Containerized, standalone 5G core network systems headed for Japan

June 5, 2020
NEC and Japan's Rakuten Mobile say they are collaborating to build an open, secure and highly scalable 4G and 5G cloud native converged core.

Japan's Rakuten Mobile and NEC Corporation will collaborate to build a containerized standalone (SA) 5G core network (5GC) to be utilized in Rakuten Mobile’s cloud native 5G network.

Based on an agreement, the two companies will jointly develop the containerized SA 5G mobile core, to be made available on the Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP), a fully virtualized and containerized cloud-native mobile network.

The companies say they will collaborate to build the 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 companies says the containerized 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 virtualized networks at speed and low cost by telecom companies and enterprises globally, tailored for their unique needs.

In Japan, the 5GC will be offered as an application on the RCP Marketplace, allowing customers to quickly and easily “click, purchase and deploy” a fully virtualized SA 5G core network solution.

 “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 RCP,” commented Tareq Amin, representative director, EVP, and CTO of Rakuten Mobile.

“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.

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At the Rakuten Optimism 2019 event, industry leaders and innovators in mobile telecommunications shared insights into the impact of 5G technology on business and consumer lifestyles.

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