Rakuten picks Nokia to deploy Japan mobile network

14 Feb 2019

Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten has selected Nokia as a key partner for its planned nationwide mobile network.

Under the agreement, Nokia will provide Rakuten Mobile Network with full turnkey network planning, deployment, integration and management services for the cloud-native mobile network.

The network will use Nokia Cloud RAN, cloud-native core and AirScale remote radio head technologies, as well as integration into Rakuten's edge cloud network.

Nokia and Rakuten will also work together to develop core functions to maximize automation, AI and machine learning to significantly reduce the cost of operation compared to legacy networks.

"We are delighted to work with Nokia on co-creating and deploying an open virtualized radio access network,” Rakuten Mobile Network representative director Yoshihisa Yamada said.

“Together, we have managed to disaggregate the current RAN platform by separating hardware and software, and implementing the Radio software as a Virtual Network Function running on Rakuten Cloud Platform (RCP)."

Rakuten plans to deploy a mobile network on the 1.7-GHz frequency band across Japan. The company recently secured blanket mobile licenses covering three of Japan's eight regions, and is making preparations to acquire licenses in more regions.

Rakuten Mobile Network is targeting an October launch.

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