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World’s First Fully Virtualized Network, From Rakuten Mobile, Deploys Thales’ Trusted Connectivity Solutions

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Thales is playing a key role in the world’s first end-to-end cloud-native1 mobile network, operated by Rakuten Mobile, Inc., a dynamic entrant into the Japanese market. This agile mobile network operator is utilizing Thales’ comprehensive portfolio of eSIM, SIM and remote connectivity management solutions, to enable a rapid digital onboarding journey for consumers. Thales’ eSIM technology also plays a key role in the development of Rakuten Mobile’s innovative 4G and 5G smartphones.

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By supporting cloud activation of eSIM-capable devices, Thales’ solutions enhance Rakuten Mobile’s digital onboarding procedures for its subscribers. Remote management of subscriptions over the device’s lifetime is similarly straightforward for users. As well as digitalising the customer experience, this digital-first strategy increases Rakuten Mobile’s operational efficiency.

Thales’ space-saving eSIM is particularly valuable for 5G devices, which currently require large antennas and batteries leaving little space for new functionality. Rakuten Mobile is using Thales’ eSIMs in its 4G & 5G smartphones: the Rakuten Mini, the Rakuten Hand and the 5G compatible Rakuten BIG.

Reflecting these benefits, the GSMA predicts there will be 2.42 billion eSIM smartphone connections worldwide by 2025. In the same year, more than 130 million 5G connections are expected in Japan alone.

“Rakuten Mobile has embarked on a journey of innovation to create a new generation of cloud-based mobile services. Thales’ innovative eSIM solutions enable us to offer a quicker, smoother onboarding process to our customers and deliver a fully digitised but secure user experience.”
Tareq Amin, Representative Director, Executive Vice President and CTO, Rakuten Mobile

“Rakuten Mobile’s strategy is focused on offering the convenience of a self-service onboarding for their customers. We are thrilled that our eSIM management solutions are helping Rakuten Mobile improve their customer experience with a secure digital enrolment and out of the box subscription delivery. This new 5G era boosted by Thales eSIM also addresses promising new consumer IoT use cases.”
Emmanuel Unguran, Thales SVP for Mobile Connectivity Solutions

1 The network architecture (from the RAN to the core) is entirely virtualized.
2 GSMA Intelligence – June 2021.

Related resource:
Infographic: What is an eSIM: 6 illustrated answers
eBook: Best practices for optimising eSIM adoption

About Thales

Thales (Euronext Paris: HO) is a global leader in advanced technologies, investing in digital and “deep tech” innovations – connectivity, big data, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and quantum computing – to build a confident future crucial for the development of our societies. The Group provides its customers – businesses, organisations and governments – in the defense, aeronautics, space, transport, and digital identity and security domains with solutions, services and products that help them fulfil their critical role, consideration for the individual being the driving force behind all decisions.

Thales has 81,000 employees in 68 countries. In 2020 the Group generated sales of €17 billion.

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Contact information

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Thales, Media Relations
Digital Identity and Security
Vanessa Viala
+33 (0)6 07 34 00 34
vanessa.viala@thalesgroup.com

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