Rakuten Mobile’s world-first network was designed to transform telecom. It was designed to unlock unprecedented speed, agility and resiliency for operators; to stand up to the offerings of traditional telcos, and then some. However, few in the industry expected it to perform this well, this fast.
Since launching full scale commercial service in 2020, the Japan-based operator has frequently faced questions about its next-gen, industry-upending approach to network-building: Can it really perform as well as traditional telcos?
A new study from independent analyst firm umlaut, now part of Accenture, offers new insight on the question, ranking Rakuten Mobile as one of the world’s top performing mobile networks. In a comparison of mobile networks in 14 large metropolitan areas, Rakuten Mobile’s network in Tokyo outperformed the majority of mobile networks in the study.
THE FIRST OPEN RAN MOBILE NETWORK OF RAKUTEN MOBILE IN TOKYO ACHIEVED AN UMLAUT SCORE OF 945 DOTS OUT OF 1,000, WITH A RATING OF ‘VERY GOOD’.
“I am incredibly proud of our entire team for achieving this remarkable result, ranking our network performance among the top of our peers across the globe,” said Rakuten Mobile CEO Tareq Amin. “What distinguishes us is the disruptive cost structure we employ and our ability to rapidly deploy upgrades, expansions and new services, to continue to improve our network performance and service and ultimately to transform the telecom industry.”
IN TERMS OF NETWORK SPEED AND COVERAGE, RAKUTEN MOBILE’S NETWORK IN TOKYO RECEIVED THE SECOND HIGHEST UMLAUT SCORE AMONG THE CITIES IN THE COMPARISON.
Rakuten Mobile’s new network in Tokyo achieved an impressive overall umlaut score of 945 out of 1,000 in tests which took into account speed, coverage and latency. The score puts the network in the top half of the list of cities analyzed for the report.
Out of the 14 cities where the test was conducted, Rakuten Mobile’s network in Tokyo also achieved the second highest umlaut score in terms of both coverage and speed, confirming the effectiveness of Open RAN networks in comparison to traditional peers.
In the latency category, Rakuten Mobile scored 174 points out of 200, placing it behind the higher ranking operators in each city. While the result is comparatively weaker than the other categories, it highlights the potential of Open RAN architecture, and with future software updates, this is expected to improve.
Continuing to improve
Compared to a similar umlaut study from summer of 2021, this recent report shows major improvements for Rakuten Mobile, moving from 920 to 945 dots out of 1,000. With Rakuten Mobile and Rakuten Symphony’s sights set firmly on transforming the telecom industry from traditional, legacy hardware-based approaches to a more open software-centric future, the success of Rakuten Mobile’s network performance is a strong message to the rest of the industry: the next phase of telecom architecture is already here.