Rakuten mobile and altiostar to launch the first cloud native network in the world

Rakuten announced the progress of its world first virtualized cloud native network

Rakuten mobile and altiostar to launch the first cloud native network in the world

On 28 February 2010, Altiostar confirmed it is releasing the world’s first cloud-based 5G radio access network (RAN) software based on containers. The software has been developed in collaboration with Intel and will be implemented in Japan with Rakuten Mobile.

As an industry first, this solution takes the open virtualized RAN concept, pioneered by Altiostar, and further decomposes the network functions into containerized applications that are fast to deploy, can be individually upgraded, and offer better network scalability.  The new vRAN software dramatically improves the economics, deployability, and scalability of 5G RANs for mobile network operators (MNOs).

In October 2019, Rakuten Mobile launched its fully virtualized mobile network using Altiostar’s cloud-based RAN with an open ecosystem of vendors. With this new technology, Rakuten Mobile intends to launch its 5G network with a top-down focus on services and applications and leverage the cloud infrastructure it has built for 4G.

According to Ashraf Dahod, CEO of Altiostar Networks, Altiostar, is the first company to virtualize the RAN, including the lower layers of the protocol stack, is again leading the industry with the development of cloud-native containerized radio access technology. This new architecture will allow service providers to develop 5G services that are even more responsive to consumer needs over their entire network deployment lifecycle. Altiostar appreciates the support of Intel and Rakuten Mobile and looks forward to the deployment of this architecture in their 5G network.

According to Tareq Amin, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Rakuten Mobile, Altiostar pushed the envelope in terms of how mobile networks are deployed and had several industry firsts when introduced to the fully cloud-based, software-defined Rakuten Mobile network. Now, as preparation for the 5G launch occurs soon, Rakuten is excited to work closely with Altiostar and Intel to take a leadership role in bringing innovation into the industry through this architecture.

With the 5G launch, users will be able also to experience the next generation of applications and services. A cloud-based microservice-based architecture would allow focusing on defining these 5G applications and services with the knowledge that the end-to-end network, including RAN functions, has the flexibility, modularity, and agility to carry them out.

The server platforms that drive the virtualization technologies in Rakuten Mobile’s network are based on high-performance Intel Xeon Scalable Processors. As part of this project, Intel will release various Kubernetes plugins that facilitate RAN and MEC application containers to be deployed on Intel architecture.

According to Cristina Rodriguez, vice president, and general manager of Intel’s Wireless Access Network Division, 5G will enable new services and revenue streams on carrier networks. Intel is committed to providing the best platforms to support cloud-native 5G networks, and work with Altiostar and Rakuten Mobile is a great example of how Intel can bring these innovations in the RAN.

Altiostar’s vRAN CNFs provide a high degree of resiliency and redundancy as they can be run in architecture across many nodes while being managed by an orchestrator that selects the best node depending on availability. This allows for efficient utilization of resources with scaling and load balancing across the many nodes where MNOs can adopt a pay-as-you-grow approach for hardware infrastructure for deploying 5G.