Japanese mobile carrier picks Nokia optical gear for first 5G cloud-native network

Created March 11, 2020
News and Business

Japan’s newest mobile carrier, Rakuten Mobile, will deploy Nokia’s 1830 Photonic Service Switch to power its reconfigurable photonic mesh mobile backhaul network. The carrier is set to launch the world’s first end-to-end fully virtualised cloud-native 5G mobile network, and the deployment of Nokia’s coherent and optical component technologies is designed to enable the ready growth of network bandwidth for the rapid rollout of 4G and 5G services.

The new mobile network will be built upon a nationwide optical infrastructure covering all 47 prefectures throughout Japan and supporting backhaul and DataCentre Interconnect (DCI) applications. Nokia’s wavelength routing technology will be used in both the long-haul and metro optical networks, creating a photonic mesh – claimed to be the first of its kind for a mobile backhaul network. Nokia says this will enable Rakuten Mobile to support surging mobile data traffic and a new generation of innovative customer services.

Nokia’s platforms are billed as being specifically engineered for the space and power constraints of mobile backhaul and edge computing networks, making them suitable to provide transport for Rakuten Mobile’s planned edge datacentres. Rakuten Mobile’s backbone network will be optimised for maximum capacity and lowest cost per bit with Nokia’s Photonic Service Engine 3 (PSE-3) super coherent chipset and C+L Ultra-Wideband wavelength routing.

Nokia and Rakuten Mobile previously announced they are working together to enable the operator’s implementation of a fully automated operations environment for the 5G era. Nokia will operate Rakuten Mobile’s virtualised core network to manage total cost of ownership.

“Rakuten Mobile is creating the world’s first end-to-end fully virtualised cloud-native mobile network, delivering unprecedented network agility and disruptive economics to end users,” according to Tareq Amin, CTO, Rakuten Mobile Inc (pictured). “Nokia’s Photonic Service Engine 3 coherent chipset and integrated ROADM technology enables us to achieve unprecedented levels of integration and performance building the mobile network for 4G and 5G.”

“The introduction of 5G will require a network that can support dramatic increases in bandwidth in a dynamic fashion,” added Sam Bucci, head of optical networking at Nokia.

For more information, visit www.nokia.com

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This article was written
by John Williamson

John Williamson is a freelance telecommunications, IT and military communications journalist. He has also written for national and international media, and been a telecoms advisor to the World Bank.