During an analyst event, a Dish executive hinted at the company embracing Web 3.0 trends for its wireless services.
Dish is currently building its own network to replace Sprint, which is being purchased by T-Mobile. It’s taking a unique approach by using Open RAN (Open Radio Access Network) equipment which promises to be cheaper and more flexible while avoiding the “vendor lock-in” of the past.
As part of the conditions of the T-Mobile and Sprint merger, the latter sold its Boost Mobile brand to Dish. Boost Mobile currently uses T-Mobile’s network while Dish builds its own.
Stephen Stokols, CEO of Boost Mobile, said at an event this week:
“Imagine if there was a wireless carrier that embraced the digital acceleration and Web 3.0 trends to reshape the entire wireless experience. Or, imagine if you could turn your unused data into a real digital currency.”
Digital currencies and blockchains are seen as key parts of Web 3.0 services. While current web services are centralised, subject to state censorship, and often take ownership of content from creators, Web 3.0 is focused on decentralisation and empowering individual users.
When most people hear blockchain, they still think of Bitcoin. The granddaddy of the crypto space pioneered the blockchain but was limited to just payments (and wasn’t exactly great at that for everyday transactions…)
Ethereum showed the world the possibilities of decentralised applications (dapps), especially decentralised finance (defi). Ethereum now has numerous strong contenders vying for its crown and there’s currently around $140 billion “locked” across defi platforms.
“Imagine if you could leverage decentralised financing to get the latest iconic devices,” added Stokols. “Imagine if there was a wireless carrier that actually paid you back.”
Early testers of Dish’s 5G network as part of Project Genesis are already being rewarded with Web 3.0’s other big market, NFTs (non-fungible tokens).
Dish is required to cover 70 percent of the population by around this time next year as part of its deal with the FCC. The company believes it will meet that goal, partly due to its new 5G equipment agreement with Samsung.
At the analyst event, Dish also promised to grow its smartphone biz from around eight million customers today to 30-40 million at some unspecified point.
Dish is going to have to pull out all the stops to compete with the big three carriers and embracing Web 3.0 trends seems to be a big part of the strategy.
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