Rakuten Mobile's low-cost data plan fully launches in Japan

Joanna Estrada
April 10, 2020

Rakuten Mobile announced the full commercial launch of its low-priced data plan in Japan today. Rakuten Link enables its users to make global and domestic calls to other mobiles and fixed lines, receiving and sending SMS messages across Japan as well as overseas while other Over The Top (OTT) messaging applications provide communication only between the users.

The deployment of the solution also includes the company's 5G-ready platform which monetizes messaging and voice for global and domestic roaming at a lesser cost, the integration of single sign-on through Rakuten ID, and is entirely cloud-based with Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) deployed on Rakuten Mobile platform. Compared to the 2GB of domestic partner area data roaming and maximum 128kbps offered by the previous version of the Rakuten UN-LIMIT plan, this increase is created to better serve customers and meet the growing demand for mobile services. The original Rakuten UN-LIMIT plan offered 2GB of domestic roaming, and maximum 128kbps speed.

Rakuten Mobile Inc. introduced the single fee plan that charges 2,980 yen ($27) per month for unlimited calls and data services in some urban areas including Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka where it has established its own networks. Advance applications for the service plan began on March 3, with full-scale service launching on April 8, 2020 (3). Unlike messaging apps, where communication is limited to between app users, Rakuten Link allows users to make domestic and worldwide calls to other mobile phones and fixed lines, sending and receiving SMS messages in Japan and overseas. Subscribers can confirm which area the data they are using is from via the My Rakuten Mobile home screen. Rakuten Mobile uses what the company says is the world's first virtualized mobile network, which requires less hardware infrastructure, lowering deployments costs and in turn allowing the company to offer more affordable rates. The number of eligible customers may change depending on the number of applications.

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