Rakuten's Intel-powered Virtualized Network

Rakuten is building a new mobile platform that is a fully virtualized cloud architecture from end to end. It’s a true 5G architecture built with user plane and data plane separation. The opportunities to leverage new use cases, especially with new edge platforms and architecture, are going to unravel a wealth of opportunities for Rakuten, developers, and companies that create new applications we can’t even fathom today. During this journey, Intel was not just a company selling components. Intel was a company that put in the effort and energy, not just by providing hyperscale Intel® Xeon® D processors and data center processors, but by contributing to writing the software code needed to enable virtual RAN. Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processors are running the entire virtual network function in this network. There are approximately 188 virtual network functions, making this the world's largest telco-cloud platform powered by Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processors. It’s 100% based on Intel platforms, from radio access network to core to packet core, IMS core, RCS, OSS, and BSS. The consistency simplified operations to make their hardware SKUs predictable, made automation far more efficient, and delivered the cost efficiency they were looking for. Rakuten wanted to build a network the likes of none. A network that delivers agility, efficiency, and the cost benefits to consumers in Japan.

Transcript

If you look at the last decade in the telecom industry, and you really look and ponder what happens as you move from technologies from 1G to 2G to 3G, 4 or 5 and even 6-- the fact of the matter is the underlying foundation of telecom networks, I really believe, has been fragmented and doesn't meet web-scale architecture, cloud architecture that is needed to offer new services and opportunities, especially with technologies as 5G coming about.

Myself and my team are responsible on building Rakuten new mobile platform, the fully virtualized end-to-end cloud network architecture in Japan. Architecture that Rakuten Mobile is building, is what I really will tell you, true 5G architecture. It's an architecture that's built in user plane, data plane separation. With this new virtualized cloud platform, the opportunities to leverage new use cases, especially taking advantage of our new edge platforms and edge architecture, is going to unravel a wealth of opportunities for us, developers, and new companies that create new applications that you and I cannot even fathom about today.

Even when you look at Rakuten as a group, we are not a telecom company. We are an internet innovation and services company. Most of our existing workloads, whether it is in e-commerce, credit card, fintech services, already lives on our cloud platform.

During this journey, Intel was not just a company that was just selling us components. Intel was a company that's willing to put the effort and energy, not just about providing our hyperscale Xeon D processors and data center processors, but looked at an opportunity to really contribute in writing the software code needed to enable virtual RAN.

Intel Xeon Scalable processors are running our entire virtual network functions in this network. There are approximately 188 virtual network functions, making this the world's largest telco cloud platform powered by Intel Xeon processors. It's 100% based on Intel platforms-- from radio access network to core, packet core, IMS core, RCS, OSS, BSS. They're all running as virtual network functions on top of Xeon platforms. That simplified operation made to our hardware SKUs predictable, our automation far more efficient, and delivered the cost efficiency we're looking for.

We want to disrupt how services are offered to consumers in Japan, and we wanted to build a network, the likes of none, a network that delivers agility, efficiency, and the cost benefits to consumers in Japan.