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Ligado and Rakuten Reach Deal to Trial RCP Network for 5G 

By | February 17, 2021

Photo: Ligado.

Rakuten Mobile and Ligado Networks have reached an MoU for commercial trials for 5G mobile private networks based on the Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP). Under the MoU announced Feb. 12, the companies will define a strategy that leverages Rakuten’s ecosystem to advance a jointly developed 5G mobile private network solution and accelerate overall L-band commercial readiness among network hardware and software providers. 

Ligado and Rakuten Mobile plan to start work during the First Quarter (Q1) of 2021, and collaborate with enterprise customers on advanced use cases and the final technology stack for a launch of the 5G mobile private network offering.

Doug Smith, Ligado president and CEO commented: “5G mobile private networks are becoming critical infrastructure for many industries. Combining our know-how and licensed L-band spectrum in the U.S. with the Rakuten Communications Platform and Open RAN infrastructure, we will create a novel blueprint for delivering new efficiencies to U.S. companies looking to deploy powerful mobile private networks that are highly secure and ultra-reliable.”

Ligado’s plan to deploy a low-power terrestrial nationwide network in the L-band to support 5G and Internet of Things services (IoT), which was approved by the FCC in April 2020, has been opposed by a wide range of stakeholders due to GPS interference concerns. In January, the FCC rejected a request by the National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA) to stay the order. This week, the GPS Innovation Alliance called for the White House National Economic Council to update the federal spectrum decision-making process to resolve inter-agency spectrum disputes like the Ligado case.