Opensignal’s October 2023 Mobile Network Experience Report proves that the country’s newest operator is now performing highly in several key measures.
Rakuten Mobile’s continuous efforts to deliver high-quality, easily accessible mobile services for Japanese consumers have been validated by expert research, which now proves that its 5G upload speeds are the best in the country.
Global analytics firm Opensignal’s newest Japan Mobile Network Experience Report, published today, offers further validation that Japan’s most modern mobile network is continually raising its game and improving an enhanced customer experience.
Rakuten Mobile now also provides the joint-best ‘Live Video Experience’ and is a strong competitor in ‘Consistent Quality’ and ‘Overall Coverage Experience’ categories.
The report spells encouraging signs for Japan’s newest telco, validating its decision to build the world’s first cloud-native telecom network underpinned by Open RAN technologies. Those decisions are now successfully translating into convenient, streamlined customer services that are beginning to revolutionize the way Japanese consumers live and work in the 5G era.
Rakuten Mobile excels in Uploads
For a network that was launched just three-and-a-half years ago, Opensignal’s research spells a bright future for Rakuten Mobile, and for Japan’s broader prospects in mobile connectivity.
One of Rakuten Mobile’s standout areas of performance in Opensignal’s findings was in Upload Speed Experience, in which it scored 18.7 Mbps – more than double the second-placed operator, with competitors scoring 8.7 Mbps, 7.7mbps and 6.9mbps.
The 5G Upload Speed category produced a similar story – Rakuten Mobile customers have access to the fastest 5G upload speeds in Japan, with users experiencing average speeds of 30.4 Mbps, while its competitors scored 19.6mbps, 14.9mbps and 8.4mbps.
In terms of 5G Download Speed, Rakuten Mobile was named a ‘joint winner’, clocking speeds of 180.9 Mbps next to competitor scores of 177.4mbps, 138.7mbps and 115.2mbps.
Rakuten Mobile was also named a ‘joint winner’ for Live Video Experience, while it ranked extremely well in two categories; in Consistent Quality it scored 83.4% (0.4% behind first place, and ahead of the other operators on 81.2%), while in Overall Coverage Experience it scored 7.9 out of a possible 10, ahead of two other operators on 7.8 and 6.5.
Rakuten Mobile’s Overall Availability score came in at 99.1%, a category in which its rival and longer established operators scored 99.4, 99.6 and 99.7%.
How did Rakuten Mobile achieve these scores?
As part of its efforts to improve the Overall Coverage Experience, Rakuten Mobile has successfully deployed more than 60,000 cell sites over a three-and-a-half year period. As part of its efforts to improve coverage in dense, urban areas, Rakuten Mobile has optimized the use of its allocated bandwidth through 4×4 Massive MIMO, significantly improving its spectrum usage.
The decision to build a cloud-native, virtualised mobile network based on Open radio access network (Open RAN) technologies is continuing to yield a variety of transformational results for Rakuten Mobile. Ongoing technical enhancements around transport layer optimization, local caching and direct peering with tier one internet service providers are all contributing to enhanced network performance.
Software upgrades to Rakuten Mobile’s core and RAN include the addition of new features that have lowered latency – an improvement of approximately five to six milliseconds – and packet loss percentage, which has decreased from 1.42% to 0.3%. These improvements have translated into significantly improved live video and gaming experiences.
The only way is up
The news comes off the back of a number of positive milestones for Rakuten Mobile. It recently passed the 5 million subscriber mark, while its combined 5G and 4G network is close to covering the entirety of Japan. Rakuten Mobile’s partnership with AST SpaceMobile aims to soon bring coverage to customers no matter where they are in the country.
Opensignal’s Mobile Network Experience Report follows the launch of the Rakuten SAIKYO Plan in June 2023, which eliminates the 5GB data usage limit in domestic roaming partner network areas while allowing customers to use unlimited high-speed data in all network areas in Japan.
Opensignal Awards – Japan Mobile Network Experience Report October 2023, based on independent analysis of mobile measurements recorded during the period June 01 – August 29, 2023© 2022 Opensignal Limited.