The satellite communications company DISH Networks announced a few months ago that it would launch an NB-IoT network. What’s unusual is this network does not plan to utilize DISH’s satellite capability, but would feature a whole new network build-out. Recently, DISH selected Ericsson and SBA Communications, a tower company, to provide the all the product and materials. DISH is planning to invest close to $1 billion on the build-out and have it up and running by March of 2020. The effort has raised some controversy, as T-Mobile is alleging that DISH is only investing in the NB-IoT network to use its spectrum holdings so as to avoid losing them.
Dish Network has inked agreements with network equipment vendor Ericsson and tower company SBA Communications in order to complete its nationwide NB-IoT network build-out by March 2020. Dish has pledged to spend up to $1 billion on the effort.
The news is notable considering that, until today, Dish had not specifically named any partners for its planned wireless network build-out.
Ericsson—the nation’s largest wireless network equipment vendor by market share, according to Dell’Oro Group—stands as Dish’s most important partner: Ericsson supplied the radio frequency design for Dish’s network earlier this year, and is also supplying radios and its “cloud core” network for the effort. Terms of the deal, including the amount Dish likely is paying Ericsson, were not disclosed.