NEC, Analog Devices to Provide 5G O-RAN Massive MIMO Radio for Rakuten

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NEC Corporation and Analog Devices, Inc. have teamed up to design a 5G Network Massive MIMO Antenna Radio Unit for Rakuten Mobile.

The radio unit adopts ADI’s fourth-generation wideband RF transceiver solution to achieve high precision Massive
MIMO and possesses a 5G open vRAN (virtual RAN) interface
corresponding to Rakuten Mobile’s end-to-end fully virtualized cloud-
native mobile network.

It delivers large capacity transmission with high efficiency by using 3.7GHz frequency Massive MIMO*1 and digital beamforming technology.*2 The cloud-native virtual network heralds a
major shift in how communications providers can offer high-speed
internet access worldwide, at significantly lower costs, made
possible without the maintenance, upkeep, repair and labor costs
associated with the physical infrastructure that hinders conventional
networks. NEC has already started shipping the 5G Network Massive
MIMO Antenna Radio Unit to Rakuten Mobile.

ADI’s fourth-generation wideband RF transceiver integrates quad
channel transmitters, receivers and Digital Pre-Distortion (DPD) in a
single chip. The radio is fully software reconfigurable and covers
all sub-6GHz 5G frequency bands, simplifying radio designs.

“ADI’s RF transceiver is expertly designed to support wireless
applications such as Massive MIMO and small cell systems, simplifying system design, reducing size and weight, and minimizing power consumption,” said Nozomu Watanabe, Senior Vice President at NEC. ”

Virtualization is a dependable and cost-efficient approach, and the
world’s leading telecom providers are pursuing it as the next
evolution of communications. ADI’s RF equipment allows us to provide the connectivity required to build an architecture that supports 5G full-spectrum systems.”

NEC’s 5G equipment utilizes highly accurate digital beamforming for
efficient high-capacity transmission. The system also features
seamless installation, achieved through circuit integration.

“The new wave of 5G-based network connectivity is defined by
flexibility,” said Greg Henderson, Senior Vice President at Analog
Devices. “By working with NEC to drive the first Massive MIMO
installation for Rakuten Mobile, we’re laying the groundwork to
propel 5G connectivity forward. The ecosystem is incredibly intricate
and complex, but the primary goal is for all parties to work
seamlessly together to inspire efficiencies across the board: cost,
time and capital equipment. These are the pieces that will help us
move to the next step of a truly virtualized network.”