5G Cloud-Native network on AWS

DISH Network’s 5G network deployment on AWS Cloud is a testament to innovation and efficiency.

DISH Network with a cloud-native 5G network that’s fully autonomous, except for some RAN components (i.e. RU, DU).

  • Hierarchical Network Architecture: Network design is built on a logical hierarchical architecture comprising National Data Centers (NDCs), Regional Data Centers (RDCs), and Breakout Edge Data Centers (BEDCs).

  • BEDCs in AWS Local Zones: BEDCs play a crucial role in hosting 5G Network Functions (NFs) with strict latency requirements. These BEDCs are deployed within AWS Local Zones, optimizing proximity to end-users.

  • O-RAN Standards Deployment: DISH pioneered the deployment of a 5G network using O-RAN standards. An O-RAN network consists of an RU (Radio Unit), which is deployed on towers and a DU (Distributed Unit), which controls the RU. These units interface with the Centralized Unit (CU), which is hosted in the BEDC at the Local Zone. These components work together to manage radio-level control and subscriber data traffic seamlessly.

  • Leveraging AWS Cloud Flexibility: DISH harnessed the flexibility of AWS Cloud to optimize the placement of 5G network functions. This optimization was based on various performance metrics such as latency, throughput, and processing requirements. This strategic placement ensures optimal network performance across the nation.

  • RDCs for Signal Processing: Regional Data Centers (RDCs) hosted in AWS Regions play a vital role in processing 5G subscribers’ signaling processes, including authentication, session management, and voice services. These workloads can operate with higher latencies, allowing for centralized deployments across a region, enhancing cost-efficiency and resiliency.

  • High Availability: High availability is a top priority for DISH. To achieve this, three RDCs are deployed in each region, with each RDC located in a separate Availability Zone (AZ). These AZs are interconnected with high-bandwidth, low-latency networking, ensuring application resiliency and high availability. Cloud-Native Functions (CNFs) deployed in RDCs utilize an AWS high-speed backbone to failover between AZs, guaranteeing application resiliency.

  • Nationwide Global Services at NDCs: National Data Centers (NDCs) host critical nationwide services such as subscriber databases, IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) for voice calls, OSS, and BSS. These NDCs are also hosted in AWS Regions and span multiple AZs for high availability.

  • Smooth data flow from RAN DUs (on-prem) to AWS Local Zones where cell sites are homed, Mapping cell sites to specific AWS Local Zones based on proximity allows DISH to meet the 5G RAN mid-haul latency requirements between DUs and CUs.


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