NOW Telecom, Rakuten Symphony team for 5G Open RAN pilot

NOW Telecom, Rakuten Symphony team for 5G Open RAN pilot
From left: Mickey Mikitani, chairman and CEO of Rakuten Group, and Mel Velasco Velarde, chairman of NOW Telecom

At Mobile World Congress 2024, Philippine telco NOW Telecom signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Rakuten Symphony to establish a collaborative framework for deploying a 5G Open RAN pilot in the Philippines.

Under the terms of the agreement, signed on Monday, Rakuten Symphony and NOW will collaborate with the aim of developing disaggregated networks and open interfaces for the pilot. Both companies will contribute expertise, resources, and technology to jointly develop 5G and related ICT solutions for NOW Telecom’s network. 

Sharad Sriwastawa, President, Rakuten Symphony, said, “We look forward to bringing Rakuten Symphony’s expertise in Open RAN solutions and digital services to support NOW Telecom’s 5G Open RAN ambitions.”

Mel Velasco Velarde, Chairman, NOW Telecom, said the collaboration is “instrumental in our mission to unveil a secured 5G network in the Philippines.”

The Open RAN deal is the second by Rakuten Symphony to be unveiled at MWC2024 this week. Also on Monday, Rakuten Symphony and Veon’s Ukrainian subsidiary Kyivstar signed of a Letter of Intent (LoI) that confirms Kyivstar’s intent to use Rakuten’s Open RAN and 5G technologies to help rebuild Ukraine's digital infrastructure and support Ukraine’s recovery and reconstruction.

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