A new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two companies will see them work together on 4G and 5G Open RAN trials in South Africa, Nigeria, and Liberia

MTN Group and Rakuten Symphony have announced that they will work together on three new proof of concept trials in South Africa, Nigeria and Liberia.

The trials, which are set to start later this year, will make use of Open RAN technology from the Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP), alongside advanced automation and autonomous network capabilities. Solutions set to be deployed include cloud orchestration, Zero-Touch Provisioning (ZTP), and automation of radio site commissioning and network integration.

Accenture and Tech Mahindra are also collaborating with Rakuten and MTN as part of these trials.

“We are pleased to announce our partnership with Rakuten Symphony to deploy live 4G and 5G OpenRAN trials across South Africa, Nigeria, and Liberia,” said Mazen Mroue, MTN Group Chief Technology & Information Systems Officer. “In line with our belief that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life, we are committed to actively driving the rapid expansion of affordable 4G and 5G coverage across markets in Africa.”

“This PoC will demonstrate how one of the world’s top-tier brownfield mobile operators can utilize Rakuten Symphony’s network automation and orchestration solutions for cost-effective network transformation and timely deployment of next-generation network services to their customers across Africa,” said Rabih Dabboussi, Chief Revenue Officer of Rakuten Symphony.

The last week has been a busy one for Rakuten Symphony, who announced that at Mobile World Congress 2022 the acquisition of cloud-native platform player Robin.io for an undisclosed sum, as well as deals with AT&T and Cisco.

Beyond Africa, the company has also recently announced its expansions into additional European Markets.


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