Rakuten launches 5G smartphone and plan
September 30, 2020
Japanese cellco Rakuten Mobile, whose 5G network currently covers parts of Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Hokkaido, Osaka and Hyogo, has launched a new 5G plan, Rakuten Un-Limit V, as well as new 5G-compatible smartphone, Rakuten BIG.
The plan is designed to be simple, intuitive and easy-to-use whether customers are in Japan or traveling internationally, providing them with unlimited data and calls on its 5G and 4G networks for a single monthly fee of ¥2,980 (€24.10) – the same fee as its previous Rakuten Un-Limit 2.0 plan.
According to Mickey Mikitani, Chairman and CEO of Rakuten Inc, and Representative Director, Chairman and CEO of Rakuten Mobile, the company’s aim is to reduce the household cost of mobile services. “Less than six months since full-scale commercial launch of the world’s first fully virtualised 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 launched full-scale commercial carrier services on its end-to-end fully-virtualised cloud-native mobile network in April 2020. It is currently achieving download speeds of up to 870Mbit/s and upload speeds of 110Mbit/s but these are set to rise to 2.8Gbit/s and 275Mbit/s by November 2020.
Rakuten Mobile’s network offers Non-Stand Alone (NSA) 5G service from September 30th, 2020. Stand Alone (SA) 5G service is planned for launch in the second quarter of 2021. Rakuten Mobile will continue to expand the service area.
Rakuten Mobile’s 4G network is claimed to be the world’s first fully-virtualised cloud native mobile network. In its 5G network, excluding the core network, all 5G network functions, such as the virtualised 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.
Through the development of innovative network technologies and collaboration with the more than 70 services of the Rakuten Group in e-commerce, fintech, sports and media, Rakuten Mobile aims to promote further new initiatives in the telecommunications industry and provide customers with even more next-generation mobile experiences through 5G services.