Satellite communications company EchoStar is providing television via a standalone cloud native Open RAN 5G network on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The company is providing television entertainment and wireless communications to residential and business customers throughout the US using the technology. According to the company, this is the first use-case of its kind.

Dish Network satellite
– Wikimedia/Cody Logan

In 2022, Dish Network - a subsidiary of EchoStar - deployed a standalone cloud native autonomous 5G network Radio Access Network (RAN) in the cloud. This latest release demonstrates EchoStar using the technology for television entertainment across the US for the first time.

To achieve this, EchoStar has used Amazon Redshift Streaming Ingestion to ingest over 10TB of data daily from more than 150 MSK (Amazon Managed Streaming for Apache Kafka) topics.

EchoStar has had to migrate from a single Redshift Serverless workgroup to a multi-warehouse architecture with live data sharing.

“By adopting the strategy of ‘parse and transform later,’ and establishing an Amazon Redshift data warehouse farm with a multi-cluster architecture, we leveraged the power of Amazon Redshift for direct streaming ingestion and data sharing,” said Sandeep Kulkarni, VP of software engineering and head of wireless OSS platforms at EchoStar.

Kulkami added: “This innovative approach improved our data latency, reducing it from two to three days to an average of 37 seconds. Additionally, we achieved better scalability, with Amazon Redshift direct streaming ingestion supporting over 150 MSK topics.”

EchoStar needed to provide real-time access to 5G network performance data for consumers. This was achieved by streaming data in small files, ranging from bytes to kilobytes via the messaging system Amazon MSK and using AWS Lambda and AWS Step Functions.

EchoStar initially sized the system at a Redshift Serverless workgroup of 64 RPU. The company then added a small number of MSK topics while evaluating the overall ingestion cost, performance, and latency needed.

From this point, EchoStar was able to add the remaining MSK topics needed, while seeing its large-scale data column ingestion with an average latency of 37 seconds.

According to EchoStar, the company has seen improvements in both “performance and scalability across its Open RAN network” since deploying the solution with AWS. EchoStar can now onboard the remaining 150 MSK topics, and as the data sources increase, add more Redshift Serverless workgroups as required.

EchoStar is a global provider of satellite communication solutions. The company is headquartered in Englewood, Colorado. The company completed a merger with Dish Network in January 2024.

In May 2024, EchoStar reported a net loss in Q1 of $107.38 million. At the time, Craig Moffett, senior managing director at MoffettNathanson Research, said: "The bottom line is that we now see bankruptcy in the next four to six months as the most likely outcome."

The company also reported losses of 26,000 broadband subscribers and 348,000 pay TV.