RAN products, vRAN software, and a variety of O-RAN alliance-compliant radio units, including Massive MIMO.

Other vendors in Dish’s 5G ecosystem include Amazon Web Services, Nokia, Intel, Qualcomm, MTI, VMware, Fujitsu, Mavenir, Altiostar, Matrixx Software, Ciena’s Blue Planet, Hansen Technologies, DigitalRoute, Palo Alto Networks, and Netcracker.

Dish Network will release its first quarter results on Friday and will host an Investor Day in Las Vegas next week (April 10).

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Casey J. Nelson