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Rakuten Symphony sees success with Open RAN technology

Rakuten Symphony sees success with Open RAN technology

Rakuten Symphony has made significant business progress over the past year and Open RAN has been a critical factor in their success, executives say.

The company currently has 14 global contracts closed and eight more in the final stages of closure. These contracts will generate approximately $200 million in revenue since its establishment as a start-up, executives say.

“We are young, but we are making extremely healthy revenue growth,” says Tareq Amin, the executive vice president of Rakuten Symphony, on the company’s Q4 2022 earnings call. “If you look at the last six quarters since our establishment, we have achieved more than $0.5 billion in total revenue, and for fiscal year 2022, our total revenue was $476 million.”

Rakuten’s total potential revenue opportunities stand at over $4 billion in 2023. More specifically, they see unprecedented demand in three key verticals: Open RAN, cloud and efficient operations.

Open RAN technology lowers the engineering and maintenance costs of telecom systems globally. Rakuten Mobile’s network consists of 60,000 macro base stations, 12,000 5G base stations and many small-cell deployments. This technology provides population coverage at 98%. Thanks to the powerful network automation features of cloud technology, 220 network operations personnel can manage and coordinate all aspects of the system, the company says.

As a result, according to the company, Rakuten claims to be the largest edge platform provider in terms of workloads deployed. The company also claims that its Open RAN architecture is the only alternative for the global deployment of legacy platforms.

“With over 300,000 sales per year globally, it officially makes Rakuten the world’s largest Open RAN software platform provider,” said Amin. “This is very, very healthy to see for us as far as opportunities are concerned.”

The architecture provides agility for new features and advancements for consumers and mobile operators, with 600 features continuing to develop and evolve.

In addition, Rakuten says it’s aiming to become a platform connectivity player equivalent to Amazon Web Services when it launched. To achieve this, the company wants to increase its revenue by 40% in 2023 and continue expanding its customer base.

“If you look at all of these in the total addressable market and the size of this market, it is significant, and that’s why we are very, very excited about the opportunities in front of us in the near future,” added Amin.

According to the Japan Times, NTT Docomo and Rakuten Mobile, two Japanese mobile operators, are reportedly ready to collaborate with British entities on Open RAN research advancements. In 2022, the Japanese and British governments joined forces to further advance Open RAN technology.

In other news, a Rakuten Mobile employee was fired last fall due to a suspected case of embezzlement. Allegedly, the employee in question conspired with business associates of the firms Nippon Logistech Corp and Trail to inflate bills through bogus consulting fees and other expenses. The total damages are estimated to be 4.6 billion yen or approximately $35.5 million US dollars.

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