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Rakuten and NEC to promote Open RAN

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Two Japanese companies, Rakuten Mobile and NEC Corporation, have announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote Open RAN in mobile telecommunications markets worldwide. The MoU is based on Rakuten’s current partnership with NEC, where NEC supplies 5G radio equipment to the operator. The pair is also jointly working on developing a Rakuten standalone 5G core.


Under the Memorandum of Understanding, Rakuten Mobile and NEC will continue to expand their local collaboration to provide 5G and 4G radios and engineering services for Open RAN systems that are compliant with O-RAN specifications. These services will be applicable to  markets worldwide and will boost the global development of the Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP). RCP is Rakuten Mobile’s fully virtualized and containerized cloud-based mobile network platform, enabling telecom businesses to station virtual networks rapidly and inexpensively.


Tareq Amin, executive vice president and CTO at Rakuten Mobile, said: “Rakuten Mobile has successfully designed, launched and now operates a fully virtualized mobile network. This unique network architecture built on Open RAN standards continues to attract significant interest from operators, enterprises and governments around the world.”


NEC Executive Vice President Atsuo Kawamura commented: “This MoU will empower both NEC and Rakuten Mobile to contribute in an even more comprehensive way to the opening and virtualization of cellular networks around the world. NEC is already providing Rakuten Mobile with BSS/OSS, 5G RU and 5G core solutions for its revolutionary fully virtualized cloud-native network. We hope to continue contributing to the expansion of the Rakuten Communications Platform as it rolls out around the globe.”


With their extensive experience in the development and operation of a fully virtualized cloud mobile network and Open RAN, Rakuten Mobile and NEC are aiming to provide exceptional network technology to consumers worldwide. NEC seems to be the main RCP partner, but Rakuten is also working with Fujitsu to expand on the Open RAN solutions as part of the platform.


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