Given the deafening silence of the last few months on the Dish 5G network buildout front, it’s hardly shocking to hear Charlie Ergen revise his previously optimistic forecast of a single market launch by the end of the year.
From 1 to 15,000 in two and a half years?
The big problem with that timeline is the satellite TV veteran turned wireless industry rookie badly needs to cover 20 percent of the country’s population with its in-house 5G mobile technology by June 2022, a number that then has to be increased to no less than 70 percent just a year later.
Money is also tight
The actual “climbing of the tower and placement of gear” should be a much quicker process, especially when Dish starts to, well, receive a large number of “very sophisticated” Fujitsu radios. These are expected to speed up the network rollout process as well, but unfortunately, the equipment is not ready for primetime yet and it may not be until Q2 2021.
Namely, Dish lost more than 200,000 wireless customers between July and September, ending the quarter with a subscriber total of below 9.5 million people. That may sound bad, but revenue actually surpassed expectations, confirming the belief of some analysts that the business could thrive down the line.