Rakuten Symphony takes wraps off Symworld at MWC

March 4, 2022
minute read
Simple, seamless mobile network planning, design and management take center stage at full capacity event

Leaders from Rakuten Symphony, Rakuten Mobile, AT&T, and more convened at a press event held March 1 at Mobile World Congress Barcelona. Following a live orchestral performance with electric violin that reverberated throughout the Hall, attendees experienced firsthand the transformative, software-based platform that is powering the most advanced mobile network in the world. 

When welcoming an audience of mobile network operators, technology partners press and analysts, CEO Tareq Amin detailed the industry’s potential and need for change in evolving how 5G networks are built and operated.

Tareq Amin, CEO, Rakuten Symphony on stage during the Rakuten Symphony Telco Transformation Lab at Mobile World Congress Barcelona 2022.

“As technology has advanced, the process of architecture and evolution in telecom has remained the same,” he said. “Rather than build a network on proprietary hardware, we wanted to embrace software and cloud, adopting elasticity into the DNA of what we do. We made a choice to do something different, challenge the status quo, take a risk and hire a diverse organization to build this dream.”

Mickey Mikitani, Chairman & CEO of Rakuten Group (left) with Tareq Amin, CEO, Rakuten Symphony.

After introducing special guest, Rakuten Group CEO Mickey Mikitani for a conversation about the origins of Rakuten Mobile and key cultural decisions driving the company, the audience were among the first in the world to experience Rakuten Symphony’s Symworld. 

An app-based approach to running end-to-end network and business operations

For the first time, the company demonstrated its app-based approach to running end-to-end network and business operations, from the perspective of both equipment and the customer. 

Anshul Bhatt, head of intelligent operations production strategy and technical sales, Rakuten Symphony.

Anshul Bhatt, head of intelligent operations production strategy and technical sales for Rakuten Symphony, demonstrated the fast, elegant management of everything that operators need to design, build and operate advanced, secure, high-quality next-gen networks. This wasn’t merely a demonstration of functionality, but a detailed walk-through of the actual software powering the Rakuten Mobile network in Japan today – complete with a look at how the live network is managed. 

“Symworld is everything you need to run a telecom network all at your fingertips – from planning and building to securing, monitoring, operating and customer care. We are automating the full mobile services lifecycle, creating the building blocks that will eventually deliver autonomous networks.” 
- Anshul Bhatt, head of intelligent operations production strategy and technical sales, Rakuten Symphony

During an audience Q&A session, Amin expanded on the company’s vision for disrupting telecom, noting, “we believe hyperscale means running networks at extreme efficiency. This means moving away from the mundane world of paper and excel spreadsheets.” He continued, “this is an exciting moment, not just for Rakuten Symphony but for the mobile industry as a whole, as we evolve networks to drive connectivity and cost economics the world has not previously seen.”

With regard to Rakuten Symphony and AT&T’s announced collaboration to enhance network design and build solutions for operators, Amin highlighted how the agreement is not just about what Rakuten Symphony can do for AT&T, but the potential for collaboration between two organizations in redefining the operational landscape including the planning and deployment of networks. 

Photo: Gordon Mansfield, VP, Mobility Access & Architecture, AT&T (left) on stage with Tareq Amin, CEO, Rakuten Symphony at the Rakuten Symphony Telco Transformation Lab during Mobile World Congress Barcelona 2022.

Commenting on the company’s acquisition of this week, Amin shared “we learned the hard way that not all clouds are alike. The complexity of telecom workloads, especially radio access require predictability that public cloud hasn’t yet experienced. That is the reason for our acquisition of As we take our technology global, this is the architecture that service providers and enterprises deploying 5G will require.”

Rakuten Symphony leaders took questions from media and analysts after the Rakuten Symphony Telco Transformation Lab on day two of MWC Barcelona 2022.

Tuning into transformational advancements

Throughout the week, Rakuten Symphony continued to set the tone for impactful developments disrupting the industry status quo. The news included key partnership developments, new trials and a key board appointment: 

  • Nokia became the first Symworld partner selected by Rakuten Symphony and will be the sole vendor for cloud-native mobile core products that include IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), Shared Data Layer (SDL) and Internet of Things (IoT) Platform, with more expansions to come. This is an important step toward accelerating Rakuten Symphony’s Symworld marketplace launch. 
  • Former Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai joined Rakuten Symphony’s board of directors. Pai was an early believer in the company’s vision for telecom disruption and will help guide key efforts as a new path is forged in mobile industry innovation. 
  • MTN Group and Rakuten Symphony will conduct 4G and 5G Open RAN trials in South Africa, Nigeria and Liberia to demonstrate Rakuten Symphony’s advanced capabilities including 4G and 5G Open RAN deployment, cloud orchestration, automation and autonomous network capabilities. The trials will start this year, demonstrating RCP Open RAN technology with advanced automation and autonomous network capabilities with one of Africa’s top brownfield operators.
  • Cisco and Rakuten signed strategic agreement to accelerate open RAN and the telco cloud market. The companies will combine their leading technology portfolios, expertise, and services to develop and deliver solutions for 4G/5G mobile networks based on Open RAN technology.

For further background on Symworld, see the company’s Feb 14 launch announcement. Or visit Rakuten Symphony’s newly launched company webpage.

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