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Dish gets $50 Million on a plate for new Open RAN development centre

Greenfield US mobile network Dish has been given $50 million by the government establish the Open RAN Center for Integration & Deployment (ORCID).

Scott Bicheno

January 11, 2024

1 Min Read

It seems to be one of those setups that will allow various Open RAN stakeholders to do things like interoperability testing and generally see in vitro whether their kit is any good before inflicting it on their unsuspecting customers. The handy thing about Dish running it is that is they can use Dish’s already-deployed Open RAN network as an in vivo proxy.

"The ORCID will serve a critical role in strengthening the global Open RAN ecosystem and building the next generation of wireless networks," said Charlie Ergen, Chairman of EchoStar, Dish’s parent company. "By leveraging Dish’s experience deploying the world's first standalone Open RAN 5G network, ORCID will be uniquely positioned to test and evaluate Open RAN interoperability, performance and security from domestic and international vendors."

The U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has a stash of cash it’s empowered to chuck at domestic Open RAN bright ideas, because the US has identified Open RAN as a strategic opportunity for the country get a bit better at telecoms. This is apparently the biggest single award from that fund so far.

Elsewhere, having recently completed its ingestion of Dish, EchoStar is exploring further strategic options to reward its investors for their patience. It seems to be flogging some spare spectrum and generally doing one of those convoluted bits of corporate rejigging that business types seem to enjoy.

"This asset allocation enables EchoStar to more optimally position the necessary resources for the execution of its strategic goal of becoming the premier provider of terrestrial mobile, satellite connectivity, and content services" said Hamid Akhavan, CEO of EchoStar, in a virtuoso display of corporate strategizing speak. Seems to have been effective, though; EchoStar’s shares are up over 30% on the announcement.

About the Author(s)

Scott Bicheno

As the Editorial Director of Telecoms.com, Scott oversees all editorial activity on the site and also manages the Telecoms.com Intelligence arm, which focuses on analysis and bespoke content.
Scott has been covering the mobile phone and broader technology industries for over ten years. Prior to Telecoms.com Scott was the primary smartphone specialist at industry analyst Strategy Analytics’. Before that Scott was a technology journalist, covering the PC and telecoms sectors from a business perspective.
Follow him @scottbicheno

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