Rakuten Mobile starts virtualized mobile network and it’s not 5G

Rakuten Mobile announced the launch of its mobile service in Japan. Rakuten Mobile said it will launch its 5G services in June. NTT Docomo, KDDI and SoftBank already began their 5G services despite the threat of coronavirus epidemic.
Rakuten Mobile Network CTO Tareq AminRakuten Mobile postponed the launch of its services to April from October as it lacked the financial, technical and manpower resources to compete with bigger rivals, Jefferies analyst Atul Goyal said earlier.

Cisco, Nokia, NEC, among others, are some of the telecom network partners for Rakuten Mobile.

Tareq Amin, CTO at Rakuten Mobile, said: “Rakuten Mobile launched its services in Japan, unveiling Rakuten UN-LIMIT 2.0 One Plan. This journey started in June-2018 with a dream and an idea, to build the world’s first virtualized, highly secure, Open Cloud Connectivity Platform.”

Japan’s fourth telecom operator also unveiled the enhanced Rakuten UN-LIMIT 2.0 plan, its unlimited mobile service plan for the monthly fee of 2,980 yen or about $27. Rakuten Mobile competes with SoftBank, NTT Docomo and KDDI.

SoftBank, NTT Docomo and KDDI charge around 7,000 yen per month for similar large data plans in Japan.

The upgraded Rakuten UN-LIMIT 2.0 plan offers 5GB of data per month when roaming in domestic partner areas and increases the maximum data transmission speed in these partner areas after using up the allocated 5GB to 1Mbps. Earlier, Rakuten Mobile offered 2GB of domestic partner area data roaming and maximum 128kbps.

Rakuten Mobile said the maximum 1Mbps data speed after the allotted roaming data is used up will be available from April 8, with the 5GB of roaming data becoming available from April 22, for all Rakuten UN-LIMIT customers.

The Rakuten UN-LIMIT service plan offers unlimited data use within Rakuten network areas and unlimited domestic calls with Rakuten Link, the communication app developed by Rakuten, for a monthly fee of 2,980 yen.

Rakuten Mobile is also offering free package for one year to its 3 million customers who sign up for the program. Rakuten Mobile is also offering a special Rakuten Mini campaign which offers 5,000 Rakuten Points back when purchasing a Rakuten Mini with a new subscription online or in Rakuten Mobile stores on April 8.

Rakuten Mobile has developed the world’s first fully virtualized mobile network allowing substantial reductions in capital investment and operation costs, enabling the operator to pass on these savings to customers.

Last year, the company said it will have 4,000 edge servers in Japan by the mobile service’s launch. Rakuten Mobile plans to expand its own network through the country’s 47 prefectures by March next year.

Mickey Mikitani, CEO of Rakuten Mobile, said: “By offering significant savings to our customers with a low-priced and convenient service, we aim to reduce the household cost of mobile services and encourage consumer spending, contributing to the health of Japan’s national economy.”

Rakuten Mobile first entered the market in October 2014 as a virtual mobile network operator, using other mobile phone operators’ networks. The fourth major mobile phone operator rents KDDI’s nationwide network for its services in large swathes of Japan.

Baburajan K