Dish has signed seven new tower deals to boost its nationwide 5G network infrastructure, the operator said in a release.
Dish, which is in the process of constructing a cloud-native, Open RAN-based 5G wireless network, secured new tower agreements with Harmoni Towers, Mobilite, Parallel Infrastructure, Phoenix Tower International (PTI), Tillman Infrastructure, Tower Ventures and Vogue Towers.
These agreements will provide Dish access to more than 4,000 towers and wireless infrastructure assets across the country. The vendors will also provide a variety of services to help accelerate the installation of 5G radios on the newly-acquired infrastructure.
“Securing strong tower partners is a key component of any network expansion, and is tremendously important for Dish’s rapid roll-out of a new, nationwide 5G network,” said Dave Mayo, Dish’s EVP of network development. “Each of these new tower partners will play an important role in bringing our network to life, connecting next-generation wireless service to American consumers and enterprises.”
“Mobilitie is proud to be partnering with Dish to support the aggressive buildout of its new national 5G network,” said Christos Karmis, president and CEO of Mobilitie. “With our national portfolio of infrastructure assets, Mobilitie’s top tier team, and our deep experience working with major US cities, we are looking forward to a long-term relationship supporting Dish’s state-of-the-art network and their ground-breaking progress as the industry’s newest national wireless carrier.”
In November, Dish had inked a deal with Crown Castle to lease space on up to 20,000 communications towers across the U.S. The deal also covered fiber backhaul and the option of using Crown Castle for pre-construction services.
Dish has a seven-year wholesale agreement under which its customers have access to T-Mobile US’ network, and Dish has until mid-2023 to meet build-out requirements for its AWS and 700 MHz spectrum.
Dish had previously announced its intention to provide standalone 5G broadband coverage to 70% of Americans by June 2023.
The FCC is requiring Dish to build out “5G Broadband Service,” which it defines as 5G New Radio, as laid out in 3GPP Release 15 or later, that is capable of providing Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) functionality.
Dish had planned to build a narrowband IoT network to fulfill its FCC build-out requirements, but the new rules on its licenses mean that it must offer 5G NR service instead — and specifically say that each of its licenses are now “expressly conditioned on Dish building, deploying, and offering 5G Broadband Service.”
Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen previously said that the company will have “some preliminary, small markets in the first quarter” of 2021, but that it will be “the third quarter before we have a major market up and running the world can touch and feel a little bit to see what we’re doing.”