YOU ARE AT:5GSoftBank, KDDI select Nokia for Japan’s shared RAN

SoftBank, KDDI select Nokia for Japan’s shared RAN

Nokia has been selected by Japanese mobile operators SoftBank and KDDI as one of the vendors to deploy Japan’s shared Radio Access Network.

The Finnish vendor noted that this deployment will deliver 5G services to both SoftBank and KDDI subscribers in the Asian country. As part of the project, Nokia will install a Multi-Operator Radio Access Network (MORAN), which will allow both companies to share the RAN while keeping core networks separate.

Under the deal, Nokia will supply its latest AirScale products including baseband and radio platforms.

The vendor also highlighted that its MORAN is triple-mode and covers LTE and 5G as well as Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS) technologies. In particular, Nokia will provide its new generation of ReefShark System-on-Chip based plug-in cards to increase the capacity of the AirScale baseband. Nokia’s modular AirScale baseband will enable SoftBank and KDDI to scale capacity flexibly and efficiently and as their 5G business evolves, the vendor said.

Nokia also explained that the RAN uses dedicated radio frequencies assigned to each service provider ensuring they maintain independent control of their resources. Nokia said that its MORAN solution can also be utilized by mobile operators and enterprises for private networks, as well as public networks or industrial campuses.

Tomohiro Sekiwa, senior VP and CNO of SoftBank, said: “In order to deliver the best 5G experience to customers nationwide as quickly as possible, SoftBank is working with KDDI to develop a shared 5G network. In this effort, a Multi-Operator Radio Access Network is a key technology that will bring various efficiencies.”

Tatsuo Sato, VP and managing officer of technology planning at KDDI, said: “We are pleased to work closely with both Nokia and SoftBank to accelerate 5G network deployment across Japan. With this Multi-Operator Radio Access Network, we anticipate delivering the superior unique experiences of 5G to customers faster.”

Tommi Uitto, president of mobile networks at Nokia, said: “Nokia has been at the forefront of network sharing around the world since the deployment of the world’s first commercial shared network. We have a long-standing partnership with both SoftBank and KDDI and are excited to work collaboratively with them on this project. Our latest AirScale solutions will be utilized, including the new baseband plug-in cards to add capacity where it is needed and deliver best-in-class 5G connectivity to their customers.”

Last year, SoftBank and KDDI had announced that they established a joint venture to promote the deployment of 5G in rural areas across Japan. The joint venture, dubbed 5G JAPAN Corporation (5G JAPAN), is based on a previous agreement announced by the two carriers in July 2019.

5G JAPAN will promote infrastructure sharing based on the mutual use of base station assets held by SoftBank and KDDI to accelerate the rollout of 5G networks in rural Japan. The joint venture will also conduct construction design and construction management work for 5G base stations.

Each carrier owns a 50% stake at the new joint venture.


Juan Pedro Tomás
Juan Pedro covers Global Carriers and Global Enterprise IoT. Prior to RCR, Juan Pedro worked for Business News Americas, covering telecoms and IT news in the Latin American markets. He also worked for Telecompaper as their Regional Editor for Latin America and Asia/Pacific. Juan Pedro has also contributed to Latin Trade magazine as the publication's correspondent in Argentina and with political risk consultancy firm Exclusive Analysis, writing reports and providing political and economic information from certain Latin American markets. He has a degree in International Relations and a master in Journalism and is married with two kids.

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