Dish Network announced Dish Wireless executive Stephen Bye will leave the company, a potential sign the US open RAN operator is struggling to win subscribers.

He accepted a position with publishing company Ziff Davis as its president of connectivity overseeing Ookla, Ekahau, RootMetrics and related properties.

Bye will board Ziff Davis on 23 January. He will also join Dish Network’s board of directors on 18 January, a day after stepping down from his role as CCO.

He joined Dish Wireless in 2019 charged with supporting the development and commercialisation of the company’s open-RAN standalone 5G network.

His duties at Dish Wireless included wholesale and enterprise services, business development, product management, service integration and partner management.

Recon Analytics analyst Roger Entner told Mobile World Live Bye’s departure was “not a good sign at all” for the operator.

“Stephen was a very good engineer and a very good executive,” Entner stated. “This could be a canary in the coal mine. My expectation is that Dish is losing customers again.”

Dish Network detailed plans in late 2022 to raise about $2 billion through its senior secured notes to fund an ongoing 5G network deployment, a move analyst outfit MoffattNathanson warned could lead to a bankruptcy of its mobile unit.

Dish Wireless delays
The operator launched its commercial 5G network in Las Vegas in 2022 after several delays.

Dish Wireless had stated its 5G service would be available in 2020 and then revised the deadline to Q1 2021.

It claimed to have met a US government deadline to cover 20 per cent of the population with its cloud-native open RAN 5G network by mid-2022 after expanding availability to more than 120 cities.

Dish Wireless is required to cover 70 per cent of the population by June.

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