On mobile transformation: Rakuten at MWC 2019

Barcelona is a city with a special place in Rakuten history. It’s the birthplace of Rakuten TV, it’s the home of Rakuten’s sports partner FC Barcelona and it’s the city where Rakuten’s founder and CEO will take to the stage again this year to share the latest on mobile at one of the world’s greatest tech events: Mobile World Congress (MWC).

The transformation of mobile: On track and on stage at MWC

At last year’s MWC, Rakuten CEO Mickey Mikitani began to pull back the curtain on Rakuten’s emerging plans to take on Japan’s telecom oligopoly. In April 2018, the Japanese government announced allocation of 4G spectrum to Rakuten for the first time. Since then, Rakuten has been moving at characteristic high speed to prepare for the launch of its new mobile network this fall and, at MWC, Mickey is scheduled to share special insights on this revolutionary journey with a global audience.

Also taking the stage at the 2019 edition of MWC is Rakuten Mobile Network CTO Tareq Amin. Not only will Amin be joining the main stage panel on What’s Keeping Operator CTOs up at Night, he is also slotted for presentations at the Rakuten booth and other events to share the technology behind what is set to be a world-first end-to-end cloud-native mobile network.

An all-star cast of partners and the unique Rakuten ecosystem

Rakuten Mobile Network has brought together leading partners to collaborate on the most challenging technical problems in the mobile industry in order to bring this revolutionary vision to life. Partners include Cisco Systems, Nokia, Altiostar Networks, Intel, Red Hat, OKI, Fujitsu, Ciena, NEC/Netcracker, Qualcomm, Mavenir, Quanta Cloud Technology, Sercomm, Tech Mahindra, Allot, Innoeye and Viavi. Having a great strategy is vital, but the value of great partners cannot be understated.

And finally, Rakuten also has its not-so-secret weapon: the Rakuten ecosystem. This extensive interconnected network of over 70 services in e-commerce, fintech and digital content offers customers a value proposition without parallel. The power of Rakuten’s brand with consumers and an existing customer base of over 100 million registered members in Japan will provide a robust foundation for rapid growth.

To share more about the mobile journey and the unique Rakuten ecosystem, Rakuten has also planned a series of unique presentations for the stage created at the Rakuten booth. Presenters include senior executives and technical experts from leading partners and services such as Rakuten Viber, Rakuten Kobo, Rakuten Aquafadas, Rakuten TV, Rakuten France, and of course, Rakuten Mobile Network. For more details, see below.

Overview of Rakuten activities during Mobile World Congress 2019:

Rakuten and Cisco CEOs in a Joint Keynote
When: Wednesday, February 27, 9:30am-
Where: Hall 4, Auditorium 1
Join Mickey Mikitani, Rakuten CEO, and Chuck Robbins, Cisco CEO, for a joint keynote on the next generation of mobile technology.

CTO Panel: “What keeps Operator CTOs up at night?”
When: Monday, February 25, 11am-
Where: Hall 4, Auditorium 4
Join Rakuten Mobile Network’s first CTO, Tareq Amin, and other CTO panelists to hear more about the challenges mobile operators face in keeping mobile networks working.

Rakuten Ecosystem and Mobile Technology Partner Presentations at Rakuten Booth
Where: Hall 4, Booth 4A10

Monday, February 25

Time Company Title
10:00 Rakuten Aquafadas Create and distribute rich and interactive content for mobile devices
11:00 Rakuten Viber Chat Apps Break Through Messaging Clutter
13:30 Mavenir Monetizing RCS through Innovation on Cloud Native Network
15:00 Nokia Shared Data Layer: Optimizes telco cloud applications and architecture


Tuesday, February 26

Time Company Title
11:30 Rakuten TV Content Meets Technology: A conversation on the Cinema at Home revolution
14:00 NEC/Netcracker Digital Innovation: Beyond Connectivity
15:00 Altiostar First Virtual RAN as a VNF – Rakuten case study


Wednesday, February 27

Time Company Title
12:30 Rakuten Mobile Network Rakuten and Mobile Partner Seminar – Vision of the Rakuten Ecosystem and MNO
14:20 Red Hat Red Hat’s New Engineer Educational Program Announcement for Telco Industry
15:20 Rakuten France Empowering EU online shopping through marketplace, affiliation and merchant business advertising.
16:30 Cisco Reimagining End-to-End Mobile Network in the 5G Era


Thursday, February 28

Time Company Title
9:00 Altiostar First Virtual RAN as a VNF – Rakuten case study
10:00 Cisco Security Architecture for Next Generation Networks

 * Please note that presentation times and other details are subject to change. This list will be updated going forward as new information becomes available.

Rakuten's booth at MWC 2019 features a stage for presentation, demo rooms and more than a few familiar faces.
Rakuten’s booth at MWC 2019 includes a presentation stage and a demo room.
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