Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Japan's Rakuten Mobile launches 5G service

Rakuten Mobile officially launched its commercial 5G service in Japan and announced a “Rakuten UN-LIMIT V” service plan which offers customers access to 5G services for 2,980 yen monthly. Existing subscribers of the Rakuten UN-LIMIT 2.0 service plan will be able to use 5G services for no additional cost, in 5G service areas with a 5G-compatible device.

Mickey Mikitani, Chairman and CEO of Rakuten, Inc., and Representative Director, Chairman and CEO of Rakuten Mobile, Inc. commented, “Less than six months since full-scale commercial launch of the world's first fully virtualized mobile network, today Rakuten Mobile takes another step forward to transform the mobile industry: We're offering customers 4G and 5G combined in one simple plan – Rakuten UN-LIMIT V – at the same low price as 4G.

Rakuten Mobile built an end-to-end fully virtualized cloud-native mobile network and launched full-scale commercial carrier services on the network in April 2020. In its 5G network, excluding the core network, all 5G network functions, such as the virtualized OpenRAN, cloud and OSS, are run on the Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP), a telco platform that is based on containers for more flexible and stable development. Rakuten Mobile’s telecommunications platform utilizes equipment and software from trusted partners. Rakuten Mobile’s network offers Non-Stand Alone (NSA) 5G service from September 30, 2020. Stand Alone (SA) 5G service is planned for launch in the second quarter of 2021. 

The company says its innovative network architecture allows for substantial reductions in capital investment and operating costs. 

Overview of the service plan

  • Plan name: Rakuten UN-LIMIT V
  • Monthly fee: 2,980 yen
  • Service area: Parts of Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Hokkaido, Osaka and Hyogo (as of September 30, 2020) 
  • 5G transmission speed - As of September 30, 2020: Maximum download speed: Approx. 870Mbps / Maximum upload speed: Approx. 110Mbps
  • As of November 2020 (planned): Maximum download speed: Approx. 2.8Gbps / Maximum upload speed: Approx. 275Mbps