DISH partners with IBM for new cloud-native 5G network

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DISH and IBM have announced a new partnership that will see the companies collaborate on the United States’ first greenfield cloud-native 5G network.

DISH said in a statement that IBM will provide “AI-powered automation and network orchestration software and services to bring broad 5G network orchestration to DISH’s business and operations platforms.”

DISH Wireless chief network officer Marc Rouanne explained that the company’s 5G build is unique because they are creating a “network of networks” where enterprises can customize a network slice or group of slices to achieve their business goals.

“IBM’s orchestration solutions are designed to leverage AI, automation and machine learning to not only make these slices possible, but to help them adapt over time as customer use evolves,” Rouanne said.

“With IBM, DISH is combining the speed and latency advances of 5G with the customization and intelligence of the cloud, and the result could be a paradigm shift for small businesses, large enterprises and the broader wireless industry.”

He added that intent-driven orchestration, a software-powered automation process, and artificial intelligence will be used to drive the operations of DISH’s cloud-native 5G network architecture.

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DISH will be combining its 5G network architecture with IBM’s Cloud Pak for Network Automation, allowing the company to add an intent-based orchestration functionality that helps “stitch hardware and software resources together more seamlessly and efficiently.”

The tools will make network slicing possible and accelerate the creation and delivery of new services, according to DISH, which added that IBM’s platform will “continuously learn, provide insights and use financial impact analysis to prioritize and manage issue resolution and network function.”

Steve Canepa, managing director of IBM Global Communications Sector, called the deal a “seminal moment for DISH and the global telecommunications industry.”

“By utilizing IBM’s AI-powered automation and intent-driven network orchestration software, DISH can develop and deploy world-class network offerings, applying advanced AI and orchestration capabilities to optimize network operations and performance with minimal human intervention,” Canepa explained. “As a result, DISH can accelerate time to market for new innovative services powered by a highly secure, automated, intelligent and agile 5G network.”

DISH said in a statement that they plan to offer customers leveraging the private hybrid 5G network new use cases through advanced network slicing, some of which will be managed directly by customers themselves.

IBM will also help DISH manage its customer service and sales systems, offering “better pricing and billing offers for advanced, modern and highly dynamic network services.”

IBM is working with a number of telcos, including Vodafone, Bharti Airtel, Telefonica, AT&T and Verizon as each company looks ahead to 5G services and more. DISH announced earlier this year that it is also working with AWS on its 5G network.

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