New Japanese market entrant Rakuten Mobile, which is a subsidiary of e-commerce giant Rakuten, is seeing a high level of interest by multiple governments around the world for the adoption of the Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP), said Tareq Amin, representative director, EVP and CTO of Rakuten Mobile during a recent roundtable with journalists.
Amin said that Rakuten Mobile is engaged in talks with government entities in the U.S., Europe and Asia to show them the potential benefits of the implementation of this technology.
“It’s really world-class performance capability delivered in a country [Japan] that is super obsessed about quality and the interest levels of governments are absolutely enormous. It is no doubt that the geopolitical atmosphere that we’re in today has created an opportunity to accelerate and advanced this technology,” Amin said.
Rakuten’s platform contains all the elements of the Rakuten Mobile network, including telco applications and software from multiple vendors, OSS and BSS systems handling customer billing and activation systems, in addition to edge computing and virtual network management functions.
RCP is aimed at offering solutions and services for the deployment of virtualized networks at speed and low cost by telecom companies, enterprises and governments around the world.
“I truly believe that we are about two years ahead, time-to-market advantage against anyone on the implementation and the architecture of a completely cloud-defined network, whether you look at large- scale public clouds or even large OEMs, we think we have done a significant amount of technology uplift to materialize this in Tokyo,” the executive added.
Rakuten Mobile recently announced the availability of its commercial 5G service in certain areas across six prefectures of Japan.
The service, initially offered via Non-Stand Alone (NSA) 5G architecture, is already available in parts of Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Hokkaido, Osaka and Hyogo.
Rakuten Mobile’s President Yoshihisa Yamada recently said that the operator is expecting the 5G to be available in Japan’s all 47 prefectures by end-March 2021.
The carrier also said it expects to launch a Stand-Alone 5G network in the second quarter of 2021.
Rakuten Mobile launched mobile services in Japan in April 2020 through its end-to-end fully virtualized, cloud-native mobile network.
Rakuten Mobile’s total obligation, agreed upon with the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC), is to deploy 15,787 sub-6 GHz base stations and 7,948 mmWave base stations. The carrier has agreed to deploy at least 667 sub-6 GHz and 441 mmWave base stations by the end of March 2021.
Amin said that the company would accelerate 5G deployments and noted that the physical build-out of the network is not a major concern. “The most complex part was about the technology,” he said.