Rakuten Mobile selects NEC for 5G core network

Rakuten Mobile and NEC have reached an agreement to jointly develop the containerized standalone (SA) 5G core network (5GC) to be utilized in Rakuten Mobile’s fully virtualized cloud-native 5G network.
Rakuten Mobile 5G networkRakuten Mobile and NEC will jointly develop the containerized SA 5G mobile core to be made available on the Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP), Rakuten Mobile’s virtualized and containerized cloud-native mobile network platform.

The two companies will collaborate to build a Japan-made, highly reliable 5GC, based on the 5GC software source code developed by NEC.

Subsequent to the launch of its non-standalone (NSA) 5G service in 2020, Rakuten Mobile aims to provide its SA 5G service in Japan in 2021.

The containerized 5GC will play a key role in the global expansion of RCP, a platform aimed at offering solutions and services for the deployment of virtualized networks at speed and low cost by telecom companies and enterprises around the world.

The 5GC will be offered as an application on the RCP Marketplace, allowing customers to easily click, purchase and deploy a fully virtualized SA 5G core network solution.
Tareq Amin, CTO of Rakuten Mobile, said: “Our partnership with NEC represents a joint collaboration to build an open, secure, and highly scalable 4G and 5G cloud-native converged core.”

Following the BSS/OSS for 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, said Atsuo Kawamura, president of the Network Services Business Unit, NEC.