Rakuten adds to its roster of cloud native tech companies

Ian Scales
By Ian Scales

Oct 28, 2021

Photo credit: Rakuten Group

Photo credit: Rakuten Group

  • It’s building its Rakuten Communications Platform, first for itself and then, once working seamlessly, to sell on to other CSPs happy to adopt a next generation mobile network with all the nasties ironed out

In the music business, one of the most popular ways for a new artist to ‘break through’ or revive his/her career is to feature with an established or already fast-rising act. Each artist can benefit by basking in the fame/virtuosity of the other; each brings in its own fans with the possibility that many will extend their affections (and their ticket-buying) to the other. 

A similar dynamic is happening in our industry. 

Mobileum has just announced that it “will deploy its best-in-class Active Intelligence Platform with Japan’s Rakuten Mobile, which includes telecom solutions for network security, roaming and core network, testing and monitoring, risk management, and customer engagement and experience."

To share the stage with a fast-riser like Rakuten Mobile is to be anointed as a progressive cloud native up-and-comer and worthy of more attention. 

Rakuten is putting Mobileum’s unified Revenue Assurance and Fraud Management services to work in addition to a suite of advanced analytics solutions to connect deep network and operational intelligence with real-time actions to improve customer experience and reduce costs.

The two companies are also going to work on an album together... Rakuten Mobile has signed a collaboration and partnership agreement with Mobileum under which the duo will jointly develop products to address security, risk, and 5G testing challenges for telecom operators worldwide. To re-intercept the musical metaphor, Mobileum’s solutions will also be available to global operators through Rakuten Symphony, the company's soon-to-be-independent division, as part of the Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP).

Rakuten is also working in harmony with another technology company anxious to bask in Rakuten’s warm glow.

This time the tech focus is Wi-Fi, but not as we know it (Jim). The Indian company concerned, HCL Tech, is constructing a very large scale (massive?) Wi-Fi platform for CSPs. Of course Rakuten Mobile wants to build out its own scaled up Wi-Fi capability to serve its customers. 

The idea is to disaggregate scaled up Wi-Fi access as much as possible and then glue it all back together on a single management platform. HCL claims that not only does such a platform offer a far lower total cost of ownership, compared with traditional offerings, it includes a range of access points from several leading Wi-Fi access point manufacturers.

This vision for carrier wi-fi sees all the network technologies, including Wi-Fi, join in a big game of Happy Families and, under 5G, become one big network with the different flavours offering a range of capabilities and speeds, but all managed as one. 

HCL SMARTWiFi claims its approach simplifies large scale rollouts with zero touch provisioning and delivers advanced features for Radio Resource Management (RRM), WiFi self-organizing network (SON) and analytics. HCL also provides a suite of advanced services for integration and deployment to support the SMARTWi-Fi platform. It claims that this means a CSP can roll out managed Wi-Fi solutions rapidly, with the lowest TCO in the industry. In addition to traditional WiiFi, the platform also supports Wi-Fi 6 and complements the rollout of 5G networks.

It’s a pity this approach wasn’t adopted a long time ago, but instead the industry has wasted much time and effort trying to maintain a sort of network apparthied when it could have been developing a properly converged network scheme capable of serving both deterministic data transfer and ultra low cost broadband using Wi-Fi. Now it probably will.

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