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Rakuten Mobile signs deal with STC to boost OpenRAN tech

Rakuten Mobile signs deal with STC to boost OpenRAN tech

 

Japanese operator Rakuten Mobile has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Saudi Telecom Company (STC) with the aim of collaborating in the field of innovation and strategic mobile technology.

Under the terms of the deal, the two companies will explore future opportunities to collaborate in various technology domains, including, fully autonomous digital platform serving telecommunication cloud network and OpenRAN deployment options for greenfield and brownfield use cases.

Both operators said they aim to accelerate the delivery of mobile network services through the use of OpenRAN mobile access technology.

“This MoU aims to expand our global partnerships and help diversify our strategic growth. We are confident this MoU will bring tangible results in terms of developing a new advance technology strategy and accelerating the early deployment of novel and sophisticated services,” said Nasser Al Nasser, Group CEO of STC.

“We are very excited about collaborating with STC and sharing our know-how of building new-generation telecommunication infrastructure,” said Mickey Mikitani, chairman and CEO of Rakuten and CEO of Rakuten Mobile. “We believe that our open architecture and advanced OpenRAN technologies will help define a new generation of operators who are ideally positioned to place advanced customer experience and differentiated profitable services at the center of their offering.”

Last month, Rakuten Mobile inked an agreement with Spanish carrier Telefonica to research and conduct lab tests and trials to support OpenRAN architectures, including the role of the AI in the RAN Networks. Under the partnership, both companies will also jointly develop proposals for optimal 5G RAN architecture and OpenRAN models.

Rakuten Mobile launched its commercial mobile operations in April this year, becoming the fourth mobile operator in Japan.  Rakuten offers its mobile services through a cloud-native, software-centric and fully virtualized mobile network.

In September, Rakuten Mobile announced the availability of its commercial 5G

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Hajj savings mobile app expected to entice Indonesian millennials

Hajj savings mobile app expected to entice Indonesian millennials

Mr. Budiono said Des Moines, Iowa-based Principal Global Investors LLC is the first money manager to sign on with BPKH to make the investment needed to reach out to that retail customer base across the sprawling Indonesian archipelago.

Working as the engine provider for BPKH on the strength of the digital initiative Principal designed for the project “is a great opportunity,” capable of positioning the money manager longer term to help retail customers meet a growing range of needs, Mr. Budiono said.

It fits with Principal’s goal of achieving a greater balance between the institutional segment of the firm’s Indonesian business — currently 70% of its 8.5 trillion rupiah ($573 million) in assets under management — and the remaining 30% it has raised through bank and insurance company retail platforms.

“Young Hajj will be our first direct-to-customer retail product,” Mr. Tan said.

While the challenges — and expenses — of building a retail business in a country like Indonesia are daunting, its large population, much of which is “underbanked,” and vast territory offer a backdrop where digital solutions can “leapfrog” those obstacles, said Thomas Cheong, Hong Kong-based president of Principal Financial Group’s business in Asia.

The success of local companies such as ride-hailing business Gojek — as Jakarta-based PT Aplikasi Karya Anak Bangsa is known — has effectively catalyzed the local market, paving the way for digital distribution to serve as the cornerstone of Principal Global Investors’ Indonesian retail business, Mr. Cheong said.

PGI is tailoring its Young Hajj savings program to extend for “five to 10 years, depending on the customer’s savings appetite,” Mr. Tan said.

The mobile app allows users to set their desired time period, between five and 10 years, for achieving the 25 million rupiah target, with an investment calculator setting the monthly contribution required to

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