Rakuten Mobile is partnering NEC Corporation to develop the core for its virtualised cloud-native 5G network.
The containerised standalone (SA) 5G mobile core will also be made available as an application on the Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP), which will be offered to other telecom companies and enterprises as a “blueprint” to build and deploy cloud-native network services.
Rakuten’s 5G launch was recently delayed due to supply chain issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic but the company says it is still on track for this year, and that it aims to provide its SA 5G service in Japan next year.
Open, secure, scalable
“We are very excited to collaborate with NEC on the development of our standalone 5G core network,” commented Tareq Amin, Representative Director, Executive Vice President and CTO of Rakuten Mobile. “Our partnership with NEC represents a joint collaboration to build an open, secure and highly scalable 4G and 5G cloud-native converged core, that will also become a key feature of the highly competitive services we will offer to global customers through the Rakuten Communications Platform.”
“NEC is proud to be the 5GC development partner for Rakuten Mobile’s advanced, fully virtualised, cloud-native network. Following the BSS/OSS for the 4G network and 5G radio equipment that we have already begun offering, we look forward to providing a high-quality, highly reliable 5GC and contributing to Rakuten Mobile’s 5G services,” added Atsuo Kawamura, Executive Vice President and President of the Network Services Business Unit, NEC.
Rakuten launched its 4G network in April, six months behind schedule, making it the first operator with a live service based on fully virtualised infrastructure.