Network giant Dish has put down a filing with the United States Securities And Exchange Commission that says that it wants to have the first phase of its mobile network buildout done by March 2020, and it’s prepared and planning to spend between $500 million and $1 billion to accomplish that. Dish’s plan is to start out by deploying a narrowband IoT network, and work from there to eventually deploy a fully 5G-capable network. Dish’s filing does not go into detail about what will happen from there, but it is to be assumed that the telecom will go on to expand the network and enable actual 5G networking, enabling customers to access a commercial 5G network.
In the report, Dish goes over what it expects its outgoing finances to look like going forward, all the way out to 2022. In 2020, the company expects to see its total obligations go up to about $2.7 billion. From there, it expects 2022 to bring total expenditures and debts on about the same order, with some fluctuation between. These financial figures do not include the $500 million to $1 billion that the company is projected to spend on network build-out. These amounts reflect accounts payable for Dish, which means that creditors extending out debt due dates can affect the report.
Dish stepped into the wireless arena last year, but has yet to offer a commercial wireless solution similar to that offered by rival Comcast. The company has reportedly already gotten together with network equipment vendors and other parties involved in the planned build-out, and should be able to begin building out the initial narrowband IoT network in the very near future. Former CEO Charlie Ergen actually stepped down from his CEO role for the express purpose of spearheading the company’s headlong charge into the wild world of wireless carriers, which likely means that once Dish has built out its network to the point that it’s ready to begin commercialization, it will be putting a big focus on that business. A consumer wireless business in the vein of a traditional carrier will likely not come until long after the first phase is done, but at that point, the company will be able to offer a commercial IoT network, at the very least.