Tech & Innovation

  • Blog
    At an event commemorating the grand opening of a new flagship store in downtown Tokyo, Rakuten Mobile announced the expansion of its Free Supporter Program to up to an additional 20,000 participants.

    Rakuten Mobile makes waves at new flagship store launch: Expands Free Supporter Program to 20,000 new participants

    Today marks another milestone in the roll-out of the world’s first end-to-end fully virtualized cloud-native mobile network. At an event commemorating the grand opening of a new flagship store in downtown Tokyo, Rakuten Mobile announced the expansion of its Free Supporter Program to up to an additional 20,000 participants. Already offering voice and data services free of charge to approximately 5,…

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  • Blog
    Rakuten IT School NEXT: Hope for the coming generations. These high schoolers are working to transform their communities.

    Meet the high schoolers solving rural Japan’s demographic challenges

    How can rural Japan conquer the challenges of an aging population, low birth rates and a mass exodus of young people to big cities? That’s exactly what students from 10 rural Japanese schools set out to address with the second annual Rakuten IT School NEXT. Volunteer Rakuten employees made the journey out to the 10 locations around the country in mid-2019, holding three-day summer workshops to kic…

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  • Blog
    How has software development become like a peanut-filled chocolate bar? Because people are the peanuts and automation is the chocolate, according to Kohsuke Kawaguchi, known as the creator of Jenkins, a free and open-source software automation project that’s looking to boost productivity.

    Cloudbees’ Kohsuke Kawaguchi is future-proofing software development

    How has software development become like a peanut-filled chocolate bar? People are the peanuts and automation is the chocolate, according to Kohsuke Kawaguchi, known as the creator of Jenkins, a free and open-source software automation project that’s looking to boost productivity. Kawaguchi recently spoke about the role of open-source tools in software development at the Rakuten Technology Confere…

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  • Blog
    A world-first. No playbook. No cheat codes. Rakuten Mobile's Rahul Atri is taking the telecom industry somewhere it’s never been.

    Rewriting the playbook: In conversation with Rakuten Mobile’s Rahul Atri

    This article is part of a series of interviews with Rakuten Mobile employees. In this edition, we speak with Rahul Atri, who manages Rakuten Mobile’s Automation CoE (Center of Excellence) Department. His team is responsible for innovation and automating a range of tasks that are traditionally done manually, while also designing and planning ahead for Rakuten Mobile’s future 5G architecture. Rahul…

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  • Blog
    At Rakuten, we have continued to innovate across our 70-plus businesses around the world, from online shopping and drone delivery, to fintech, sports and our pioneering Englishnization program. But as eternal optimists (rakuten means “optimism” in Japanese) we’re confident the best is yet to come. Here are five transformative tech trends we expect to see as we enter the ’20s.

    A decade of disruption: 5 tech storylines set to define 2020 and beyond

    Once again, the past decade was all about disruption powered by technology. AirBnB, Uber and Lyft ushered in the era of the sharing economy; Netflix flipped the film and television industry on its head; while Google and Tesla made sci-fi dreams a reality with advances in self-driving cars. At Rakuten, we have continued to lead on innovation around the world, from online shopping and drone delivery…

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  • Blog
    this year’s ‘Hit Banzuke’ list from Rakuten offers unique insights into the comings and goings of consumer culture in Japan.

    ASMR, sustainability and the ‘chill revolution’ — Japan’s consumer trends for 2019

    Each year, Rakuten Ichiba’s consumer insights guru, Jun Shimizu (aka the Trend Hunter), sifts through mountains of e-commerce data to identify Japan’s most significant shopping trends. As always, this year’s ‘Hit Banzuke’ list offers unique insights into the comings and goings of consumer culture in the land of the rising sun. Beat the tax hike! Japan’s long-delayed second consumption tax hike, wh…

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  • Blog
    How to drive an ecosystem and build a revolutionary mobile network: A conversation with Rakuten Mobile’s Sharad Sriwastawa.

    Mobile Pioneers at Rakuten: In conversation with Sharad Sriwastawa

    This article is part of a series of interviews with Rakuten Mobile employees. In this edition, we speak with Sharad Sriwastawa, vice president of Rakuten Mobile’s radio access network (RAN) department. Sharad and the Rakuten Mobile team recently launched the world’s first end-to-end cloud-native mobile network, which you can read about here. Where were you before coming to Japan? I was born and br…

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  • Tech & Innovation

    A data miner at the helm of Rakuten Institute of Technology, Tokyo

    Rakuten is more than just a collection of services: It’s a collection of communities. One of those communities is the Rakuten Institute of Technology (RIT), founded by Masaya Mori in 2006. 13 years later, Yu Hirate is taking the helm of RIT’s Tokyo branch. Below is a conversation between RIT’s founder and the newly appointed head scientist. Rakuten Institute of Technology (RIT) founder Masay…

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  • Rakuten Innovation

    Japan’s best toys are guiding kids into the future

    It’s that time of year again: Freezing weather, family feasts and frantic holiday shopping. While there isn’t much we can do about the weather, we’re here to help you avoid the wish list woes this holiday season with a few expert-approved toy ideas for parents. Back again just in time for the holidays, Rakuten Ichiba crowns Japan’s favorite fun, cute and educational toys with the third annual Raku…

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