Dish Network will call on Palo Alto Networks to help with security measures in building the first cloud-native, OpenRAN-based 5G wireless network in the US.
Palo Alto Networks was selected to assist with container security, network slicing, real-time threat correlation and dynamic security enforcement. More specifically, Dish plans to use Palo Alto’s VM-series and CN-series Next-Generation Firewalls, along with Prisma Cloud.
Dish is working on a greenfield 5G build using open radio access network (open RAN) architecture, with the aim of an initial market launch this year.
The US government has shown interest in OpenRAN for bolstering supplier diversity and as alternatives to Huawei and ZTE, which have both been designated as national security risks by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). However, some are concerned OpenRAN may bring new security risks.
“As part of our efforts to revolutionise wireless connectivity, it’s imperative that we integrate security into our 5G network from the ground up. As a result, we are incorporating innovative, next-generation vendors to provide our network with 5G-native security solutions from day one of deployment,” said Marc Rouanne, Dish chief network officer.
“5G promises much more than increased browsing speeds on mobile devices. When built as a secure network, 5G can bring massive business transformation and enable smart supply chains, autonomous transportation, smart manufacturing, mass adoption of the Internet of Things and much more,” said Lee Klarich, chief product officer at Palo Alto Networks. “This is why we are delighted to help DISH achieve its vision to build a first-of-its-kind, open, secure 5G network.”
The news of a partnership comes as Dish’s relationship with T-Mobile diminishes. Dish filed an ex parte notice with the FCC against the rival firm on 1 April, criticising T-Mobile for its ‘anti-competitive’ decision to shut down the Sprint CDMA network by January 2022.
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