South African multinational mobile telecommunications company MTN Group and the Open RAN-focused vendor Rakuten Symphony sign an MoU to conduct 4G and 5G OpenRAN trials in South Africa, Nigeria, and Liberia based on Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP).
RCP assists telcos worldwide with the deployment of fully cloud-native network services said a press note from Africa's largest mobile network operator.
According to the company, the trials, which will start in 2022, combine RCP OpenRAN technology with advanced automation and autonomous network capabilities with one of Africa’s top brownfield operators.
Mazen Mroue, MTN Group Chief Technology, and Information Systems Officer said: “We have announced our support towards the deployment of OpenRAN technology in 2021 to modernise our radio access network footprint.”
The solutions, currently deployed by Rakuten Mobile in Japan, include cloud orchestration, Zero-Touch Provisioning (ZTP), and automation of radio site commissioning and network integration.
Rabih Dabboussi, Chief Revenue Officer of Rakuten Symphony said: “This PoC will demonstrate how one of the world’s top-tier brownfield mobile operators can utilise Rakuten Symphony’s network automation and orchestration solutions for cost-effective network transformation and timely deployment of next-generation network services to their customers across Africa.”
Rakuten Mobile, the fourth wireless mobile network of Japan, has set multiple industry landmarks with its full-scale launch of commercial services on the world’s first fully virtualized cloud-native mobile network in 2020, and Rakuten Symphony, launched in 2021, is now bringing that technology to operators globally.
Rakuten Symphony brings together Rakuten’s telco products, services, and solutions under a single global banner to offer 4G and 5G infrastructure and platform solutions to customers worldwide, the release said.
MTN and Rakuten Symphony will be collaborating with Accenture and Tech Mahindra to conduct the trials in South Africa, Nigeria, and Liberia.