Press Release

Former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai To Join Rakuten Symphony Board of Directors

March 2, 2022
  • An early believer in Rakuten Symphony’s vision for telecom disruption, Pai will help guide key efforts as company forges new path in mobile industry innovation.
  • Board appointment follows key Rakuten Symphony M&A deals, industry validating customer wins and proven success speeding new mobile networks to market at substantially lower capital costs.
  • Newly-formed board also includes Rakuten Symphony CEO Tareq Amin, and Rakuten Group chairman and CEO Mickey Mikitani.

TOKYO, March 2, 2022 – Rakuten Symphony today announced the appointment of former FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to its newly-formed board of directors of Rakuten Symphony, Inc., effective April 1, 2022. He will join board members including Rakuten Symphony CEO Tareq Amin and Rakuten Group chairman and CEO Mickey Mikitani to help guide the company’s efforts to reimagine telecom, upend supply chain norms and continue to disrupt outmoded thinking that threatens telecom’s pursuit of rapid innovation and growth. Rakuten Symphony makes 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.

“I have long been impressed by Rakuten’s vision for breaking through long standing barriers that have dictated how mobile networks are designed, built and deployed,” said Pai. “Critically, Rakuten Symphony’s leading work in Open RAN, network automation and rapid network rollouts uniquely positions the company to help the broader mobile industry more urgently pursue highly competitive opportunities to redefine consumer and enterprise services delivery.”

Pai is currently a Partner at Searchlight Capital Partners and a Non-Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Prior to these roles, he served for almost a decade at the Federal Communications Commission, having been appointed as Commissioner by 44th President Barack Obama and then designated as Chairman by 45th President Donald Trump. Under his leadership as Chairman, the FCC took transformative steps to promote innovation and investment in next-generation wireless networks and services. Among other things, the FCC executed the 5G FAST Plan, a comprehensive strategy to promote 5G. As part of this Plan, the agency freed up an unprecedented amount of wireless spectrum for commercial, flexible wireless use and modernized regulations to encourage the deployment of wireless infrastructure. Pai was also an early supporter of Open RAN technology, how Open RAN can help scale and secure wireless networks.

“Ajit brings a track record for navigating and guiding challenging industry developments and discourse, with keen recognition of the unique and imminent opportunities that exist to help mobile network operators set a new course for innovation,” said Amin. “Rakuten Symphony looks forward to similar collaboration with global industry leaders across all regions of the world, to help create improved outcomes for telecom and deliver on the promise of a 100% affordable connected society.”

Rakuten Symphony has recently announced a major customer win with 1&1 in Germany, celebrated its work helping Rakuten Mobile achieve 96% population coverage four years ahead of schedule in Japan, successfully demonstrated mobile network deployments at greatly reduced capital costs and introduced the telecom industry to a simple, app-based approach to building networks. Launched in 2021, the company represents a new operating paradigm and platform for realizing the modern telecom operator with platforms to boost operating performance, reduce vendor lock-in and power unrivaled innovation.

With operations across Japan, the United States, Singapore, India, Europe and the Middle East Africa region, Rakuten Symphony brings together all of Rakuten Group’s telecom operator products, services and solutions under a single global banner to offer modern infrastructure and platform solutions to customers worldwide. This includes market leading offerings spanning end-to-end network automation management from planning and deployment to securing, monitoring and operating, all across a common data lake and AI-driven feedback loop.

About Rakuten Symphony

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. For more information, visit: https://symphony.rakuten.com/