Spotlight on Tech

Learn how Rakuten Symphony and 1&1 AG built Europe’s most modern, software-driven mobile network in Germany

February 27, 2024
minute read

In 2021, 1&1 picked Rakuten Symphony to build Germany’s fourth mobile network and the industry anticipated a revolutionary software-driven design.

Just 28 months later, the network launched as promised with a fully cloud-native approach across core, OSS, BSS and RAN. 1&1 anticipated that the network would be more agile, highly modularized, and based on a software-first approach – and they were right.

Now, the two companies have published a case study that describes the network building process and the resulting network capabilities in full detail.

Here are some of the key facts from the case study that point to the information that you can find when downloading the case study:

Network Facts:

  • 1&1 is running Europe’s first end-to-end fully containerized network entirely on the cloud.
  • In 2023, 1&1 launched its enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) service for mobile. The eMBB network featured cloud-native technology and automation/AI capabilities.
  • 80 partner vendors contributed to the building and network integration.
  • More than 10,000+ features and functionalities were tested and validated for customer onboarding, as well as billing and service offerings.
  • With Rakuten Symphony on board, 1&1 published results from a friendly user trial that showed peak network speeds of 1 Gigabit/second (on 50MHz NR, 10 Mhz LTE) and low latency of 3 ms with mMIMO and 32 and 64TR.
  • Using the Rakuten Telecom Platform, 1&1 was able to spin up central, regional and edge data centers in a shorter time than legacy platforms.

The case study quotes Ralph Dommermuth, CEO of 1&1 AG about the success of the network:

"All network functions are located in our private cloud and are controlled by software. As a system integrator, Rakuten also ensures that all network components interact smoothly. In this way, 1&1 benefits from the extensive experience that Rakuten has gained in recent years in operating the world's first Open RAN in Japan. The full functionality of the 1&1 O-RAN is a major milestone in our company's history."
-Ralph Dommermuth, CEO, 1&1 AG

What’s next

Now that the network is operational, 1&1 is now migrating its more than 12 million mobile virtual network customers to the new mobile network and working towards a 2030 coverage target of 50 percent of all German households.

The success of this network is a blueprint for how to roll out next-generation greenfield networks. To get more details, download the case study here.

1&1 and Rakuten Symphony case study.
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