Rakuten is building an operator-enabling platform for 4G and 5G called the Rakuten Communication Platform (RCP), which is based on the principles of cloud-native, automation, and open-source development. The RCP is envisioned to allow operators to quickly purchase and deploy a converged 4G and 5G containerized core virtually, allowing them to dynamically scale their operations based on resource demands, take advantage of OpenRAN for disagregation, and utilize Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS), thereby increasing Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) savings. The RCP’s Cloud-Native Network Functions (CNFs) are powered by NEC and Altiostar, and Rakuten has plans to acquire Innoeye for fully automated Operations Support Systems/Business Support Systems (OSS/BSS) for the platform. While Rakuten’s 5G launch, initially meant for June 2020, has been delayed by three months due to COVID-19, Rakuten has been active in having talks with governments around the world about RCP, with talking points centering around security and providing connectivity for rural areas using the platform.
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