Just last month, the Department of Defense announced that they have made it their major initiative to start integrating commercial 5G technologies into its communications networks and now they’re asking the industry for ideas on how to begin testing 5G in military settings.
In the DoD’s call for proposals, DISH submitted their own proposals and outlined how their network might be used in conjunction with the spectrum that the Department of Defense already owns. It was suggested that the US military could place their radios on top of DISH’s new cell towers with the promise of innovation and security. Because of a difference in technology, DISH’s competitors like Verizon and AT&T cannot accommodate such requests because they do not use the technology required to do so.
As with all business proposals, there’s always some give and take. Also included within DISH Network’s proposal they made it crystal clear that they could meet any of the criteria that the military is considering while building up their own 5G network just as long as DISH gets something in return aid building up their own network aimed for the public sector.
DISH Network has been very quiet about their new 5G network. We know that they have been cooking up something big; we’re just not sure what the details are yet. Which made these newly submitted proposals by DISH Network come as a big surprise as most publications and industry leaders assumed that the majority of DISH’s business would be traditional business to consumer wireless plans. Our ideas of this were solidified by the acquisition of Boost Mobile and Ting Mobile. Apparently that may not be the case very soon.
As far as we know, DISH Network hasn’t installed the majority of their 5G network, cellular stations or fiber optic lines yet and the clock has been ticking. DISH has invested more than $21 billion in wireless spectrum and is in a use it or lose it scenario. If they fail, they’ll have to pay a penalty fee of $2.2 billion to the US Treasury. However, just last week DISH Network announced that they will indeed reach their commitments made to the FCC.
This next generation network can change the way we know wireless and mobile internet. As a new player within the wireless industry, DISH Network is in a unique position; they don’t have to retrofit 4G or 3G devices into their networks if they do not want to. It’s rumored that all devices will be 5G enabled at launch without previous generation speeds and that we will be able to experience some of DISH wireless by the beginning of 2021.
It isn’t clear how receptive the DoD will truly be of all or some of DISH’s proposals. If they agree, this partnership can be a major help in getting their wireless network off the ground. While it’s highly doubtful a single defense contract with the United States government could cover the whole estimated $10 billion to build out, it can pay for some of it while confirming their place at the table as a wireless carrier. We’ll just have to wait to see what happens.