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DISH Focuses on CI Channel and Wireless Technology

Company provides exclusive services to custom installers; has big plans for 5G.

Frank DeFilippis, national sales manager, custom integration for DISH, gave the keynote presentation at the CEDIA-owned Technology & Business Summit held in Melville, NY today. There, he laid out for the residential integrators in the room how DISH was focusing its efforts on the custom installation channel through a concierge service just for them and how the company has invested in the 5G spectrum.

DeFilippis, who was a custom installer prior to joining DISH, said the company has “empathy and understanding for the integrator community,” before launching into the suite of services they bring to the channel, including direct access to DISH without having to pretend to be their clients, a white glove satellite placement service that answers to the integrator, and a host of technology options.

Among the technology options mentioned was the Residential Systems’ 2018 CEDIA Best of Show award-winning Hopper 3, which features an auto-discovery function when used with control systems such as Crestron, Control4, ELAN, URC, and RTI. Hooper 3 also includes voice control with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and the company is currently working with to provide natural-language voice control.

DeFilippis explained how DISH wants to get in front of trends such as cord cutting, which led to a look at its Sling TV offerings, including hardware options such as AirTV, which can play Netflix and other popular streaming formats in addition to Sling TV, and will work with an additional plug-in OTA antenna to provide clients with local channels in addition to cable favorites. One final feature that DeFilippis noted — that brought smiles to attendees’ faces — was that the AirTV also comes with dealer margin — something not found in Roku and AppleTV sales.

Related: New AirTV Combines OTA Broadcast Programming with Streaming Services

Getting ahead of trends also came into play when discussing 5G. “DISH has been investing in the wireless spectrum for 12 years,” he noted, “purchasing $21 billion in spectrum purchases.” That puts them in direct competition with the spectrum purchases of telcos such as T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint, but, DeFilippis pointed out, DISH is not constrained by the legacy technology those companies need to serve — including customers still using 2G, 3G, and 4G.

With its millions of connections per cell, sub-millisecond latency, and super-fast upload and download speeds, DISH sees 5G technology as the key to building smart cities, and they plan on playing a big part in that.

No doubt 5G will have an impact on the home and the CI channel, and DISH will be keeping an eye on that was well, working it into their custom installer services.