Rakuten Mobile's Tareq Amin: Symware celebration

LAS VEGAS – #MWC22 – Tareq Amin, CEO of Rakuten Mobile and Rakuten Symphony, discusses how he got Symware from being a reference architecture to a shipping product, with plans to deploy 30,000 units in Rakuten Mobile's network in Japan.

Symware combines a distributed RAN node and cell site transport device designed to include standard commodity-grade network components to keep costs in check. The multipurpose edge appliance, built with hardware from Intel and carrier routing software from Juniper Networks, combines cell site routing and a containerized Distributed Unit on a general-purpose server platform.

The Symware device fits into Rakuten Symphony's larger goal of being a turnkey provider of its network software, applications and services to other carriers. The big picture – and long-term bet by Rakuten – is to help carriers build highly automated networks that cost less to build and fewer people to run than mobile networks typically do today.

Here's are a few items discussed in the interview:

  • Symware goes from slideware to realware (00:37)
  • Symware follows the hyperscalers tendency to build their platforms to unlock software innovation (06:47)
  • Rakuten Symphony's reference customer, Germany's 1&1, may be conducting field trials on its open RAN network this year (15:42)
  • Why Rakuten Symphony is making its Symworld services available in AWS (16:42)
  • Robin.io, Rakuten Symphony's VMware alternative, can work in a private or public cloud environment; Amin suggests telcos explore a hybrid cloud approach (18:34)

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Phil Harvey, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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