Rakuten Mobile is teaming up with NEC Corp to jointly develop a container-based standalone (SA) 5G core network (5GC) to be utilised in the mobile start-up’s fully virtualised cloud native 5G network. Under the tie-up, the two companies will co-develop the 5GC that will be integrated into the Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP), Rakuten Mobile’s fully virtualised cloud-native mobile network platform. In a press release, NEC said the 5G core is based on 5GC software source code it has developed, noting that – subsequent to the launch of Rakuten’s non-standalone (NSA) 5G service in 2020 – Japan’s new fourth mobile operator aims to provide its SA 5G service in Japan in 2021.
‘We are very excited to collaborate with NEC on the development of our standalone 5G core network,’ commented Tareq Amin, Representative Director, Executive Vice President and CTO of Rakuten Mobile. ‘Our partnership with NEC represents a joint collaboration to build an open, secure and highly scalable 4G and 5G cloud native converged core, that will also become a key feature of the highly competitive services we will offer to global customers through the Rakuten Communications Platform.’
In February 2020 US-based Altiostar claimed the world’s first container-based cloud-native 5G RAN software developed in collaboration with Intel, which it said would be deployed in Japan by Rakuten Mobile.