What’s up with… Singtel, Rakuten Mobile, Proximus

  • Singtel targets Industry 4.0 transformation
  • Rakuten Mobile takes services to new heights with 700MHz spectrum
  • Proximus and Microsoft unite for new digital offerings 

In today’s industry news roundup: Singtel and Hitachi Digital partner up to take AI to the cloud; Rakuten Mobile commits to superior services with commercial launch of “platinum band” spectrum; Belgian telco signs a five-year partnership with Microsoft for digital communications and cloud solutions; and more!

Singtel has joined forces with Hitachi Digital to accelerate industrial AI solutions. In a statement, the Singaporean operator noted that the “deep AI expertise” of Hitachi Digital will be paired with Singtel’s Paragon, an orchestration platform for 5G, edge computing and cloud. The partnership will see Hitachi Digital deploy Paragon at research and development (R&D) labs in the US. This will be followed by a pilot of Industry 4.0 use cases in a factory that will look to validate “the interoperability of Hitachi AI applications on quality assurance, workplace safety, immersive training and pre-emptive maintenance on Paragon.” Singtel pointed out that the collaboration will serve as the foundation for creating “multiple Paragon-related offerings” that can help clients enhance and speed up their cloud operations, while Hitachi Digital will go to market as a Singtel Paragon authorised system integrator.

Rakuten Mobile has launched commercial services using the 700MHz spectrum, also known as the “platinum band”. According to the Japanese telco, it has deployed 700MHz base stations on the frequency band, which was allocated by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, in order to improve its network quality for customers. Rakuten added that the expertise it gained in building its nationwide fully virtualised, cloud-native mobile network based on Open RAN standards in the 1.7GHz band enabled it to roll out the commercial services at speed. “Going forward, the company will continue expanding platinum band services using Rakuten Mobile’s network of base stations, starting with remaining coverage gaps,” it noted. Find out more.

Proximus has signed a five-year strategic partnership with Microsoft in a joint bid to deliver new digital offerings to customers in the telco’s home market of Belgium and abroad. Microsoft is set to boost its use of solutions from Proximus’ international affiliates BICS, Telesign and Route Mobile, while Proximus stands to gain from Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, Azure Cloud, by using “all innovative AI and data evolutions”. Find out more.

SoftBank has made headway with its R&D efforts for the effective use of spectrum in the commercialisation of high-altitude platform station (HAPS) communication systems. The Japanese operator conducted a field trial using a cylindrical antenna for HAPS stratospheric-based wireless communication systems in the Japanese prefecture of Hokkaido. During the test, it successfully used nullforming technology (a technology that significantly suppresses radio wave emissions in a specific direction to prevent interference) to achieve spectrum sharing between HAPS and a terrestrial base station. The company’s R&D focus is to discover foundational technologies that can provide stable and high-quality communication networks that use HAPS. Read more.

Digital Transformation Capital Partners (DTCP) has successfully closed $330m of funding for its third growth fund. It also announced an additional $120m for Incharge Capital, a joint venture between DTCP and Porsche, which focuses on mobility and connectivity software startups. DTCP was created following the closure of Deutsche Telekom’s T-Venture unit back in 2014 and was originally known as Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners before it retconned its acronym. It says it has backed more than 60 digital transformation companies in Europe, Israel and North America. Its Growth Fund is also supported by Japan’s SoftBank and has already made investments in generative AI (GenAI) business software provider Cohere. “I am very happy about what we have achieved during the last nine years of building a global growth equity strategy out of Europe,” said managing partner Thomas Preuss. “We are allies and advocates for talented enterprise SaaS [software-as-a-service] teams.”

- The staff, TelecomTV

Email Newsletters

Sign up to receive TelecomTV's top news and videos, plus exclusive subscriber-only content direct to your inbox.