Just months after receiving two of the mobile industry’s top five global awards at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and scoring 920 points out of 1,000 for its network in Tokyo in a report by independent analyst company umlaut, Rakuten Mobile has racked up more awards for its world-first mobile network – this time for its speeds in 5G.
Rakuten recognized for remarkable 5G speed results
Announced on September 20, Rakuten Mobile was named a Global Leader in the 5G Download Speed category, with a speed of 358.7 Mbps against an average of 175.3 Mbps for all 5G operators analyzed globally in Opensignal’s 5G Global Mobile Network Experience Awards report*1. While uptake of 5G in Japan is still in relatively nascent stages, Rakuten Mobile is on track to deliver great performance to local consumers.
The report from Opensignal, the independent global standard for measuring real-world mobile network experience, covers over 100 operators in more than 35 countries and is based on data collected between January 1 and June 29, 2021. Awards are handed out in five categories: 5G Availability, 5G Download Speed, 5G Upload Speed, 5G Video Experience and 5G Games Experience. The report also includes “5G Global Impact” awards for operators that show the most improvement in 5G over 4G.
“The award is a testament to the hard work, determination and commitment to innovation of the team at Rakuten Mobile.”Tareq Amin, Rakuten Group CTO
In addition to Rakuten Mobile’s success in the 5G Download Speed category, Japan’s newest operator was named a Global Leader in the 5G Upload Speed category, with an upload speed of 30.8 Mbps, versus the global average of 5G operators of 21.8 Mbps.
Rakuten Mobile also received 5G Global Impact awards for 5G Download Speed, which saw an approximate increase of 1560% over 4G, and 5G Upload Speed, which saw an increase of around 160% compared to 4G.
“We are very excited and humbled to be named a global leader for our 5G network,” commented Rakuten Group CTO Tareq Amin. “The award is a testament to the hard work, determination and commitment to innovation of the team at Rakuten Mobile.”
“The results of the report are a validation of Open RAN technology, and we will continue to strive to further improve the quality and performance of our network in Japan in order to offer our customers the best experience in 5G,” said Sharad Sriwastawa, Division Manager of the Connectivity Platforms Division of Rakuten Mobile.
Rakuten Mobile’s 5G service off to a phenomenally fast start
“The results of the report are a validation of Open RAN technology, and we will continue to strive to further improve the quality and performance of our network in Japan in order to offer our customers the best experience in 5G.”Sharad Sriwastawa, Division Manager of the Connectivity Platforms Division, Rakuten Mobile
It was less than a year ago, on September 30, 2020, when the still-new network announced the launch of its 5G service, along with a surprising update to its Rakuten UN-LIMIT service plan – 5G at no additional cost. The upgraded plan offered subscribers with a 5G-compatible device and in 5G network areas*2, both 4G and 5G service for the same monthly fee of 2,980 yen (3,278 yen including tax).
This low-cost 5G offering was made possible by Rakuten Mobile’s network architecture. Doing away with the typical closely integrated, closed systems of traditional networks, Rakuten Mobile opted for an Open RAN-based approach leveraging web-scale technologies such as virtualization, containers and microservices, running on standardized COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) servers. This approach significantly reduced the costs of building and running the network, allowing the operator to pass those savings onto its customers.
*1 Opensignal Awards – 5G Global Mobile Network Experience Awards, 2021, based on independent analysis of mobile measurements recorded during January 1 – June 29, 2021 © 2021 Opensignal Limited.
*2 5G service is available in certain areas only. 5G services can be used in the Rakuten network areas offering 5G coverage when using a 5G-compatible device. Transmission speeds may vary depending on the network environment. For more information about the 5G service area, please see the following site: