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Nokia to Power Rakuten's Cloud-Native Network Foray in Japan

Nokia Corporation NOK was recently selected by the Rakuten Group, a leading e-commerce and Internet-based services provider in Japan, to facilitate its smooth transition as a greenfield mobile operator in the country. The Finnish telecom equipment manufacturer will offer comprehensive turnkey services to enable Rakuten’s foray into a new cloud-native mobile network in Japan, thus evolving according to the dynamic needs of the industry.

In networking, a greenfield deployment is the installation and configuration of a network right from scratch. Leveraging Nokia’s in-depth sector knowhow and profound industry experience, Rakuten aims to develop and deploy an open virtualized radio access network (RAN). The company expects to achieve this feat by disaggregating the existing RAN platform through separation of the hardware and software components, and implementation of the Radio software as a Virtual Network Function running on Rakuten Cloud Platform.

To facilitate this transition, Nokia will provide full turnkey services to plan, manage, deploy and integrate cloud RAN, AirGile cloud-native core network technology and various software functions. Leveraging a 'zero footprint' site approach with remote radio heads connected to cloud RAN software, the company will incorporate technologies such as Nokia IP Multimedia Subsystem, Session Border Controller and Telco Application Server. This, in turn, will help in speed deployment and network scalability for the faster roll-out of services such as Voice over LTE.

The collaboration further aims to maximize automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to reduce operating costs compared with legacy networks. The new mobile network will be deployed across Japan, including Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya. It will be completely aligned to the Future X network vision that promises a framework for open, connected systems to accelerate the digitization and automation of physical assets.

Nokia is well positioned for the upcoming technology cycle given the strength of its end-to-end portfolio. The company’s deal win rate is encouraging with notable successes in the key 5G markets of the United States and China. Its installed base of high-capacity AirScale product, which enables customers to quickly upgrade to 5G, is growing fast. The company is driving the transition of global enterprises into smart virtual networks by creating a single network for all services, converging mobile and fixed broadband, IP routing and optical networks with the software and services to manage them. Leveraging state-of-the-art technology, Nokia is transforming the way people and things communicate and connect with each other. These include seamless transition to 5G technology, ultra broadband access, IP and Software Defined Networking, cloud applications and Internet of Things. The stock has recorded an average return of 10.4% in the past year, while the industry declined 5.1%.


Nokia currently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Better-ranked stocks in the broader industry include Comtech Telecommunications Corp. CMTL, Harris Corporation HRS and Motorola Solutions, Inc. MSI, each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank(Strong Buy)stocks here.

Comtech has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 5%. It delivered average positive earnings surprise of 252.3% in the trailing four quarters, beating estimates in each.

Harris has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 8%. It has delivered average positive earnings surprise of 2.9% in the trailing four quarters, beating estimates in each.

Motorola has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 9.8%. It delivered average positive earnings surprise of 13.2% in the trailing four quarters, beating estimates on each occasion.

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