Dish works with HTC on private wireless

HTC was in Las Vegas this week at Dish’s Team Summit event, demonstrating its private wireless network-in-a-box technology called Reign Core. According to HTC, it is working with Dish Wireless “to bring low-latency, high-bandwidth private 5G connectivity to enterprise customers across the U.S.”

HTC first demonstrated its private wireless capabilities at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February.

The Taiwanese company’s Reign Core includes a 5G core, remote radio unit and baseband, and an L3 switch, all of which can fit into a suitcase. Its technology uses open standards and is compatible with the O-RAN Alliance’s open RAN specification.

Venkata Movva, HTC’s director of VR/5G & Mobile Technologies, said HTC has partnered with companies in Taiwan who are making the radios. “Our 5G radio access network software is what we bring to the table," he said.

Dan O’Brien, GM of HTC Americas, said that HTC has a new corporate team focused on Reign Core. “For a long time, we were known for making smartphones, but we retained a lot of that talent to evolve our immersive portfolio,” said O’Brien. “The Reign Core team is dedicated to bringing future wireless tech to the rest of our portfolio of connected devices.”

This week, HTC brought its remote-controlled mini racecar demo to Las Vegas. Its demo at the Dish event invited guests to control scaled-down racecars on a mini track over a wireless 5G connection. Drivers sat with their backs to the track and controlled their racecars by watching a live feed on TV monitors.

While drivers steered their racecars, high-fidelity VR content was concurrently streamed to multiple VIVE Focus 3 headsets, using the same 5G private wireless network, demonstrating the network's capacity.

Although HTC has focused on virtual reality (VR) use cases to showcase the Reign Core technology, O’Brien said, “There are a lot of ways this newer technology is going to be adopted.” For instance, a real-world use case would be using Reign Core to remotely guide vehicles in warehouses.

Movva said Reign Cloud has an advantage in that it can easily scale up because its “computing happens in the cloud and is rendered in 5G.”

Although HTC is working with Dish, O’Brien said, “We can’t share at this time around joint customers.” But he said they are involved in proof-of-concept trials with a variety of enterprises including automotive companies and retailers.

Prior to Dish’s Team Summit this week, the company held an Investor Day. New Street Research analyst Philip Burnett said that at that Investor Day, Dish said it conservatively expects the private 5G network market to produce $30 billion in revenue by 2025, with Dish capturing at least 20% of that market over time.