Tech & Innovation

  • Blog
    Rakuten trials drone delivery to remote mountainous location in Iwate Prefecture, where many elderly residents struggle to go shopping for food.

    New drone delivery trial sees groceries sent to isolated community in Iwate Prefecture

    Rakuten chalked up another successful drone delivery trial last month, this time demonstrating the service’s ability to reach a remote mountainous location in Iwate Prefecture, where many elderly residents struggle to go shopping for food. Having launched in September 2016, the Rakuten drone team aims to eventually provide sustainable delivery infrastructure where Japan’s conventional network cann…

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  • Blog
    Rakuten Mobile enlisted the help of innovative pop sensation MIYAVI for the launch of its industry-disrupting UN-LIMIT plan.

    Rakuten Mobile unveils its new UN-LIMIT plan with a “Bang!” thanks to pop sensation MIYAVI

    As Rakuten Mobile launches its groundbreaking mobile phone carrier service, it makes sense that it would team up with one of Japan’s biggest and most innovative pop sensations: the so-called “Samurai Guitarist,” MIYAVI. Known for edgy, aggressive electric guitar licks and his dramatic “finger-slapping” play style, MIYAVI burst onto the global music scene with a new album last year and a prominent…

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  • Blog
    In the not-so-distant future, Rakuten Mobile users could be connecting directly to space: Rakuten Today interviews AST founder and CEO Abel Avellan.

    Abel Avellan wants to connect your mobile phone to space

    In the not-so-distant future, Rakuten Mobile users could be connecting directly to space. To coincide with the official reveal of Rakuten Mobile launch plans for April, Rakuten also announced its investment in space cellular broadband network startup AST & Science. The company is in the process of launching a revolutionary cellular network called SpaceMobile — a constellation of low-Earth-orbi…

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  • Tech & Innovation
    Kaoru Tanaka on the logistical, cultural and linguistic challenges companies face when operating across borders, and how Rakuten is thriving in a globalized world.

    How to overcome barriers to global collaboration: technology, cultural understanding and trust

    How do you coordinate a global workforce spread out across 30 countries and even more locations? Kaoru Tanaka is tackling this collaboration conundrum head on as executive officer and general manager of Rakuten’s Corporate IT department. She spoke on a panel at the recent Rakuten Technology Conference in Tokyo about the logistical, cultural and linguistic challenges companies face when operating a…

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  • Blog
    Rakuten Mobile unveiled the details of its mobile plan today at a press conference in downtown Tokyo. Dubbed “Rakuten UN-LIMIT,” the new mobile carrier service plan is available for the industry-disrupting price of 2,980 yen per month.

    Rakuten Mobile redefines expectations with new unlimited mobile carrier plan: Rakuten UN-LIMIT

    Rakuten Mobile unveiled the details of its mobile plan today at a press conference in downtown Tokyo. Dubbed “Rakuten UN-LIMIT,” the new mobile carrier service plan is available for the industry-disrupting price of 2,980 yen per month, and offers both unlimited data within Rakuten network areas and unlimited domestic calls through Rakuten Link, a communication app developed by Rakuten. The company…

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  • Blog
    Rakuten Social Accelerator is not your typical startup incubator; it was created to connect social entrepreneurs, NPOs and other organizations with Rakuten resources.

    Reviving abandoned houses, connecting isolated doctors & empowering asylum seekers: Rakuten Social Accelerator

    Rakuten Social Accelerator is not your typical startup incubator. Created to connect social entrepreneurs, NPOs and other organizations with Rakuten resources, the second round of the program kicked off in summer 2019 with five new startups, each dedicated to solving an important social issue. Startups were paired with volunteer Rakuten employees and tasked to work together over a period of six mo…

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  • Blog
    Rakuten Drone has trialed a new service delivering groceries directly from a mainland supermarket to the remote island of Masaki.

    Rakuten trials autonomous drone delivery to remote island residents

    Since making its first pioneering delivery on a golf course outside of Tokyo in April 2016, Rakuten has been at the forefront of drone delivery innovation. The Rakuten Drone UGV team continues to break new ground — both on land and in the air — with tests and trial services across Japan. The technological advances achieved in this field also have the potential to address a broad range of social ne…

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  • Blog
    Mobile Pioneers at Rakuten: In conversation with Zein Badaro

    From art college to telecom: In conversation with Rakuten Mobile’s Zein Badaro

    This article is part of a series of interviews with Rakuten Mobile employees. In this edition, we speak with Zein Badaro, who works in Rakuten Mobile’s International Roaming Department. A 22-year-old graduate of the University of Edinburgh College of Art, she relates her experience beginning a career at Rakuten. Zein and the Rakuten Mobile team recently launched the world’s first end-to-end c…

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  • Blog
    We look back on eight years of C2C trends and innovation that have made Rakuma one of Japan’s favorite C2C marketplaces.

    A C2C revolution: Eight years of Rakuma

    The humble web auction was a staple of the early days of e-commerce. But as online shopping hit the mainstream and the marketplace model took center stage, auction sites began to fall out of fashion. But a question remained: What do you do with all the stuff you’ve bought after you no longer need it? In the early 2010s, this question was answered in a uniquely modern way: with a smartphone app. Ei…

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