Accelerating global adoption of cloud-native, Open RAN-based mobile networks with Rakuten Symphony

Rakuten Symphony is a new business organization created to empower the global adoption of cloud-native open RAN infrastructure and services — including RCP — by mobile network operators, enterprises and government bodies. Rakuten Symphony’s vision is to provide a future-proven, cost-effective cloud connectivity platform.

“With Rakuten Symphony, we’re bringing together our global resources to take the next important step toward offering our innovative mobile network solutions to telco operators, enterprise customers and governments around the world.”

Mickey Mikitani, Chairman, Rakuten Symphony

The origin story: Rakuten Symphony

At Rakuten Technology Conference 2018, Rakuten Mobile CTO Tareq Amin first announced the revolutionary steps Rakuten Mobile would take in building its new network. This new idea for mobile infrastructure wouldn’t rely on a single-source technology partner, but instead would see Rakuten bring together many companies from around the world and integrate their technologies, acting very much like a conductor leading a symphony.

Speaking in front of a crowd of tech leaders, Rakuten employees and special guest Amin told the audience, “The journey that we are embarking on in Japan will enable a complete transformation in the telecom infrastructure buildout. We are building the world’s first end-to-end fully virtualized cloud-native network.”

As Rakuten Mobile brought together many players to build its own network from scratch, behind the scenes it was creating the Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP), a platform that any mobile network operator around the world could use to deploy its own cloud-native Open RAN network.

As Rakuten Mobile brought together many players to build its own network from scratch, behind the scenes it was creating the Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP), a platform that any mobile network operator around the world could use to deploy its own cloud-native Open RAN network. Today, Rakuten Mobile is taking the next step in this journey with the launch of Rakuten Symphony.

With operations across Japan, the United States, Singapore, India, Europe and the Middle East Africa region, Rakuten Symphony brings together all Rakuten’s telco products, services and solutions under a single global banner to offer 4G and 5G infrastructure and platform solutions to customers worldwide.

In a statement, Rakuten Group CEO and Rakuten Symphony Chairman Mickey Mikitani said, “Rakuten deployed the world’s first virtualized cloud-native Open RAN network in Japan and with Rakuten Symphony we’re bringing together our global resources to take the next important step toward offering our innovative mobile network solutions to telco operators, enterprise customers and governments around the world.”

Rakuten Symphony will be “conducted” by Tareq Amin, who will be CEO of the organization in addition to his duties as CTO of Rakuten Mobile and Rakuten Group.

“The journey that we are embarking on in Japan will enable a complete transformation in the telecom infrastructure buildout.”

CEO of Rakuten Symphony Tareq Amin announcing Rakuten Mobile’s transformative vision in October 2018

Rakuten’s full lineup of telco products, services and solutions under one global banner

In addition to alignment of RCP, including Open RAN software, network automation and orchestration, Rakuten cloud infrastructure and Innoeye, Rakuten’s existing research and development, sales, marketing and delivery resources focused on the global telco segment will also be merged under Rakuten Symphony.

Rakuten Symphony Business Opportunities
Rakuten Symphony will be organized around five unique business opportunities

Rakuten’s move into the global telco platform business — with a successful reference from its mobile arm in Japan — is expected to further differentiate its position as a global leader in cloud-centric, virtualized, Open RAN-based mobile networks.  

“With Rakuten Symphony, we’re more than excited to empower greenfield and brownfield telco operators and enterprises around the world to easily build and deploy cloud-native network services,” added Amin. “Building on our experience and learning from one of the most competitive markets in the world, we will be relentlessly focused on offering customers high security, quality network performance, cost transparency and the flexibility of open standards.”

Altiostar Networks, Inc. joins Rakuten Group

In addition, Rakuten disclosed this week the acquisition of the remaining equity of U.S.-based mobile technology company, Altiostar Networks, Inc. Rakuten and Altiostar will partner to accelerate deployment of software-centric, virtualized services for the mobile industry across the globe.

Rakuten partners with 1&1 to build Europe’s first fully virtualized nationwide ORAN mobile network

Rakuten also announced on the same day a long-term partnership with German mobile operator 1&1 to build Europe’s first fully virtualized mobile network based on innovative Open RAN technology. 1&1 will leverage the full Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP) stack of access, core, cloud and operations solutions.

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