Cisco powers Rakuten Mobile’s inter-network roaming service

Rakuten Mobile Inc. (Rakuten Mobile) is now using Cisco’s Virtual Ultra Packet Core for its inter-network roaming service so users can easily cross over to KDDI Mobile across Japan. The LTE roaming service, defined by 3GPP and based on the S10 signaling interface standard aims to connect to mobility management entities (MMEs) between the two telecommunications operators.

According to a media release, “the MMEs track relevant user data sessions to ensure a smooth handover from one operator’s network to the next. The data path will be managed by connecting the KDDI network with Cisco’s System Architecture Evolution Gateway VNF supporting a Control and User Plane Separation architecture.”

“With the launch of our S10 roaming service, we are setting a new experience standard for service and device continuity over multiple networks,” said Tareq Amin, representative director, EVP and CTO, Rakuten Mobile. “With KDDI’s collaborative support, Rakuten Mobile and Cisco are showcasing new ways to combine our technology and talent to bring big benefits to the people who rely on our networks to stay connected every day.

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With Cisco’s Virtual Ultra Packet Core, subscribers of Rakuten Mobile will have uninterrupted data and voice services even when shifting to the other network. The Japanese company believes this will enable a seamless viewing experience that would encourage for more video and app use, net surfing, and gaming among others.

“Adding S10 handover between Rakuten Mobile and KDDI offers Rakuten Mobile subscribers a seamless mobility experience with undetected transition as they move between networks,” said Jonathan Davidson, SVP and GM, Mass Scale Infrastructure, Cisco. “This functionality is rare to activate between operators, and we are proud to have come together on the vision to build, test and make this happen in record timing. With the industry-leading cloud-delivered mobile packet core, Cisco continues to redesign mobile networks to support the internet of the future, today.”