DISH selects IBM for cloud-native 5G network

DISH wireless tower (Image credit: DISH)

DISH Network Corporation has announced it has selected IBM to help automate the US’s first greenfield cloud-native 5G network. Together, IBM and DISH will apply and implement customised software designed to enhance agility, reduce costs, and create new revenue streams on DISH’s 5G network. 

Designed to be agile, scalable, and fully virtualised, DISH’s new smart network will benefit enterprise customers across all industry verticals. DISH will leverage IBM’s AI-powered automation and network orchestration software and services to bring broad 5G network orchestration to DISH’s business and operations platforms. Intent-driven orchestration, a software-powered automation process, and artificial intelligence will be utilised to drive the operations of DISH’s cloud-native 5G network architecture.

Unique 5G build 

“We are truly creating a ‘network of networks.’”

Marc Rouanne, DISH Wireless.

“Our 5G build is unique in that we are truly creating a ‘network of networks,’ where each enterprise can custom-tailor a network slice or group of slices to achieve their specific business needs. 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,” said Marc Rouanne, chief network officer, DISH Wireless. 

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

Network slicing 

DISH has engaged IBM Global Business Services to use IBM Cloud Pak for Network Automation software with DISH’s 5G network architecture. Central to this is the intent-based orchestration functionality designed to stitch hardware and software resources together more seamlessly and efficiently – this is expected to help DISH make network slicing possible and accelerate the creation and delivery of new services. 

IBM Cloud Pak for network automation software is designed to continuously learn, provide insights, and use financial impact analysis to prioritise and manage issue resolution and network function. “This ability to simultaneously regulate the lifecycle, optimise the performance and customer-specific needs of each slice on the network is a key differentiator for DISH, as it seeks to drive innovation benefitting the enterprise market,” said the company, in a press statement. 

“Secured, automated, intelligent and agile 5G network.”

Steve Canepa, IBM.

“This is a seminal moment for DISH and the global telecommunications industry,” said Steve Canepa, managing director, IBM Global Communications Sector. “By utilising IBM’s AI-powered automation and intent-driven network orchestration software, DISH can develop and deploy network offerings, applying advanced AI with IBM Watson and orchestration capabilities to help optimise network operations and performance. As a result, DISH can accelerate time to market for new innovative services powered by a secured, automated, intelligent and agile 5G network.” 

DISH has also announced plans to use advanced network slicing 5G technology to offer new use cases and industry vertical opportunities that are customised to each business and customer who leverages the private hybrid 5G network. 

Rachael Sharpe

Rachael is a British journalist with 17 years experience in the publishing industry. Since launching, she’s been freelancing, and working for some of the world’s best-loved websites and magazines including and and has also had a book, iPad for Photographers, published. A regular contributor at 5Gradar, Rachael is following the 5G market closely. Find out more at