Rakuten Taps Infovista to Enable Cloud-based Network Planning for 5G

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Infovista, a provider of network planning, testing, performance and application control solutions, announced a successful collaboration with Rakuten Mobile that will deliver the first carrier-grade, cloud-based platform for radio network planning, optimisation and modelling to support the rapid roll-out of Rakuten Mobile’s end-to-end cloud-native 5G mobile network across Japan.

The innovative strategic radio network planning solution, made available as RCP NEO by Rakuten Mobile, aims to directly contribute to the agility, high performance and scalability of the world’s first end-to-end fully cloud-native mobile network.

Built for deployment in Rakuten Mobile’s cloud-native mobile platform Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP), and using microservices architecture with open Application Programming Interfaces (API), Infovista’s “on-demand” radio network planning solution will allow Rakuten Mobile’s engineering teams to utilize advanced planning and design features, devised to efficiently reduce the time and cost of network deployment, through extensive automation and integration with other applications within RCP.

Based on Infovista’s award-winning Planet software, the joint solution runs entirely on Linux and all microservices are delivered as Docker containers offering high availability and scalability and readily integrating into orchestration and automation provided by RCP. These extensive capabilities allow Rakuten Mobile to manage its planning database, automatically generate coverage, interference, throughput and other analysis and, in turn, enable capabilities such as auto-commissioning of sites and automation of other workflows.

Rakuten Communications Platform

Infovista’s cloud-native network planning, optimisation and modelling platform, running on the Rakuten Communications Platform as RCP NEO

Commenting on the development, Rakuten Mobile’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Tareq Amin, said: “Rakuten Mobile’s new 5G network in Japan is a cloud-native mobile network with the flexibility to fulfil the true promise of 5G, supporting important new functionalities, such as network slicing, offering dedicated connectivity for specific customers and ultra-low latency services and beyond, without compromising on reliability.”

“As such, it is critical that our RF design, planning and operational platforms are built using the same concepts and our work with Infovista has delivered an open solution that will allow us to scale and automate many of the critical capabilities we need to deliver on our vision.”

Infovista’s collection of radio planning and design capabilities delivered as containerized microservices is the first solution of its kind to deliver a full suite of 5G planning services as a cloud-native offering and is currently going through trials within Rakuten Mobile ahead of a full roll-out in the course of next year.

Yann Le Helloco, Infovista’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO), said: “Our work with Rakuten Mobile highlights the growing importance of virtualised software within the telecoms industry and the need for innovative and open solutions to help deliver the potential offered by 5G.”

“Turning our radio planning solution into a cloud-native application offers a way to quickly scale out and automate many of the critical functions to roll out 5G networks and to assist with the ongoing operational requirements for both operators and enterprise customers that may deploy their own private 5G networks,” he added.