Post Premium: Top stories for the week of June 20-26

DISH lit up a new 5G cellular network in more than 120 cities on June 14, including Grand Junction and Pueblo, meeting an early target federal regulators had set for the construction of the nation’s fourth wireless network.

Whether Project Genesis, as the network is called, succeeds or fails will determine the fate of one of Colorado’s largest public companies, and could weigh heavily on Denver’s future as a center of telecommunications innovation, a legacy that goes back decades to the early days of cable television.

“Through DISH’s efforts, Denver is becoming a wireless hub,” said John Swieringa, president and chief operating officer of DISH Wireless. “Our partners are coming here, too, and investing in people and resources in this market. We expect Denver to become a leader in 5G.”

DISH Wireless has hired more than 1,600 workers in the past 18 months and is looking to add 500 more, Swieringa said. DISH, the parent company, already employs 6,000 people along the Front Range. A successful launch of the new network could provide a big boost to the region economically for years to come. Failure could cost thousands of jobs.

5G stands for fifth-generation mobile network. The technology can move larger bundles of data at much faster speeds and lower lag times than 4G. That added capacity promises to open up a host of uses such as self-driving cars, smart cities, remote surgery, and enhanced virtual reality. It also allows wireless carriers to better compete in providing home and business broadband service and makes possible multiple new commercial applications.

The big three carriers — AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile — have built their 5G networks on top of existing and proprietary 4G networks, which in turn were built on top of 3G networks. DISH, by contrast, is building a 5G network from scratch, using something called Open Radio Access Networks or OPEN-RAN. That approach is software-focused, cloud-based and flexible in terms of using technologies from outside partners.

— Full story via Aldo Svaldi, The Denver Post 

From satellite television to a new 5G cellular network: DISH engineers a massive transformation

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