Japan’s new fourth wireless carrier Rakuten Mobile is reportedly ‘working like crazy’ to ensure that it can deploy 5G services from June. SDXCentral cites group EVP and chief architecture officer Tareq Amin as saying that the newcomer – whose nascent 4G LTE network went live last month, roughly six months behind schedule – hopes to avoid any delays this time around, despite the complications presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. ‘In general, we are not seeing any side effects of the epidemic,’ he told the online portal, adding ‘I also don’t see an impact on our 5G construction. We might be slowed down on the number of base stations that we are able to construct, but I don’t think it’s going to be materialistic.’
The official went on to say that the greenfield operator anticipates a possible short delay (up to two weeks) on the software side, but that in terms of hardware, it is ready to go. Rakuten Mobile’s 5G infrastructure, including radio sites for sub-6GHz and millimetre-wave (mmWave) spectrum, is being designed and manufactured in partnership with NEC and Intel in Japan. ‘If we had built a network, the likes of any network that gets deployed, I think this epidemic would have completely devastated Rakuten’s mobile plans,’ he told SDXCentral in an interview.