DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION WORLD SERIES 2021: Rakuten Mobile CTO Tareq Amin (pictured) noted partnerships and collaboration across the value chain are vital to the long-term success of a new cloud connectivity business rather than pursuing a hardware strategy.

During a Q&A session, Amin explained cloud unit Rakuten Symphony has some unique IP, but noted the overall value lies in the external businesses it can work with.

The strategy “must revolve around not only products that Symphony or Rakuten Mobile bring, but also must include external partners”, Amin explained, adding the creation of a diversified trusted supply chain for hardware manufacturing is a “critical mission for Symphony’s success”.

He highlighted a close but separate relationship with Rakuten Symphony, with the operator providing a testing ground for the platform to pilot and improve its software offering, enabling it to expand globally.

“We want Rakuten Mobile to be successful as a standalone business, and Rakuten Symphony is our cloud connectivity business that has a different business objective and different P&L.”

Rakuten Symphony has five business units: unified cloud; network functions from an acquisition of Altiostar; intelligent operation; billing platform; and internet and ecosystem services group.

It has offices in Singapore, India, Europe and Boston in the US.

Amin noted the Symphony team shares Rakuten Mobile’s mentality for disruption in its efforts to build an elastic software cloud architecture for mobile service providers, governments and private enterprises.