MWL UNWRAPPED: Rakuten Symphony Americas GM Azita Arvani called for further education for the industry into what she argued were proven benefits of open architectures to improve operator services and lower their costs.

The executive noted there remains an element of fear among operators despite growing awareness of the benefits on offer.

“There is concern that while openness, going to the cloud and having a software-based architecture, is fundamentally good and from a logical perspective it makes sense, there is this question of how do I transition?”

Arvani stated operators and enterprises are concerned about perceived issues such as integration, adding there needs to be more emphasis on the fact open RAN is not in a proof-of-concept stage: “This is not a trial anymore.”

“We have proven the model,” she continued, citing the progress of Rakuten Mobile since it launched in Japan in 2020.

Rakuten Symphony is the globally-focused business tasked with exporting the operator’s open RAN model to other markets.

She cited a Rakuten Group deal with Germany-based 1&1 as further proof of open RAN maturity, branding the work “exceptional”.

“Hopefully, with the work we’re doing now and the discussions that we’re having with customers, the level of concern will go down and we’ll get more into the actual deployment.”

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