What happened

Shares of Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) stock were trading higher on Wednesday, up by about 5% as of 2:30 p.m. EDT. The semiconductor company's gain followed news that it's partnering with DISH Network (NASDAQ:DISH) to help the satellite TV company build a 5G network. DISH stock similarly gained about 4.5%.

The new network will "test open and virtualized RAN 5G solutions containing the new Qualcomm 5G RAN Platforms to help fast track DISH's rollout of the nation's first cloud-native, Open RAN-compliant 5G network," DISH said in a press release Wednesday morning.

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So what

DISH became a nationwide U.S. wireless carrier earlier this year when it acquired Boost Mobile. Its launch of the nation's first cloud-native Open RAN-based 5G broadband network would mark a notable innovation in the space.

"We are excited about working with DISH to accelerate their strategy to bring flexible, scalable, and interoperable 5G deployments to a more competitive North American market," said Durga Malladi, Qualcomm's 5G lead, in the press release.

Now what

DISH is aiming to build its 5G network by 2023. Qualcomm says it has a "vast 5G portfolio" that can be used in support of this goal.

Qualcomm's products have been fundamental to 3G and 4G -- and its technologies already enable the mobile ecosystem found in every 5G smartphone. The tech powerhouse looks well-positioned to be at the center of this market opportunity.

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