Dish Wireless launched the first commercial market of its greenfield 5G network in Las Vegas today. Axios first reported the news, which was then confirmed to Fierce Wireless by Dish.
A Dish spokesperson said, “Customers signing up for our network pay $30 per month, and service includes truly unlimited Smart 5G data, talk and text. Additionally, we include unique perks, such as exclusive access to the Project Genesis app and a white-glove delivery experience.”
Project Genesis, up to this point, has been a website, providing sparse information about Dish’s 5G network. Today, the site says “Live in Las Vegas! More markets coming soon.”
The spokesperson said, “Our first commercial phone, the Motorola Edge+, a premium and feature-stacked smartphone, will sell at the MSRP of $899.99.” This is the only phone that can operate on the network, so far.
She said Dish's 5G covers nearly every Las Vegas zip code, plus Henderson, Nevada. Consumers interested in signing up can use the Project Genesis website to check their zip code.
Dish said during its February earnings call, that it would meet its deadline to cover 20% of the U.S. population in June. It also said it would be live in more than 120 markets across the country at that time. These markets are named on the Genesis website.
The company will probably share more on its earnings call this Friday, as well as at its investor day in Las Vegas next week.
Although some industry analysts have expressed skepticism that Dish will be able to meet its tight deadline of 20% nationwide coverage by June, LightShed Partners analyst Walter Piecyk today told Fierce that “It’s never been a big concern for us.”
He cited confidence in Dave Mayo, Dish’s EVP of Network Deployment. Piecyk noted that Mayo is a former T-Mobile executive who’s now in charge of meeting Dish’s buildout requirements. “Based on our discussions with Dish and vendors, we think they will be able to meet their buildout requirements,” said Piecyk.
Asked if he had any big concerns about Dish Wireless’ financial status, Piecyk said, “I think Dish has proven their ability to raise capital for this project. Certainly its deal with Amazon increases the legitimacy.”