As it continues to pursue its vision of a fully virtualized 5G network, Rakuten Mobile has announced that it will work with Infovista – a provider of network planning and testing – to deliver the first carrier-grade, cloud-based platform for network planning, optimisation and modelling in Japan.
Rakuten Mobile recently announced testing partnerships with Altiostar Networks and NEC, to implement the industry’s first O-RAN Alliance-compliant multi-vendor massive-multi-input, multi-output (mMIMO) 5G with vRAN.
And this new partnership will provide a cloud-based radio network planning solution, which will be made available as RCP NEO by Rakuten Mobile, and which aims to improve the performance and scalability of the world’s first end-to-end fully cloud-native mobile network.
“Rakuten Mobile’s new 5G network in Japan is a cloud-native mobile network with the flexibility to fulfil the true promise of 5G, supporting important new functionalities, such as network slicing, offering dedicated connectivity for specific customers and ultra-low latency services and beyond, without compromising on reliability,” said Tareq Amin, CTO of Rakuten Mobile Network.
Delivering on Rakuten's open vision
Built for deployment in Rakuten Mobile’s cloud-native mobile platform – Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP) – the new system will use microservices architecture with open Application Programming Interfaces (API), and Infovista’s “on-demand” radio network planning solution, to reduce the time and cost of network deployment.
“As such, it is critical that our RF design, planning and operational platforms are built using the same concepts, and our work with Infovista has delivered an open solution that will allow us to scale and automate many of the critical capabilities we need to deliver on our vision,” Amin said.
Based on Infovista’s Planet software, the joint solution runs entirely on Linux, with microservices delivered as Docker containers, enabling Rakuten Mobile to manage its planning database, automatically generate coverage, interference, throughput and other analysis.
“Our work with Rakuten Mobile highlights the growing importance of virtualized software within the telecoms industry and the need for innovative and open solutions to help deliver the potential offered by 5G,” said Yann Le Helloco, Infovista’s CTO. “Turning our radio planning solution into a cloud-native application offers a way to quickly scale out and automate many of the critical functions to roll out 5G networks and to assist with the ongoing operational requirements for both operators and enterprise customers that may deploy their own private 5G networks.”
According to Infovista, this will be the first solution of its kind to deliver a full suite of 5G planning services as a cloud-native offering, and it should be rolled out across Rakuten’s network during 2021.