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Dish lights up its 'Smart 5G' network in more than 120 US cities

Dish Wireless
(Image credit: Dish)

What you need to know

  • Dish initially launched its "Project Genesis" 5G network to subscribers in Las Vegas
  • Dish has announced that it has expanded its 5G network to more than 120 cities across the United States.
  • Dish's "Smart 5G" simultaneously connects to multiple networks to provide voice and data.
  • The Galaxy S22 and NetGear 5G hotspot are available for purchase in eligible markets.

It may be time to finally put Dish on your radar. The company announced this week that its 5G network recently reached more than 120 cities in the U.S. — a significant milestone in its quest to serve as the country's fourth major carrier.

The announcement came just in time as the carrier would face heavy fines if it had not met its goal to cover 20% of the U.S. population by June 14 (Tuesday). Dish's new Smart 5G network now covers more than 20% of the population after an initial beta test in Las Vegas under the "Project Genesis" name. That's a far cry from the best 5G networks in the U.S., but it's a decent start for what is set to be the next major nationwide carrier.

"This is an important step forward in our work to connect Americans to our Smart 5G network, but it's only the beginning," John Swieringa, DISH Wireless president and chief operating officer, said in a statement. "We continue to focus on building out more coverage and bringing innovative 5G services and solutions to our customers."

Dish, which owns Boost Mobile and Ting, has been long at work on its 5G network, partnering with companies such as Qualcomm and Samsung to launch the nation's first cloud-native O-RAN network. However, the network has seen a seemingly slow rollout, drawing concerns that Dish would not be able to reach its June 14 deadline.

That said, Dish's new network is still fairly limited, as evident by its enrollment process. Users must sign up through the Project Genesis website and check if their city is supported. For instance, in Washington state, the service is only available in Spokane, nearly 300 miles from where I live in Seattle.

Additionally, customers cannot bring their own phones to Project Genesis, and only three devices are supported, including the Galaxy S22 and a NetGear 5G hotspot. Dish sells the Motorola Edge+ in Las Vegas and is working on expanding the availability of the device.

However, those of you that can sign up and purchase an eligible phone will look forward to relatively low monthly costs; $30 per month for unlimited talk, text, and data or $20 per month for hotspot data.

The Galaxy S22 also has the advantage of "Smart 5G," which allows the phone to simultaneously connect to Dish's 5G network and its partner's networks to provide voice and data.

Dish says it hopes to bring more devices to the platform later this year. However, the carrier must also worry about its next deadline: to reach 70% of the population by this same time next year.

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.