Japan’s NEC Corporation and global high-performance analog technology company Analog Devices (ADI) announced a partnership to design a 5G Network Massive MIMO Antenna Radio Unit for Japanese telco Rakuten Mobile.
The radio unit adopts ADI’s fourth-generation wideband RF transceiver solution to achieve high-precision Massive MIMO and possesses a 5G open vRAN (virtual RAN) interface corresponding to Rakuten Mobile’s end-to-end fully virtualized cloud-native mobile network.
The radio unit also delivers large capacity transmission with high efficiency by using 3.7GHz frequency Massive MIMO and digital beamforming technology, the two companies said.
NEC has already started shipping the 5G Network Massive MIMO Antenna Radio Unit to Rakuten Mobile.
ADI’s fourth-generation wideband RF transceiver integrates quad channel transmitters, receivers and Digital Pre-Distortion (DPD) in a single chip. The radio is also fully software reconfigurable and covers all sub-6GHz 5G frequency bands.
“ADI’s RF transceiver is expertly designed to support wireless applications such as Massive MIMO and small cell systems, simplifying system design, reducing size and weight, and minimizing power consumption,” said Nozomu Watanabe, Senior Vice President at NEC. “Virtualization is a dependable and cost-efficient approach, and the world’s leading telecom providers are pursuing it as the next evolution of communications. ADI’s RF equipment allows us to provide the connectivity required to build an architecture that supports 5G full-spectrum systems.”
Greg Henderson, Senior Vice President at Analog Devices. “By working with NEC to drive the first Massive MIMO installation for Rakuten Mobile, we’re laying the groundwork to propel 5G connectivity forward. The ecosystem is incredibly intricate and complex, but the primary goal is for all parties to work seamlessly together to inspire efficiencies across the board: cost, time and capital equipment. These are the pieces that will help us move to the next step of a truly virtualized network.”
Rakuten Mobile, which is a subsidiary of e-commerce giant Rakuten, 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, was initially launched in parts of Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Hokkaido, Osaka and Hyogo.
Rakuten Mobile’s President Yoshihisa Yamada recently said that the operator is expecting its 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.
In June, Rakuten Mobile and NEC Corporation announced that the two companies had reached an agreement to jointly develop the containerized standalone (SA) 5G core network (5GC) to be used in Rakuten Mobile’s fully virtualized cloud native 5G network.
Under the terms of the deal, Rakuten Mobile and NEC said they will develop the containerized SA 5G mobile core to be made available on the Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP).