Dish Network is the process of a long pivot, largely towards delivering 5G Internet. The company, in mid-2020, closed its purchase of Boost Mobile. Just over a week ago, Dish began accepting sign-ups for its 5G service.
Those are being accepted through a site called Project Genesis, which describes itself as “A new 5G network built to release American innovation.” It goes on to ask potential customers to “help us democratize wireless access and create the 5G network of the future.” The Verge described that site as allowing potentially interested customers to figure out where the network is launching near them.
Also this week, Dish announced that it was teaming up with Nokia to “deploy [the] first 5G standalone core network in the public cloud with AWS.”
“Running the Nokia 5G SA core on AWS will optimize our network operations to launch new software and services rapidly and efficiently, enabling the integration of countless innovative use cases for customers,” Marc Rouanne, Dish’s chief network officer, said in the statement. “This collaboration is an important step forward on our mission to deploy the United States’ first cloud-native, OpenRAN-based 5G network.”
In the meantime, another report sees hedge funds losing interest in Dish Network.
According to an Insider Monkey story picked up by Yahoo Finance, Dish “has experienced a decrease in support from the world’s most elite money managers in recent months.”
“DISH Network Corp. was in 51 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of March,” the report said. “The all time high for this statistic is 60. There were 57 hedge funds in our database with DISH holdings at the end of December. Our calculations also showed that DISH isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds.”
As for Dish Network’s core business, it has continued to lose subscribers. Dish Network lost another 230,000 pay-TV subscribers in the first quarter of 2021, on top of millions of customer losses over the last several years.
Meanwhile, one analyst recently said that government efforts to improve broadband in rural parts of the United States are likely to rob the satellite companies of a big part of their business.
“Selling TV to customers with poor broadband is still the sweet spot for the two companies. As the number of homes with good broadband rises, the prospects for satellite TV sinks,” Doug Dawson of CGC Consulting wrote earlier this spring.
And finally, a potential merger between DirecTV and Dish Network now looks less likely than ever, especially after AT&T agreed to spin off DirecTV into a separate company that will be owned in part by TPG.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.