Nokia Secures Deal with Rakuten Mobile to Enhance Network Coverage

Nokia has announced its contract with Rakuten Mobile to provide Radio Access Network (RAN) solutions — at MWC 2024.
Rakuten Mobile 5G networkNokia said its energy-efficient AirScale products will enable Rakuten Mobile to enhance mobile network capabilities, particularly in the low 700MHz spectrum band, for ensuring improved coverage, capacity, and network performance across Japan.

Rakuten Mobile aims to extend its network reach, penetrating deeper into indoor spaces and expanding its 4G services to a wider customer base by leveraging the low band 4G spectrum.

Sharad Sriwastawa, Co-CEO of Rakuten Mobile and President of Rakuten Symphony, expressed optimism about the partnership, emphasizing how the 700MHz band’s addition will enhance service quality for customers, providing faster speeds, increased capacity, and broader coverage.

Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia, hailed the collaboration as a significant milestone, particularly in a pivotal market like Japan. Uitto emphasized Nokia’s role in supporting Rakuten Group’s evolution in the 4G landscape, highlighting the potential of the 700MHz frequency to deliver advanced services across various user segments.

Rakuten Mobile’s acquisition of the 700MHz spectrum, commonly referred to as the ‘platinum band’, received official approval from Japan’s Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications in October 2023. Rakuten Mobile intends to leverage existing base station infrastructure for a cost-effective deployment strategy.

Nokia has also signed a contract with Rakuten Symphony, which is specializing in integration of B2B services for the global mobile telecom industry, to supply AirScale RAN equipment to customers in select markets. Rakuten Symphony aims to facilitate cloud-based mobile services on an international scale.