SK Telecom exports 5G technology to Japan’s Rakuten

2019.10.03 13:25:45 | 2019.10.03 13:27:32

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South Korea’s SK Telecom Co. will provide its fifth-generation network solutions to Japanese e-commerce conglomerate Rakuten, becoming the first Korean mobile carrier to sell its 5G technology overseas.

Under the agreement, SK Telecom will share with Rakuten its 5G network designs, optimized communication quality solutions and 5G antenna and radio frequency transmission technologies, according to industry sources on Thursday.

Rakuten is Japan’s largest e-commerce operator with annual revenue of more than 1 trillion yen ($9.29 billion). It obtained the license to become Japan’s fourth mobile carrier last year. Through the launch of a new subsidiary, Rakuten Mobile, it plans to release long-term evolution mobile network offerings and roll out 5G services in June 2020.

As a novice in the market, Rakuten Mobile appears to have reached out to Korea’s top mobile carrier for assistance in the entire 5G rollout from network design to installation.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Rakuten Mobile reportedly plans to spend 194.6 billion yen in 5G infrastructure.

Rakuten Mobile, along with Japan’s three major carriers NTT Docomo, KDDI and SoftBank, shared plans to invest 3 trillion yen through 2024 in 5G development, creating new business opportunities for Korean players.

Last month, Samsung Electronics Co. was tapped by Japan’s No. 2 mobile carrier KDDI to deploy 5G network equipment.

By Shin Chan-ok and Kim Hyo-jin

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