Press Release

Asia Open RAN Academy Delivers Curriculum to Philippines and Indo-Pacific region in Partnership with Rakuten Symphony

February 29, 2024

Achieves goal of accelerating the adoption of Open RAN with university-level courses available through Rakuten Symphony Learning Hub.

TOKYO and Quezon City, Philippines, February 29, 2024 - Rakuten Symphony, Inc. and Asia Open RAN Academy (AORA) today announced a partnership to deliver university-level educational courses to upskill the telecommunications workforce in the Philippines and greater Indo-Pacific region. The courses, deployed on Rakuten Symphony Learning Hub, will train the local telecommunications workforce to test and deploy open network architectures to advance open, interoperable, reliable, and secure internet in the Indo-Pacific region.

“Open RAN represents new opportunities to increase connectivity to secure wireless networks, access new markets, and reduce the digital divide across the Indo-Pacific. Through AORA, USAID supports the Indo-Pacific workforce, students, and network users to take full advantage of more accessible, economical, and trustworthy technology.” said Michael Schiffer, USAID Assistant Administrator for Asia. Courses deployed on Rakuten Symphony Learning Hub will allow students to acquire new skillset and unlock opportunities to increase their employment options. We are grateful for our partners including Rakuten Symphony, Globe, Smart, and many others, to bring this educational experience to the region.”

Launched in the Philippines mid-2022 with support from USAID, AORA will provide students access to course content, technical experts, an interoperability lab, and certification. Courses available on Rakuten Symphony Learning Hub are developed by an alliance of academic, government, and industry partners, and are not only designed to advance an open, interoperable, reliable, and secure internet, but also create a vibrant digital ecosystem through increased cooperation, competition, and choice.

Mahesh Kasar, SVP, Global Indirect Channel Sales, Rakuten Symphony said: ”Telecommunications is advancing at the speed of cloud, and Open RAN technology is a driver in that transformation. This new era of telecommunications will enable those who can gain requisite skills to strive in the workplace. We’re excited to have Rakuten Symphony Learning Hub at the center of the educational courses offered through AORA.”

Puneet Handa, Division Head, Strategy & Portfolio, Rakuten Mobile said: "As we embrace the transformative power of Open RAN, it's crucial to equip our workforce with the skills and knowledge to thrive in this new landscape. I'm proud to contribute to this initiative alongside Rakuten Symphony Learning Hub, fostering a future where innovation and expertise lead the way in telecommunications. This partnership with Asia Open RAN Academy marks a significant step towards building a more open, interoperable, and dynamic digital ecosystem in the Indo-Pacific region."

Courses for the AORA are developed through an alliance of academic, industry and government stakeholders in the Philippines and Indo-Pacific region and beyond. Curriculum standards are aligned to Open RAN, 3GPP2, ITU3, IEEE4, and other standards. Badges and certifications will be based on a competency-based assessment. Academics will lead in course delivery for particular units, industry will provide access to testbeds, and government partners will enable an environment for advancing Open RAN research and deployment.

About Rakuten Symphony, Inc.

Rakuten Symphony is reimagining telecom, changing supply chain norms, and disrupting outmoded thinking that threatens the industry’s pursuit of rapid innovation and growth. Based on proven modern infrastructure practices, its open interface platforms make it possible to launch and operate advanced mobile services in a fraction of the time and cost of conventional approaches, with no compromise to network quality or security. Rakuten Symphony has headquarters in Japan and local presence in the United States, Singapore, India, Europe, and the Middle East Africa region.

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About Asia O-RAN Academy (AORA)

Asia Open RAN Academy is an alliance of academic, government, and industry stakeholders based in the Philippines and will ultimately serve the entire Indo-Pacific region to advance an open, interoperable, reliable, and secure Internet and vibrant digital economy through increased cooperation, competition, and choice. AORA was co-created with the USAID-funded Indo-Pacific Opportunity Project (IPOP). On March 31, 2023, AORA became an independent not-for-profit organization duly recognized by the Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission as an International Non-Government Organization (NGO).


USAID is the world's premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results. USAID's work advances U.S. national security and economic prosperity, demonstrates American generosity, and promotes a path to recipient self-reliance and resilience. Learn more about USAID.

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