Japan-based NTT Docomo and Rakuten Mobile were selected by the UK government to work with local organisations to advance the adoption of open RAN technologies in the country, widely seen as a move to reduce reliance on 5G kit from Chinese vendors.

In a LinkedIn post, Rakuten Mobile’s head of corporate communications and analyst relations Johan Villet noted the operators will expand open RAN adoption with UK mobile network infrastructure providers.

Kyodo News reported Docomo and Rakuten Mobile will share open RAN research with operators and institutions in the UK.

The news agency added the Japanese and UK governments agreed to work together to advance open RAN technologies in 2022.

Japan forged similar partnerships with the US, Australia, India and Singapore.

In October 2022, Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology chose Docomo and Rakuten Mobile to subcontract R&D on open RAN networks, Kyodo News wrote.

Huawei is a leader in 5G technology, but due to network security concerns faces bans in a number of countries.

After originally playing down the security threat of Huawei’s 5G equipment, the UK government banned the use of its equipment in mobile networks, following prolonged pressure from the US.