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DISH and Dell launching cloud-native, Open RAN-based 5G network

DISH plans on supporting its 5G network by deploying Dell open hardware and software infrastructure.
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Written by Jonathan Greig, Contributor on

Dell Technologies and DISH Network unveiled plans for a new cloud-native, Open RAN-based 5G network on Thursday, announcing a strategic infrastructure agreement that will include an "ecosystem of partners."

The companies explained that DISH's cloud-native, open 5G network will be supported by Dell Technologies' RAN and edge computing infrastructure. They will be "creating private 5G wireless network solutions, software-defined wide-area networks and multi-access edge cloud platforms."

The two will also work together to market the network to businesses and government entities. 

Marc Rouanne, DISH chief network officer, said Dell Technologies would help them scale the company's RAN network and build out the hardware and software infrastructure needed for the project.

He said they chose Dell because they were willing to work on "designing and implementing Infrastructure as Code (IaC)."

DISH plans on supporting its 5G network by deploying Dell open hardware and software infrastructure and using their "zero-touch provisioning and deployment of containerized RAN network functions."

The pact will also see DISH and Dell work on developing technology for Open RAN, SmartNICs, emerging micro-edge colocation, operational automation, multi-access edge computing and more. 

"DISH will deploy Dell EMC PowerEdge servers at cell tower sites and in centralized RAN locations to tackle the growing demands of edge-based, data-intensive workloads," the companies said in a statement.

"DISH will use Dell EMC PowerEdge XR11 ruggedized servers to support its private cloud and far edge applications. DISH will also use Dell EMC PowerEdge R740 and R750 servers to support virtualization and demanding cloud-native workloads." 

There are already plans in place to design and certify Dell 5G-enabled laptops with DISH connectivity options. In a "pay for what you use" model, customers would be able to activate services without the need for a physical SIM card on both private and shared networks. The companies will provide device management and eSIM provisioning capabilities to support the effort. 

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