5G

Partnership for containerised standalone 5G core network

4th June 2020
Alex Lynn

Rakuten Mobile and NEC Corporation have announced that the two companies have reached an agreement to jointly develop the containerised standalone 5G core network (5GC) to be utilised in Rakuten Mobile's fully virtualised cloud-native 5G network.

Based on the agreement, Rakuten Mobile and NEC will jointly develop the containerised SA 5G mobile core to be made available on the Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP), Rakuten Mobile's fully virtualised and containerised cloud-native mobile network platform. The two companies will collaborate to build a Japan-made, highly reliable 5GC, based on the 5GC software source code developed by NEC. Subsequent to the launch of its non-standalone (NSA) 5G service in 2020, Rakuten Mobile aims to provide its SA 5G service in Japan in 2021.

The containerised 5GC will also play a key role in the global expansion of RCP, a platform aimed at offering solutions and services for the deployment of virtualised networks at speed and low cost by telecom companies and enterprises around the world, tailored for their needs. The 5GC will be offered as an application on the RCP Marketplace, allowing customers to quickly and easily "click, purchase and deploy" a fully virtualised SA 5G core network solution.

"We are very excited to collaborate with NEC on the development of our standalone 5G core network," said Tareq Amin, Representative Director, Executive Vice President and CTO of Rakuten Mobile. "Our partnership with NEC represents a joint collaboration to build an open, secure, and highly scalable 4G and 5G cloud-native converged core, that will also become a key feature of the highly competitive services we will offer to global customers through the Rakuten Communications Platform."

"NEC is proud to be the 5GC development partner for Rakuten Mobile's advanced, fully virtualised, cloud-native network. Following the BSS/OSS for the 4G network and 5G radio equipment that we have already begun offering, we look forward to providing a high-quality, highly reliable 5GC and contributing to Rakuten Mobile's 5G services," added Atsuo Kawamura, Executive Vice President and President of the Network Services Business Unit, NEC.

Through the joint development of the SA 5GC, Rakuten Mobile and NEC aim to drive innovation in global mobile technology and provide high-quality 5G network technology to customers both in Japan and around the world.

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