Rakuten Mobile’s CTO Tareq Amin said that the telco now aims to accelerate 5G deployments across Japan
Japanese operator Rakuten Mobile said it 4G network reached 97% of the country’s population as of the end of the first quarter of the year.
In its earnings statement, the telco said that the total number of outdoor 4G base stations surpassed 44,000 as of the end of April 2022, while indoor coverage has also expanded as the number of compact antennas for indoor use nationwide reached 40,000 units as of March 2022.
Rakuten Mobile also reported that the total number of subscriptions for the MNO and MVNO services surpassed 5.68 million as of the end of Q1 2022.
“The mobile segment revenue rose to JPY80.4 billion ($622 million) in Q1 2022, a significant increase of 44% year-on-year. Factors contributing to increased revenue include the increased number of users who have started paying for mobile service and increased device sales. At the same time, due to the buildout of mobile base stations accelerating ahead of plan, the mobile segment recorded losses of JPY135 billion. With roaming expenses decreasing in line with the expansion of the Rakuten network area and the number of chargeable subscribers increasing, mobile segment profitability is expected to improve as planned from Q2 2022 onwards,” the company said.
In September 2020, Rakuten Mobile launched 5G services in parts of Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Hokkaido, Osaka and Hyogo. The service was initially offered via Non-Stand Alone (NSA) 5G architecture.
Rakuten Mobile and compatriot firm NEC had previously announced that the two companies had reached an agreement to jointly develop the containerized standalone (SA) 5G core network (5GC) to be used in Rakuten Mobile’s fully virtualized cloud native 5G network.
Under the terms of the deal, Rakuten Mobile and NEC said they will develop the containerized SA 5G mobile core to be made available on the Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP).
Rakuten’s platform contains all the elements of the Rakuten Mobile network, including telco applications and software from multiple vendors, OSS and BSS systems handling customer billing and activation systems, in addition to edge computing and virtual network management functions.
In October 2021, Rakuten Mobile and compatriot firm JTower had entered a capital alliance with the aim of sharing infrastructure in indoors and outdoors environments, Under the terms of the deal, the two companies will share equipment and towers to boost the development of 4G and 5G networks across Japan.
Rakuten Mobile CTO and head of Rakuten Symphony, Tareq Amin said in a conference call with investors that the company’s platform business is now in the delivery stage after booking contracts and expects to record a significant amount of revenue during this year, with growth expected to accelerate at the beginning of next year.
Rakuten Symphony has headquarters in Japan and local presence in the United States, Singapore, India, Europe and the Middle East Africa region.
Amin also said that Rakuten Mobile now aims to accelerate 5G deployments across Japan.
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