Leading Network Transformation
Rakuten to Invest in Mobile Industry Innovator Altiostar
TOKYO–February 12, 2019–Rakuten, Inc., a leading global innovation company in e-commerce, communications and fintech, and soon to be the operator of Japan’s newest and most innovative mobile network, today announced a strategic investment in US-based mobile technology company, Altiostar Networks, Inc., to be completed subject to approval by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.
Altiostar will utilize this new round of financing to expand its virtual Radio Access Network solutions for 4G and 5G to accelerate the industry paradigm shift to web-scale cloud-native mobile networks.
Rakuten is currently on track to achieve an industry first with the deployment of a fully virtualized mobile network in Japan in October 2019, including radio access, and the investment in Altiostar demonstrates Rakuten’s commitment to taking a leadership role in driving RAN virtualization. To build its 5G-ready mobile network infrastructure, Rakuten is nurturing an open ecosystem by actively participating in crafting solutions through engagement with industry leaders like Intel and Qualcomm, as well as ODMs and innovative Virtual RAN disruptors like Altiostar.
“Our vision for Rakuten Mobile Network is to build the world’s first end-to-end, fully virtualized, software-defined mobile network: A network that innovates at the Speed-of-Software and scales at the Speed-of-Cloud. Altiostar technology is key to realizing this vision within the year,” said Tareq Amin, CTO of Rakuten Mobile Network. “The whole Rakuten team is looking forward to working closely with Altiostar to take a leadership role in driving RAN virtualization and to bring disruptive innovation to the mobile industry.”
“Open RAN architecture and virtualization are key to building software-centric networks that can scale and adapt to meet an explosion of devices and applications driving service velocity and profits,” said Ashraf Dahod, CEO of Altiostar Networks. “This funding is going to help us expand our technology innovation to help operators like Rakuten to push new business models and bring affordable broadband to the masses through web-scale mobile networks.”
In addition to the investment, Rakuten Mobile Network President Yoshihisa Yamada and Chief Technology Officer Tareq Amin will join the board of Altiostar upon completion of the transaction.
Rakuten, Inc. (TOKYO: 4755) is a global leader in internet services that empower individuals, communities, businesses and society. Founded in Tokyo in 1997 as an online marketplace, Rakuten has expanded to offer services in e-commerce, fintech, digital content and communications to more than 1.2 billion members around the world. The Rakuten Group has over 17,000 employees, and operations in 30 countries and regions. For more information visit https://global.rakuten.com/corp/.
Altiostar provides a 5G-ready virtualized RAN software solution that supports open interfaces and disaggregates the hardware from the software to build an open multi-vendor web-scale network. This solution supports macro and small cells, indoor and outdoor, enabling interference management, carrier aggregation and dual reception to improve the efficiency of the network and enhances the Quality of Experience for the user while providing broadband speeds. Operators can add intelligence, quickly adapt the software for different services and automate operations to rapidly scale the network.
For more information visit http://www.altiostar.com or follow on Twitter @altiostar.
Corporate Communications Department