Rakuten Mobile laid out plans to use Yokosuka Telecom Research Park’s facilities in Japan to carry out R&D on RAN intelligent controllers (RICs), seeking to advance development of open technologies.

Using RICs to manage Rakuten Mobile’s test RAN environment, the facility will be used to verify improvements in network efficiency, power saving and security enhancements, it stated.

The companies plan to share information with the O-RAN Alliance and the Open Test and Integration Centre (OTIC) in Japan, to contribute to international standardisation of open RAN.

Yokosuka Telecom Research Park is equipped with a verification environment using the operator’s fully virtualised cloud-native mobile network to conduct experiments of next-generation telecoms technology.

The Japanese open RAN pioneer stated the facility gives domestic and international equipment manufacturers remote access to verify open RAN integration and conduct RIC proof-of-concept testing.

Emulator software for open RAN integration runs on a general-purpose server, making it available to other research facilities worldwide.

Rakuten Mobile is involved in R&D of RICs as principal researcher for a project sponsored by Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology.