Rakuten is going to launch a fully virtualised 4G network in October this year and a 5G network in 2020.
The network is expected to be more flexible, easier to maintain and upgrade.

Building a totally new type of mobile network is very challenging but could enable lower cost and capital spending. Rakuten’s mobile network will require half the investment of traditional telcos just to build the 4G part of the network. About 70 to 80% reduction in investment could be achieved when taking into account 5G investment.

How far the new concept will enable this new entrant in the Japanese mobile arena to disrupt the market?

Table of contents

1. Executive Summary

2. Rakuten’s approach: A virtualised mobile network
2.1. Rakuten, Inc. Was first the largest e-commerce site in Japan
2.2. What’s new in the Rakuten approach?
2.3. The Rakuten Mobile Network is world’s first cloud-native platform
2.4. Virtualisation of the RAN (Radio Access Network)
2.5. Cloud-native core: a multivendor affair between Cisco and Nokia

3. Strategy and expected impact
3.1. Roadmap for MNO service launch
3.2. Deal with KDDI
3.3. Expected impact on the Japanese market

4. Challenges and conclusion
4.1. The most challenging factors in the Rakuten approach
4.2. SWOT analysis
4.3. Conclusion

5. Annexes
5.1. Role of the infrastructure providers
5.2. Altiostar Networks
5.3. Enabling Rakuten Cloud Platform with Cisco NFVI and Orchestration Solutions

List of tables and figures

List of tables and figures

• Rakuten network architecture
• RAN architecture
• Simplified deployment
• Rakuten’s roadmap
• Rakuten deal with KDDI
• MVNO market shares, 1H FY2019
• MNO market shares, December 2018
• Rakuten’s leading partners
• vRAN software
• Transport configurations
• Rakuten’s mobile network architecture

Geographic area


  • Altiostar
  • Cisco Systems
  • KDDI
  • Nokia
  • Rakuten

Other details

  • Reference: M19490MRA
  • Delivery: on the DigiWorld Interactive platform
  • Languages available: English
  • Tags: MNO, MVNO, Radio Access Network, Rakuten, Rakuten Mobile Network, Ran, virtualised mobile network

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