February 27, 2024
  • Rakuten Mobile, Inc.

Rakuten Mobile Partners with Nokia to Deploy “Platinum Band” Mobile Network Radios Across Its Network in Japan

- Rakuten Mobile to promptly start operating Open RAN-compatible 700 MHz band base stations utilizing virtualization technology and existing base station sites

Tokyo, February 27, 2024 – Rakuten Mobile, Inc., today announced that it will deploy base stations using mobile network radios developed by Nokia Solutions & Networks G.K. in the 700 MHz band, also known as the "platinum band,"*1 which was allocated by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications on October 23, 2023. Leveraging the expertise gained by building the world’s first fully virtualized, cloud-native mobile network compatible with Open RAN, Rakuten Mobile aims to promptly start operating base stations in the 700 MHz band.  

Nokia’s mobile network radio which Rakuten Mobile will deploy are small, lightweight and energy efficient. By using a next-generation Distributed Unit (DU) developed by Rakuten Mobile subsidiary Rakuten Symphony, Rakuten Mobile will be able to easily deploy the radio in its virtualized, Open RAN network. As a result, the newly deployed antenna compatible with 1.7 GHz band and 700 MHz band will be deployed alongside the existing 1.7 GHz radios, allowing the base stations to operate promptly by updating the software. Rakuten Mobile will deploy base stations cost-effectively by shortening the lead time between additional construction and operation utilizing its unique virtualized network technology and existing base station sites.

  • Image of the antenna and radio

Platinum band has the unique ability to maintain strong signal even in the presence of obstacles like buildings or when indoors. Rakuten Mobile aims to realize a high-quality mobile network and maximize customer satisfaction by optimally combining its allocated 700 MHz platinum band with its existing 4G and 5G frequency bands and roaming, as well as expanding the deployment of its platinum band cost-effectively, starting with urban areas with a high volume of users and traffic.

In addition, Rakuten Symphony will collaborate with Nokia to provide the radios to Rakuten Symphony customers in select markets around the world.

"Rakuten Mobile is thrilled to partner with Nokia to deploy platinum band services across our nation-wide network that will bring even higher-quality mobile service to our customers in Japan. We will continue striving to provide high-quality mobile services to our customers,” said Sharad Sriwastawa, Co-CEO of Rakuten Mobile.

Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia, commented, “We are pleased to support Rakuten Mobile in enhancing their 4G network. Utilizing the 700 MHz band will improve the user experience, especially indoors and our industry-leading "AirScale"*2 portfolio can support network construction across any frequency band.”

Rakuten Mobile is committed to further enhancing its network in Japan and to providing customers with high-quality communication services, while continuing to accelerate the deployment of virtualized Open RAN networks around the world.

*1 Related press release:
Notice Regarding Approval of Special Base Station Deployment Plan for 700 MHz “Platinum Band” Allocation
*2 "AirScale" is Nokia's industry-leading wireless access portfolio.

*Product and service names appearing in this press release are generally trademarks or registered trademarks of the respective companies. In this press release, trademarks such as ™ and ® may be omitted in some cases.

About Rakuten Mobile
Rakuten Mobile, Inc. is a Rakuten Group company responsible for mobile communications, including mobile network operator (MNO) and mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) businesses, as well as ICT. Through continuous innovation and the deployment of advanced technology, Rakuten Mobile aims to redefine expectations in the mobile communications industry in order to provide appealing and convenient services for diverse customer needs.

About Rakuten Symphony
Rakuten Symphony is changing the way Telco carriers operate, the supply chain, and the old ways of thinking that hinder the pursuit of innovation and growth in the industry. Based on a proven track record of building state-of-the-art infrastructure, we are deploying open-interface Telecom Platforms globally. This Telecom Platform enables the delivery and operation of advanced Mobile Services in a fraction of the time and cost of traditional methods, without compromising Network quality or security. Rakuten Symphony is headquartered in Japan and has local offices in the USA, Singapore, India, Europe, and the Middle East and Africa region.

For more information about Rakuten Symphony's offerings, please visit:  https://symphony.rakuten.com

*Please note that the information contained in press releases is current as of the date of release.

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