Opening the cloud network: click and collect
The shift towards telecoms networks based on open and virtualised technologies continues to gain momentum. This was highlighted recently by Rakuten's network launch in Japan and its subsequent plan to sell network capabilities to customers across the globe. Although it is important not to conflate open and virtual networks ('virtual' does not necessarily mean open interfaces), both technologies underscore the intention of operators to reduce vendor lock-in, scale networks up and down to match demand more easily, reduce costs and accelerate service innovation. Operators have stated these aims for some time, but progress is unclear in many cases. We look closely at the Rakuten model to understand the impact it could have on the wider landscape for network transformation.