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Rakuten close to deploying the first 5G cloud-native vRAN

Rakuten, with the luxury of a cloud-based business model and a greenfield mobile network, has nevertheless struggled with the technological challenges of implementing a macro vRAN in a cloud-native environment. There have been plenty of accounts of the difficulties of tuning up the infrastructure to cope with the RAN virtual network functions (VNFs) and there have been various delays to full-scale launch. However, the Japanese new mobile entrant remains a poster child for the ability to deploy a network differently, and has stuck by its pledge of rolling out an end-to-end cloud-native platform involving hardware and software from many suppliers (18 in all). It is now looking close to achieving its goal of having the first commercial, large-scale, cloud-native vRAN.…

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