Rakuten Mobile launches R&D into advanced edge cloud technology

Rakuten Mobile launches R&D into advanced edge cloud technology Duncan is an award-winning technology industry analyst, specialising in cloud computing, blockchain, martech and edge computing.


Rakuten Mobile’s research and development (R&D) project into advanced edge cloud technologies for next-generation communications has received funding from Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT).

The funding is offered as part of NICT’s Beyond 5G (6G) Fund for Innovative Information and Communications Technology FY2023 Social Implementation and Overseas Development-oriented Strategic Program.

As part of this funded project, from November 2023 Rakuten Mobile has started research and development on the advancement of edge platform functions for the next communication standard after 5G – Beyond 5G.

The company aims to provide stable services in the edge cloud by enhancing edge platform functions in response to the growing communication volume demanded by the Beyond 5G era.

The edge cloud has expanded to thousands of locations as communication areas have expanded throughout Japan, making centralised management of huge amounts of data in central data centers a challenge. In addition, edge data centers have limited physical space and cannot deploy ample resources for applications, so they need to be better coordinated with central data centers.

In this R&D project, Rakuten Mobile will work on enhancing coordination between edge data centers and central data centers, improving processing capacity in edge platforms, and developing technology for the integrated operation of containers and virtual machines. The company will also demonstrate the effectiveness of its technology in its own network by reducing latency and enhancing the performance of platforms for future multi-access edge computing use cases, in anticipation of Beyond 5G. Furthermore, by incorporating these technologies into the Symworld platform – a product deployed globally through Rakuten Mobile’s subsidiary, Rakuten Symphony – telecom operators and enterprise businesses around the world will have access to these technologies.

Research and development project overview

1) Enhancements to edge data fabric
Improve operational efficiency through flexible resource allocation while meeting high-performance requirements of the edge, by linking an edge data center with limited physical space and server resources with a central data center with high resource flexibility.

 2) Edge platform optimisation
Develop a lightweight edge platform optimised for the edge and improve the processing capacity per unit resource such as CPU and memory, thereby increasing the resources that can be allocated to the application for efficient operations. In addition, aim to ensure high reliability within the scope of limited spare resources by expanding monitoring functionality and enabling faster impact identification and recovery.

3) Research and development of integrated operation technology for virtualisation infrastructure
In the transition period when a wide variety of applications running on virtualisation infrastructure are shifting from virtual machines to containers, improve operational quality and cost efficiency by enabling integrated operations of containers and virtual machines on the same infrastructure.

Duration of research and development project
November 2023 – November 2027 (planned)

Through this research and development project, Rakuten Mobile aims to provide stable services in the edge cloud and contribute to the development of communication technology necessary for improving Japan’s international competitiveness and the realisation of new services in the Beyond 5G era.

Want to learn more about edge computing from industry leaders? Check out Edge Computing Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California and London. 

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