Japanese telco Rakuten Mobile is hesitating on which technology to use for its 5G network which is causing delays in supply plans of South Korean network equipment makers, TheElec learned on Wednesday.
The Japanese company initially planned to roll out 5G networks in September. Rakuten initially planned deploy the network in June but this was postponed by three months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Japan is seeing a surge in new cases since last month. On August 7, it marked 1605 new cases, its highest for a single say. The country has over 50,000 total cases of the virus as of August 11.
People familiar with the matter said Rakuten was slow in decisions making in choosing which technology it will use for 5G networks even before the pandemic. India engineers were making the key decisions and there were problems in communication with local Japanese employees, the people said.
Indian telco Reliance Jio was providing technology support to Rakuten Mobile, the people said.
Rakuten, meanwhile, become the fourth mobile network operator in 2018 after securing approval from the Japanese government.
It has the mobile virtual network operator for Japan’s largest telco NTT Docomo before.
Meanwhile, South Korean network equipment maker KMW said in March that it was supplying 4G LTE goods worth 89 billion won to Rakuten. KMW was facing delays in the supply of the goods due to Rakuten’s indecision over technology, the people also said.
Rakuten is also yet to sign a contract for the main volume from its 4G optical repeater suppliers CS and GS Instech.