Dish Wireless, a subsidiary of EchoStar, has successfully secured a substantial USD 50 million grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) under the Public Wireless Supply Chain Innovation Fund. This grant is earmarked for the establishment of the Open RAN Center for Integration & Deployment (Orcid).
The primary objective of Orcid is to serve as a dedicated facility for participants to conduct comprehensive testing and validation of both hardware and software components within the context of a commercial-grade open RAN network. Dish Wireless plans to deploy its existing open RAN network for this purpose, allowing center participants to assess the performance and compatibility of their technologies.
The NTIA’s funding initiative, initiated in April 2023 and backed by the Chips and Science Act of 2022, has recognized Dish Wireless with its most substantial award to date. The Orcid facility is set to be located at Dish’s secure Cheyenne campus in Wyoming. Dish has enlisted the support of key consortium partners, including Fujitsu, Mavenir, and VMware. Additionally, Orcid will be bolstered by the technological expertise of partners such as Analog Devices, ARM, Cisco, Dell Technologies, Intel, JMA Wireless, Nvidia, Qualcomm, and Samsung.
This significant financial backing and collaboration with industry leaders position Dish Wireless to play a pivotal role in advancing Open RAN technology through Orcid, contributing to the ongoing evolution of wireless communication networks.