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8 November 2022

Round-up of highlights from the week’s news

By Wireless Watch Staff

Dish revenue falls and it seeks $2bn more for network build

Dish Network, the fourth national mobile operator in the USA, which is still building out its mobile network, has reported a year-on-year drop in overall revenues and net income for Q3 2022.

Its revenues, mainly from its core business in satellite pay-TV, fell  from 4.45bn to $4.10bn while net income was down from $557m to $412m. The operator also announced it was seeking an extra $2bn for ongoing 5G infrastructure construction despite its many boasts, in recent years, about its highly capex-efficient approach based on Open RAN.

The company currently has over 10,000 base stations reaching at least 35% of the USA population and is adding around 1,000 towers per month but needs the extra money to sustain that rate of roll-out, according to chairman Charlie Ergen.

At least customer numbers for both its wireless and pay-TV operations were rising even if revenue was not. Dish gained about 1,000 net retail wireless subscribers, compared to a loss of 121,000 this time in 2021.


Vodafone Germany trials ORAN as 5G network expands

Vodafone Germany’s 5G network now covers 60m people and comprises 41,000 5G base stations. Of these, 2,750 are based on 5G Standalone (SA), these serving 20m people, and they are being activated at a rate of 50 per month, according to the operator.

Vodafone added that that it had successfully completed a field test with Open RAN (O-RAN) technology in the Saxony region, after conducting a similar trial in the UK earlier in the year. The carrier announced it will proceed to carry out comprehensive tests of open 5G RANs at several other locations in Germany, starting early 2023.

Bharti Airtel reaches 1m 5G subscribers one month after launch

Indian operator Bharti Airtel has reached 1 m unique 5G subscribers in less than 30 days after commercial launch, better than had been expected according to the operator’s CTO Randeep Sekhon.

“These are early days, but the response from customers have been very encouraging,” said Sekhon. “Our network is being built every day even as all 5G devices are now capable of working on the Airtel 5G Plus network, barring a few exceptions which should also be done in the coming weeks. We will continue to advance our network with a vision to connect the entire country.”

Airtel launched 5G services in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Siliguri, Nagpur and Varanasi in October 2022, rolling them out in a phased manor while network construction continues.