Dish Network is confident that it will meet the government-mandated requirements for its 5G network buildout by June, with the possibility of taking a breather after that. The company is required to cover 70% of the US population by June 2023 as per its 2019 agreement with T-Mobile and the US Department of Justice, said a Lightreading report. Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen said the company might increase its network spending in late 2024 or early 2025 to meet its final FCC (Federal Communications Commission) buildout requirement for 5G, which requires the company to cover 75% of each of its spectrum license areas with 5G.
Dish has started construction on more than 18,000 5G cell sites and is expected to broadcast its 5G signal from around 16,000 cell towers to meet the government mandate. Dave Mayo, head of the company's 5G network buildout, expressed confidence that Dish is well on its way to reaching its June 2023 coverage targets.
Read More - Dish Network to Anchorage Dell for 5G Network Infrastructure
John Swieringa, who leads Dish's wireless business, said that the company covers around 70 million Americans with its 5G network and plans to expand that coverage throughout the year. However, Ergen noted that very little wireless traffic is currently travelling over Dish's 5G network. Most of its 8 million mobile customers are using the networks of T-Mobile and AT&T, which have mobile virtual network operator agreements with Dish.
Dish officials expressed confidence in their ability to meet the government mandate and the progress they have made so far. Ergen even suggested that the company might take a break from capital expenses after June. While the company plans to continue expanding its 5G network, its focus might shift towards increasing traffic over its own network instead of relying on MVNO agreements. Overall, Dish is well-positioned to meet its government obligations and establish itself as a player in the 5G market.