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National Wireless Independent Dealer Association

Dish Hits Mandated Milestone – We Think

Dish logo - NWIDAWhen Dish became the fourth US wireless carrier, the FCC mandated they had to cover 20% of the US Population by no later than yesterday (June 14.) And, up until yesterday, Dish had only announced live service in one city (Las Vegas.)

If they did not make this deadline, the FCC had threatened fines and loss of spectrum.

And suddenly – without notice or even a press release – at 4:00pm Dish updated it’s Project Genesis website to say 5G service is live in over 120 cities. Dish further updated the website to list the cities (

However, how much coverage in each city is still unknown – and therefore so is an accurate population count. So – has Dish reached 20% of the US population? Unknown. Has it gone live with it’s own 5G network? Unknown.

According to the FCC terms, failing to meet the deadline could result in spectrum licenses revoked and/or fines of up to $2.2 billion.

In February, Dish had said its 5G service would be live in more than two dozen cities by the June deadline. So, how did they go from estimating 24+ cities to 5x that amount?

Remember, Dish can use some of T-Mobile’s 5G spectrum for years to come as part of the sales agreement. Plus Dish also paid AT&T in July 2021 for a 10-year contract to access their 5G network while it builds out its own infrastructure.

I’m sure more news will come out on this very soon. We will monitor and update when we learn more.

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