Cisco teams with Rakuten to accelerate O-RAN cloud

Global technology giant Cisco has announced a new strategic partnership with Rakuten Mobile to create cloud-native 5G mobile networks based on Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN) technology.

The companies announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding at Mobile World Congress 2022 in Barcelona in a move that Cisco claimed would build upon the success of Rakuten’s industry-first cloud-native network architecture. The partnership will see Cisco predominantly work with subsidiary Rakuten Symphony, which the company has said it created to “help global service providers prepare the internet for the future”.

Jonathan Davidson, executive vice president at Cisco, said: “Together with Rakuten Symphony, we have the unique opportunity to offer global service providers an alternative to legacy RAN, with a turnkey option to transform their networks to be more intuitive and automated to support the ever-evolving needs for connectivity.”

The duo reported that they will aim to develop software-defined solutions based on automated, agile, high-performance infrastructure. Key elements of these solutions will see the integration of Cisco’s mobile, routing and automation portfolios with Rakuten’s O-RAN, orchestration and Symworld applications.

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