US-based service provider, Dish Network, has chosen IBM to automate its upcoming 5G network, the country’s first greenfield cloud-native and virtualized open RAN based 5G network.

The first beta of Dish’s network is scheduled to go live in Las Vegas by the end of 2021, while the commercial service will be launched in early 2022. As per FCC guidelines, Dish needs to cover 70% of the US population with 5G by mid-2023.

Dish will leverage IBM’s AI-powered automation and network orchestration solution, called IBM Cloud Pak for Network Automation software, for its business and operations platforms.

"Our 5G build is unique in that we are truly creating a ‘network of networks,’ where each enterprise can custom-tailor a network slice or group of slices to achieve their specific business needs. IBM’s orchestration solutions leverage AI, automation and machine learning to not only make these slices possible but to ensure they adapt over time as customer use evolves," says Marc Rouanne, Chief Network Officer, Dish Wireless, in the press release.

"With IBM, Dish is combining the speed and latency advances of 5G with the customization and intelligence of the cloud, and the result will be a paradigm shift for small businesses, large enterprises and the broader wireless industry," he adds.

The solution is expected to help Dish offer network slicing services and enable it to create new services and take them to market faster. It will also slated to improve the customer sales and service experience. Moreover, it will allow Dish to support self-managed to fully managed networks, helping its customers focus on other mission-critical functions.

Apart from IBM, Dish is also working with several vendors and partners, including Finnish telecom giant, Nokia, and Oracle to set up the 5G network. Network slicing is a key functionality of 5G and will allow Dish to provide differentiated experience and use cases, as defined by service level agreements, to different enterprises.

To understand how leading operators are building new products and services to capitalise on their 5G investments, come to the Total Telecom Congress in London this October.