Dell Technologies (NYSE: DELL) and DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH) announced today they have formed a strategic infrastructure agreement to support DISH’s launch of what they claim will be the first cloud-native, Open RAN-based 5G network in the U.S. Dell plans to provide DISH’s edge network infrastructure foundation, powering devices, software and solutions to help customers tap into the connectivity and business opportunities made possible by the combination of 5G and edge computing.
The companies will co-develop technology for Open RAN, SmartNICs, emerging micro-edge co-location, operational automation and other areas of R&D. Joint teams will pursue and create multi-access edge computing (MEC) solutions for enterprise and small business opportunities.
In addition, DISH will deploy Dell EMC PowerEdge servers at cell tower sites and in centralized RAN locations to tackle the growing demands of edge-based, data-intensive workloads. Designed to thrive in harsh environments, DISH will use Dell EMC PowerEdge XR11 ruggedized servers to support its private cloud and far edge applications.
“By collaborating with Dell Technologies, we will have the hardware and software infrastructure needed to harness the power and potential of 5G. Dell’s open ecosystem approach will help us scale our RAN network with agility, speed and consistency, bringing about new business opportunities for both enterprise customers and consumers, completing our cloud strategy,” said Marc Rouanne, DISH chief network officer. “We chose to leverage Dell’s technology because they have a demonstrated track record of transforming networks and a willingness to work with us on designing and implementing Infrastructure as Code (IaC). With their help, we’re another step closer to deploying the United States’ first cloud-native, Open RAN 5G network.”
The companies also announced they are establishing advanced technology collaboration teams to identify and develop future technologies and investment opportunities. They will collaborate on the roadmap and silicon diversity for 5G RAN and edge infrastructure focusing on improvements of cost-to-serve, performance density, operational reliability and power consumption of telecom equipment in the 5G network.
DISH and Dell are also designing and certifying Dell 5G-enabled laptops with DISH connectivity options. The companies will offer device management and eSIM provisioning capabilities, so customers can activate service without a physical SIM card on both private and shared networks, all within a “pay for what they use” model.
“DISH is breaking new ground by building a cloud-native 5G network designed for a future where edge computing and new 5G use cases collide in ways we haven’t thought of yet,” said Dennis Hoffman, senior vice president and general manager, Dell Technologies Telecom Systems Business. “We will put our decades of digital transformation experience to work to help simplify and automate the rapid deployment of DISH’s 5G RAN and edge network.”