Rakuten fetes 5G SA data transfer with Tokyo Tech

Rakuten Mobile reports that it successfully verified data transfer on a 5G standalone (SA) mobile network with the help of Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) at Tokyo Tech’s Ookayama Campus.

The transfer occurred on July 4 and used a 5G SA-compatible device on the Tokyo Tech campus’ 5G network.

Rakuten Mobile said it plans to leverage the results of the verification to improve the quality of its 5G SA network and to prepare for the launch of commercial services.

More trials are in development, including those involving network slicing and edge computing. The press release didn’t specify, but Rakuten Mobile said it’s also collaborating with Tokyo Tech on other 5G trials and the two organizations are developing technologies “for applications of 5G to benefit society.”

Rakuten has been pitching its Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP) to other operators around the world. All functions from the RAN to the core network run as cloud-native network functions (CNF). Running the 5G core as a CNF allows for faster and more cost-efficiency in network functions, according to Rakuten.

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In the U.S., Ligado Networks plans to use Rakuten’s RCP to serve the enterprise segment. Ligado was granted the right to use its L-band spectrum to offer 5G services and plans to launch a 5G mobile network offering.

Earlier this year, Rakuten Mobile announced that it was partnering with the Tokyo Tech to launch research and development into edge cloud computing, with the goal of exploring “beyond 5G” communication technology.

As implied, “beyond 5G” refers to the next generation of communications standards to follow 5G, expected to be introduced in the 2030s. Rather than focusing on enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) and ultra-reliable low-latency communications (URLLC), they're talking about going into the “super eMBB” and “super URLLC” realm.