Rakuten Mobile and NEC announced the starting of production of the 5G radio unit — jointly developed by the two companies — at the Fukushima plant of NEC Platforms.
The new 5G radio unit — equipped with a 3.7 GHz frequency band massive MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) antenna – has a lightweight form factor with low power consumption.
Rakuten Mobile will use the radio unit to start the build out of its 5G network. Rakuten Mobile will start the construction of 5G base stations in the Tokyo area. Rakuten Mobile aims to launch 5G services in June 2020.
Rakuten Mobile is building the world’s first virtualized cloud native network, and in October 2019 in Japan implemented the world’s first open, virtualized, distributed radio access network (OpenRAN).
In addition, Rakuten Mobile and NEC are also collaborating on BSS (Business Support System) and OSS (Operation Support System) solutions for Rakuten Mobile’s 4G network operations.
“With the launch of production of the 5G radio unit, we will begin work on the construction of our 5G base stations and will aim to provide our subscribers with a cost efficient, highly secure, high quality 5G service,” Tareq Amin, chief technology officer of Rakuten Mobile, said.
Rakuten Mobile received licenses for 5G radio stations (base stations) from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications for Setagaya City and Koto City on March 6, 2020.