NEW DELHI: Rakuten Symphony, the OpenRAN telco infrastructure platform provider and a Rakuten Group company, is planning to set up its own private 5G network in Bengaluru at its existing facility and is in talks with system integrators to tap the private 5G network opportunity.
Rakuten Symphony, which spun out of Rakuten Mobile, is also looking to use a private 5G network to enable use cases in the domains of education, healthcare and manufacturing.
“…the use cases that we are looking at are mostly education and healthcare in India. We have to see how things move forward in India, especially the regulation,” Rakuten Symphony, Managing Director and President – India, Narendra Narayana told ET.
“…one of the reasons why we are thinking that way is because we have a huge innovation center for e-commerce and FinTech in Bengaluru itself. So, we could actually make use of what they are doing and also, you know, collaborate with them or do something on the private 5G network front,” he added.
The executive said that the company has started work on its own private 5G network and has started exploring partners to source equipment.
For the enterprise opportunity in the private network space, Rakuten Symphony is looking to collaborate with companies like Tech Mahindra, HCL and others.
The company believes that there will be a faster adoption of OpenRAN in the private networks space in India.
OpenRAN as a concept enables hardware and software to be dis-aggregated, unlike conventional radio gears, allowing technology products from different suppliers to co-exist with the various software providers, and reduce total cost of ownership (TCO) for telcos.
OpenRAN allows more customization of the network architecture and capabilities creating opportunities for new business lines and improving customer experience, analysts said.
In India, Rakuten Symphony has a large base in India across Bangalore and Indore centers with over 2500 employees, It is planning to hire more engineers for OpenRAN, cloud, automation and telecom standards, especially around 6G.
In India, telecom operators are also looking at a private 5G networks opportunity through network slicing capability which comes with the 5G technology. They are looking to use their existing relationships with enterprises to tap the private 5G network opportunity.
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT), following the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) recommendations, recently allowed enterprises to lease out airwaves from a telecom service provider or directly purchase from the government to set up a non-public network for its captive or limited use.