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Rakuten virtualized 4G now covers quarter of Japan

Raluten 2305G software isn't ready yet, but Tareq Amin now manages 5,000 4G cells running on a fully virtualized network that is leading the world. 7,000 more are under contract and 70% of the country will be covered early next year.  

Rakuten is an existence proof of a fully virtual network. Almost everyone agrees the future wireless network looks like this, but Amin is the first to build one. Next, Rakuten wants to sell similar systems to telcos around the world and has hired a U.S. representative to make that happen.

This hasn't been easy. He had to pay "hundreds of millions" for custom chips because the off the shelf hardware wasn't fast enough. Vodafone CTO Scott Petty also has a few working Open-RAN systems, but doesn't expect to bring them into his main network until about 2025.

They said it couldn't be done but they were wrong. 

 Thanks to Sue Marek who pointed me to the data.


dave ask

@analysisbranch for latest updates


Welcome  Asia is installing hundreds of thousands of 5G radios and adding 5G subs by the tens of millions. The west is far behind. 200,000,000 in 2020

The demand is there, and most of the technology works. Meanwhile, the hype is unreal. Time for reporting closer to the truth.

I'm Dave Burstein, Editor. I've been reporting telecom since 1999. I love to hear from readers and say thank you when you find an error.

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