GM Rakuten Mobile Americas

INTERVIEW: Azita Arvani, GM of Rakuten Mobile Americas, expressed confidence the operator’s experience in Japan as a pioneer in end-to-end virtualised technology will inspire other network providers to take the route after seeing it is possible to move beyond trials and into actual commercial deployments.

The US-based executive (pictured) explained that with many operators asking about its open RAN experience it decided to develop what she called “an easy button”, which is basically a blueprint of everything it learned in Japan and offered in a way others can use.

The result is the Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP) available for network providers, enterprises and governments to use outside of Japan. “I am hoping globally we’ll be able to help operators get to this leaning into the future network architecture with the RCP,” Arvani said in an interview with Mobile World Live for its ‘Moving to a Future Software World’ Themed Week.

The key takeaway from its launch in April is that it’s definitely the right set of technologies to use in terms of disaggregation, virtualisation and software defined assets, which it applied end-to-end from the RAN to backhaul to the core.

It took time, “but it was absolutely the right thing to do. You need a lot of courage, a lot of commitment, and also the right skill set and the right mindset.”

She said the US government’s initiatives around 5G are focusing on securing the equipment supply chain to make sure there is an alternative model operators can use that is super agile, super secure and also super affordable, adding those three things cannot be compromised for each other.

The RCP encompasses those three attributes, she said, with the US government looking at it as a compelling option.

Click here to watch the full interview