With the official launch of its first market expected in the next few months, Dish Network said it has named John Swieringa president and chief operating officer of its Dish Wireless unit, responsible for all aspects of the business including deployment and management of its 5G broadband network.
Swieringa has been with Dish for about 14 years, most recently as EVP and Group President of retail wireless where he was responsible for all aspects of Dish’s retail wireless business, including strategy, operations, sales and customer service for its retail wireless brands, including prepaid wireless service Boost Mobile. Dish said he will continue those responsibilities in his new position.
"John's a 14-year veteran of Dish, and is committed to changing the way the world communicates with our unique capabilities," Ergen said in a press release "His experience in our overall business will help to maximize our wireless opportunities within all lines of the business. He and his team will deploy and monetize Dish's network while advancing our retail, enterprise and wholesale market opportunities.”
Dish Wireless has been assembling a management team as it prepares for the launch of its first market -- Las Vegas -- in the first quarter of this year. Swieringa’s direct reports include EVP and chief commercial officer Stephen Bye, EVP of network development Dave Mayo, EVP and chief network officer Marc Rouanne and EVP of retail wireless Stephen Stokols. Swieringa will report to Ergen.
"I am excited to lead and further integrate our wireless strategy, deployment and operations efforts," said Swieringa. "We have a significant opportunity as we prepare to commercialize our wireless investments and deliver value to our customers, company and shareholders."
Some analysts have expressed concern about Dish’s ability to compete in an already crowded consumer wireless market, and have called the company’s claim that it can build out the network for $10 billion as doubtful.
Dish Wireless expects to launch its first commercial market in Las Vegas in the first quarter of this year, after missing earlier deadlines in Q3 and Q4. Dish executives have said it could have explained better how it will plans to keep the cost of building the network -- based on Open Radio Access Network (ORAN) technology that utilizes a series of small antennas and base stations to deliver service via the cloud -- down. The company said in November that it had begun beta testing of the wireless network with "friendly users" (mainly its own and vendor employees) in Las Vegas.
“We’re not exactly understood by the industry as much, and part of that is because we don’t spend a lot of time going through strategically what we’re doing,” Ergen said on a Q3 earnings call with analysts in November. “It’s a complicated story and it’s a little bit easier for us to just go do it and show people, as opposed to trying to explain it.”
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