Rakuten Mobile teams up with NEC on global Open RAN initiative

18 May 2021

Rakuten Mobile and NEC have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to promote Open RAN (open radio access networks) in global mobile telecommunications markets, the pair confirmed in a joint press release. The two firms note that with NEC already providing 5G radio units (5G RU) for Rakuten Mobile’s fully virtualised cloud-native mobile network, and jointly developing Rakuten Mobile’s so-called ‘containerised’ 5G standalone (SA) core network, under the MoU, they intend to expand their domestic collaboration ‘to provide 5G and 4G Radios and engineering services for Open RAN systems aligned with O-RAN specifications for global markets, and accelerate the global expansion of the Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP)’.

Commenting on the development, Tareq Amin, Representative Director, Executive Vice President and CTO of Rakuten Mobile, said: ‘Rakuten Mobile has successfully designed, launched and now operates a fully virtualised mobile network. This unique network architecture built on Open RAN standards continues to attract significant interest from operators, enterprises and governments around the world … With NEC’s excellent level of technical expertise in radio and track record of providing our high quality 5G sub-6 RU, this collaboration will accelerate the global expansion of Rakuten Communications Platform and promote adoption of Open RAN in global markets.’

Japan, NEC, Rakuten Mobile