Nokia secures ambitious 5G deal with Rakuten in Japan

Published: 10 March 2020 - 12:28 p.m.

Nokia has secured a key contract with Japan’s newest mobile network operator, Rakuten, to deliver a suite of 5G products and services.

Rakuten Mobile will launch the world’s first end-to-end fully virtualised cloud-native 5G mobile network, using Nokia equipment. By deploying Nokia’s cutting-edge coherent and optical component technologies Rakuten Mobile will be able to easily and flexibly grow its network bandwidth for the rapid rollout of 4G and 5G services.

“Rakuten Mobile is creating the world’s first end-to-end fully virtualised cloud-native mobile network, delivering unprecedented network agility and disruptive economics to end users. Nokia’s Photonic Service Engine 3 coherent chipset and integrated ROADM technology enables us to achieve unprecedented levels of integration and performance building the mobile network for 4G and 5G,” said Tareq Amin, CTO, Rakuten Mobile.

Rakuten’s next generation mobile network will be built upon a nationwide optical infrastructure covering all 47 prefectures in Japan. It will support backhaul and data centre interconnect (DCI) applications.

Rakuten will use Nokia’s wavelength routing technology in its long-haul and metro optical networks, creating a photonic mesh – a world’s first for a mobile backhaul network. This will enable Rakuten Mobile to manage surging mobile data traffic and provide new and innovative services.

"The introduction of 5G will require a network that can support dramatic increases in bandwidth in a dynamic fashion. Nokia is proud and excited to partner with Rakuten Mobile to build a fully reconfigurable photonic mesh network to meet the 5G networking challenge at the lowest total cost of ownership,” said Sam Bucci, head of optical networking at Nokia.

Nokia and Rakuten Mobile have previously announced that they will work together to implement a fully automated operations environment for the 5G era. Nokia will operate Rakuten Mobile’s virtualised core network to manage total cost of ownership.

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