Rakuten talks with governments about its communications platform: CEO

 

New Japanese market entrant Rakuten Mobile, a subsidiary of e-commerce giant Rakuten, is having talks with several governments around the world regarding the Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP), Tareq Amin, representative director, EVP and CTO of Rakuten Mobile, said in a recent press conference.

“It’s been really encouraging to have very positive conversations with various government officials across the world. I think governments in general have been trying to answer two questions. One is about security, and then this I think all of you are aware about the ongoing path towards how do we secure today’s and tomorrow’s network. And then the other aspect is about connectivity for the masses, not connectivity only for urban and suburban areas,” Amin said, answering a question made by RCR Wireless News.

“When we meet with the governments, we tell them that truthfully, deploying telecom infrastructure is expensive and we think we need to reinvent that with our partners and ecosystem innovators, so of course governments have a huge interest. I think it’s not just about the security aspect of it, but it’s about making 5G far more affordable than what it is today. Deployment, by the way, [of]  5G infrastructure today is not cheap. The business model and ROI for 5G is yet to be realized. I believe Rakuten is the only company today in the world that has a practical experience, [a]battle-proven organization that understands what is this concept of open RAN, beyond saying we’re going to create an open RAN coalition.”

Rakuten Mobile chairman and CEO Mickey Mikitani said that 4G and 5G networks are a key strategic issue, not only for developed countries but also for emerging countries. He added that security is also a key issue for governments in the space of 4G and 5G. ”Security is extremely important for them,” Mikitani said. “So, we have been talking with very big governments. We know exactly from where is coming each component of hardware and software and we can guarantee that the platform is extremely secure. We can go down to the component parts of the hardware, and prove it is secure.”

“I cannot mention who we’re talking to, but we’re talking with multiple governments about this,” Mikitani said.

RCP is aimed at offering solutions and services for the deployment of virtualized networks at speed and low cost by telecom companies, enterprises and governments around the world.

Rakuten Communications Platform contains all the elements of the Rakuten Mobile network, including telco applications and software from multiple vendors, OSS and BSS systems handling customer billing and activation systems, in addition to edge computing and virtual network management functions.

Last month, Rakuten Mobile announced it will delay the launch of commercial 5G services due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rakuten Mobile said that the 5G service originally planned for June 2020 is expected to be delayed by approximately three months due to the impact of the pandemic on part of the company’s global supply chain.

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