Dell wins US 5G contract in absence of Huawei

The company will partner with Dish Network to bring 5G services to 70% of US by mid-2023

Dish Network will use Dell’s hardware in the US as part of its cloud-native, Open RAN-based 5G network, as it looks to deploy 5G services to at least 70% of the US population by 2023.

As part of the deal, the tech giant will provide Dish with Dell EMC PowerEdge servers that will be located at the base of cell towers.

"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," the companies said, as reported by ZDnet.

Dish will use Dell EMC PowerEdge Xr11 servers to support its private cloud and far edge applications while Dell EMC PowerEdge R740 and R750 servers will be used to support virtualisation and demanding cloud-native workloads.

The company is utilising Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN) which uses software to run network functions on standardised computing hardware. This means it does not have to buy hardware for the network from telco providers such as Nokia or Huawei.

This also allows it to mix hardware and services from different vendors. For example, Dish chose VMware’s Telco Cloud platform to deploy its 5G O-RAN network last July. The company said it would be able to test vendor software and dynamically move and scale workloads within the cloud, based on consumer demand, thanks to the new partnership.

Other companies involved in supplying various parts of the 5G network include Japan’s Fujitsu and US companies Altiostar and Mavenir.

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In March, it emerged that the Biden administration would continue with tough restrictions on Chinese tech firms. One of the companies affected was Huawei, with the telecoms giant being labelled as a security threat based on perceived ties with the Chinese government.

The FCC ordered certain telecoms companies to remove Huawei equipment from their networks last December as part of the process of revoking China Telecom’s authorisation to operate in the US.

In 2019, the Pentagon was reportedly pushing US communications companies to team up to build an open source version of 5G software, with an aim to offer an alternative to Huawei’s system. It was suggested there was a push for US companies to develop a wider range of networking equipment to keep sales in the country.

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