Rakuten wesentlich besser als Rocket

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62375 Postings, 7088 Tage Libudaadditional to #11341 and #11350

02.02.24 20:54
And the cash flow from operations in 2024 will be positive after years with negative numbers.  


62375 Postings, 7088 Tage Libuda62 million users have downloaded the Viki App

02.02.24 21:10
Korean Hit ‘Concrete Utopia’ Now Streaming on Rakuten Viki

January 26, 2024

Rakuten Viki, one of the largest streaming services for Asian content, begins streaming Korean box office hit Concrete Utopia exclusively starting Jan. 26.

The film, which stars Lee Byung-hun (“Squid Game,” I Saw the Devil), Park Seo-jun (Parasite, What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim), and Park Bo-young (Strong Girl Bong-soon, Doom at Your Service), opened in Korea in early August and quickly became a smash-hit, securing the No. 1 spot at the box office for one week, accumulating nearly 4 million admissions. The film also enjoyed critically acclaimed runs at the Toronto International Film Festival, Sitges International Film Festival and Fantastic Fest.

Since launching its movie rental service in 2021, Rakuten Viki has brought more than 450 films to the platform, including blockbusters such as The Point Men, Seobok, Emergency Declaration and Everything Everywhere all at Once, and the most recent success, Love Reset. Rakuten Viki’s movie rental service brings hit films to fans shortly after their box office run in Asia to homes across the U.S., along with iconic and beloved classic Asian cinema. Through the movie rental service, Rakuten Viki is able to offer viewers a vast and eclectic selection of films from Korea, China, Taiwan, Japan, and other countries across Asia.

Rakuten Viki is available to anyone to watch for free (with advertisements) or without advertisements with tiered subscriptions of Viki Pass Standard for $5.99 per month and VikiPass Plus for $9.99 per month. Rakuten Viki is available on several platforms, including desktop, mobile and Web. More than 162 million users have downloaded the Viki app.



62375 Postings, 7088 Tage LibudaEmbrace AI, but also stay human

02.02.24 22:40
We must embrace AI, but we also need to stay human

8 hours ago

2024 is the year Rakuten evolves into an AI empowerment company.

At last month’s Rakuten Ichiba New Year Conference, I spoke to over 8,000 merchants from across the country about the future of Japan’s largest online shopping mall.

About 30 years ago, many of these merchants were selling their wares in physical stores, or through catalogs. The arrival of the internet changed that forever, and the rise of the smartphone did it once more.

Now, artificial intelligence is promising to transform everything yet again. Only this time, it will not only transform the way we sell things, but every aspect of business, from hiring to marketing. It will be a massive revolution, possibly even bigger than the internet.

I believe that there is no future without AI, and that Rakuten must take a proactive approach to embracing AI tools to augment human capabilities.

Rakuten Chairman and CEO Mickey Mikitani addressed merchants at the recent Rakuten Ichiba New Year Conference, stressing that AI could bring about a revolution bigger than the internet.

Rakuten’s robust data will fuel the GenAI wave

Until last year, most of us had a very different understanding of AI. Predictive AI was in the spotlight, astounding us by trawling vast swathes of data to find invisible patterns – detecting potential cancers that even radiologists might miss, or beating the world champion of the exceptionally complex board game Go.

In 2023, the spotlight shifted to something new: generative AI. Revolutionary large language models like ChatGPT suddenly brought the tech within the grasp of the general public. With almost human-like creativity, GenAI has shown potential for making entire movies from scratch, or even inventing new compounds for use in medicine.

So why is Rakuten, a company with roots in e-commerce, taking on AI in such a big way? And why did OpenAI, the pioneers behind ChatGPT, choose to partner with us?

One major keyword comes to mind: data. Developing an AI requires a lot of it, and Rakuten has some of what I believe to be the best data in the world.

Our 100 million members in Japan earned some 660 billion yen worth of Rakuten Points last year, doing everything from shopping and travel to banking, investing and using their cellphones. Rakuten Group platforms are handling tens of billions of transactions each year.

This level of data quality – linked by a single membership – is something that even major data-driven Silicon Valley companies don’t have. They may have search data, or behavioral data – but can they sell ski gear to someone who has just booked a trip to Hokkaido, or furniture to someone who has just taken out a home loan?

This, together with our incredible community of some 6,000 talented engineers and researchers in Rakuten offices across the globe, has put Rakuten in a unique position to take on the AI age.

How we’re leveraging AI tools around the ecosystem

The Rakuten Ecosystem has grown into what it is today through a combination of Rakuten Points – Japan’s leading loyalty points program – and a proactive approach to leveraging data. 2024 is the year we add AI to the mix, which I believe will stoke exponential growth.

Rakuten’s AI-nization has already begun: On Rakuten Travel, for example, in the future we are preparing to launch an AI concierge system that can provide travelers with custom travel plans based on conversational queries – say, I want to go somewhere with nice scenery in late March and eat local delicacies, within a budget of X.

Hotel providers, meanwhile, will be able to use our AI tools to automatically draw up attractive accommodation plans based on simple keywords – late check-in, no meals – and even have graphics for the room drawn up automatically.

We’re also seeing incredible results with our deep learning-powered recommendation engine on our second-hand goods marketplace Rakuten Rakuma. Conversions are up as much as 30%, and we’re preparing to launch a similar system on Rakuten Ichiba.

Our insurance businesses employ a virtual secretary called “ARIA” who advises Rakuten insurance agents, and Rakuten Securities has built its own AI assistant to answer questions from users about investment products and strategies.

Rakuten Mobile, too, is benefiting enormously from AI. One reason we are able to operate the network so affordably is that we are proactively leveraging AI tools for everything from network management and operations to system monitoring and security.

The fully virtualized, software-centric nature of Rakuten Mobile’s network allows AI integration at a level unattainable by other carriers.

AI-nization on Rakuten Ichiba

Our overarching goals with AI can be summed up by our Triple 20 strategy: We want to boost marketing efficiency by 20%, operational efficiency by 20%, and the efficiency of our clients by 20%.

For our clients, we are currently collaborating with OpenAI to roll out Rakuten AI for Business – a platform designed to empower businesses with easy-to-use AI tools.

So how can AI serve our clients on Japan’s largest online shopping mall, Rakuten Ichiba? One way we plan to do this is through web design. Until now, it’s been a question of laying out elements on a two-dimensional plane. Now, our AI can make specific suggestions for better, more dynamic layouts.

Product descriptions can be generated automatically, referencing details in a product’s title, image and information from online sources. Product photos can be edited on the fly, even changing the background to determine whether a certain scenario resonates better with a certain kind of shopper.

Everyday store operations are also in our scope. Going forward, merchants will be able to use AI chatbots to start conversations and respond to customer inquiries.

Advertising assistance will be another major use case: AI will be able to automatically determine whether something falls within regulations, and even suggest how to present a banner or the best catch copy.

Unlocking the power of semantic search

Another major part of e-commerce is search – it’s how most customers find what they need, after all. With AI, we can move away from the rather inorganic keyword search in favor of something more concierge-like.

To this end, we’re making great strides in semantic search – search based on what the query means rather than the keywords it contains. Queries made in natural language (“show me some handbags that are appropriate for use at the office”) will now yield better results, even recognizing the best images to display in the results field.

Trials of this new search technology have shown that it has the potential to boost conversions enormously – by as much as 2.7 percentage points. These are just a few of the ways AI will fuel growth on Rakuten Ichiba.

Through all this, we cannot forget that AI is a tool, meant to augment human capabilities. Our biggest goal is to make these tools as easy as possible to use – this is what I mean by evolving Rakuten into an AI empowerment company.

No Humans, No Future

Last year, Rakuten’s domestic gross merchandise sales topped six trillion yen, and we’re aiming for 10 trillion by 2030. I truly believe that AI is a pivotal piece of this puzzle – to the point that we are employing the slogan No AI, No Future.

But what I believe is really crucial is how we employ AI. At Rakuten, we truly value organic, human connections. Our mission has always been to empower the merchants who give Rakuten Ichiba its characteristic human touch.

Japan has an incredible spirit of service. I hope we can take this spirit and use AI to deliver it to more people. That’s why I want to add to our slogan – No AI, No Future; but No Humans, No Future.

No Humans, No Future: Mikitani stressed to the conference that Rakuten will continue to put people first.




62375 Postings, 7088 Tage LibudaRakuten Mobile - Overview February 2024

03.02.24 08:09

62375 Postings, 7088 Tage LibudaSuccess-Story

03.02.24 10:50
Rakuten Group's quarterly fintech operating profit 2013-2023

Published by C. Diep, Aug 10, 2023

In the second quarter of 2023, the Rakuten Group's internet finance operating profit exceeded 33 billion Japanese yen, representing an increase by over 31 percent compared to the income recorded in the same period of the previous year. This income was generated primarily through Rakuten Card, Rakuten Bank, Rakuten Securities as well as Rakuten e-money "Edy" among others.



62375 Postings, 7088 Tage LibudaInterest rate decrease to 7.21457% from 12.25%

03.02.24 22:13
Near all articles about the issuance of new notes reporting about an interest rate of  12.25 percent, but ignoring, that the interest rate for Rakuten decrease to 7.21457% through currency swaps of Rakuten.

“Offering price 97.830% of principal amount
Interest rate 11.250% per year
Coupon rate after currency swap 7.21457% per year (weighted average of coupon rates of multiple currency swaps entered into by Rakuten Group, Inc.)”




62375 Postings, 7088 Tage LibudaKobo Gears Up for 2024 with Two New E-Readers

04.02.24 08:41
Rakuten Kobo Gears Up for 2024 with Two New E-Readers

Published: January 6, 2024 at 6:28 pm

Rakuten Kobo, a global leader in digital reading, is gearing up for 2024 with the launch of two anticipated e-readers. The company’s commitment to innovation and sustainability is evident in their forthcoming devices, promising enhancements that address past shortcomings and emphasize eco-consciousness.

Revamping the Kobo Lineup

Slated for a June release, the first device, possibly named the Rakuten Kobo Libra 2e, was hinted at by an FCC application submitted in October 2023. Alongside it, a second FCC application, filed in December 2023, suggests the release of another new device, possibly the Kobo Sage 2e. While detailed specifications for both devices remain under a six-month embargo, tech enthusiasts are abuzz with speculation.



62375 Postings, 7088 Tage LibudaChange of the economics of Open RAN

05.02.24 07:43
Technologies for Lowering the TCO for Open RAN and Edge

Feb 20 2024, 6:00pm CET

New technologies will change the economics of Open RAN. This webinar explores how hardware and software technologies from Intel and Rakuten Symphony that will significantly reduce ORAN’s total cost of ownership (TCO) by integrating Intel’s embedded acceleration with efficient Cloud Native platform and automation platform. Join us for key insights into cutting edge technologies that promise to enhance network performance and cost efficiency in ORAN deployment.

Presenter: Mehran Hadipour, VP of Global R&D, Rakuten Symphony Mehran leads alliances at Unified Cloud BU at Rakuten Symphony and is responsible for industry Partnerships and Alliance strategy. A respected industry veteran, who is passionate about driving business success through alliances and win-win partnerships, Mehran brings to the table years of experience in executing and driving change at major infrastructure and Enterprise software players such as EMC and IBM as well as at several Silicon Valley-based startups and high technology firms. Earlier, Mehran was Director of Global Business Development at Boston-based Zerto Inc, an enterprise level IT Resiliency Platform. Before that, Mehran was Director of Sales at EMC and Director of Business Development at Kashya. He holds an MSCE degree from Syracuse University and an MBA.




62375 Postings, 7088 Tage LibudaRakuten Takes Lead Ranking of Coupon Apps

05.02.24 12:22
Rakuten Takes Lead in PYMNTS Provider Ranking of Coupon Apps


Coupons are helpful to most consumers, especially amid the holiday season.

PYMNTS highlights the most popular savings applications every month in the Provider Ranking of Coupon Apps, whether you’re looking for discounts at the pharmacy, the mall or online.

In this edition, Rakuten beats out Dollar General for the top spot, and GoodRX, JCPenney Shopping & Coupons, and Shopkick hold their positions. Here’s a look at the top 10.

The Top 5
Up two rankings to take No. 1 is Rakuten with 80 points.
Dollar General, with a score of 79, lands at No. 2.
No. 3 goes to CVS Pharmacy, which has 75 points and finds itself down one ranking.
GoodRx remains at No. 4 with a score of 69.
Ibotta, with 68 points, is down two rankings at No. 5.

The Top 10
No. 6 is Groupon with 63 points, falling one ranking.
JCPenney Shopping & Coupons stays at No. 7 with a score of 61.
GasBuddy, scoring 59, moves down three rankings to land at No. 8.
Honey Smart Shopping Assistant falls one ranking to tie with Shopkick at No. 9 and 56 points.
Closing out the top 10 is Flipp with 52 points, down two spots from last month.




62375 Postings, 7088 Tage LibudaRakuten Stay at No. 1 in Rinking

05.02.24 16:54
Rakuten Stays at No. 1 in PYMNTS Provider Ranking of Coupon Apps

JANUARY 17, 2024

The Top 5
No. 1 remains Rakuten, scoring 79 points.
CVS Pharmacy scores 76 points and climbs one ranking to No. 2.
Dollar General, with a score of 75 points, drops one spot to No. 3.
No. 4 is unchanged with GoodRx scoring 69 points.
Groupon scores 67 points and is up one ranking to No. 5.

The Top 10
No. 6 goes to JCPenney – Shopping & Coupons, which gains three points for a score of 64 but still drops one spot.
Down two rankings is Ibotta with a score of 62 points.
Honey Smart Shopping Assistant gains a ranking to tie with GasBuddy at No. 8, and both apps score 59 points.
Shopkick, scoring 58 points, is alone at No. 9 this round.
Closing out the top 10 is Flipp, scoring 48 points.



62375 Postings, 7088 Tage LibudaYou should know where you are going

05.02.24 23:06
Avoiding dead-end digital transformation projects

Feb 1,  2024

“If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.”
- Yogi Berra

Those of us who have spent enough time in telecom know this all too well.

We’ve seen the slow, tragic death of transformation projects that got far down the line only to run out of budget or into unforeseen challenges.

No one gets out unscathed when this happens. Vendors have wasted precious time and money. Operators don’t get the features and business benefits they desperately need. Financial stakeholders lose patience.

Digital transformation initiatives are especially prone to this fate given the complexity of integrating myriad new and legacy systems. Yet, for every single telco, getting these projects right and on time is essential to survival.

So what needs to happen on the people, skills and systems front to ensure success? Well, a considerable amount of homework for starters.

Let’s explore some of the reasons big projects go astray and what can be done to keep them on track and on budget. Our perspective is informed by the early work we are doing with customers implementing solutions with multiple systems and integration points for data driven operations and automation. In these engagements, we have seen many recurring hallmarks of winning strategies, beginning with a clear understanding of what is actually needed.

A simple question with a complicated answer: What is needed?

At the outset of a project, it needs to be clear what is needed. Not just, “I want to buy features X, Y and Z,” but what exactly are these features and will they be the only ones needed? Here, we are trying to understand what the user story is.

As simple as it sounds, this is often challenging to articulate, resulting in only snippets of requirements being conveyed to stakeholders. When these snippets are given to vendors as requirements, they will respond that they are “compliant” or “not compliant” and it is not until the project delivery phase that technical and solution gaps appear and problems arise.

Customers often expect vendors to anticipate the problems that may exist within an organization but the fact is vendors will never fully understand the inner workings of a customer before an engagement begins. Therefore, success hinges on uncovering in advance the technical complexities of the deployment, especially limitations that may exist and the scope of the teams that will be needed to support.

When this crucial step is skipped, operators are at the mercy of vendors that must map the environment as they go. When unanticipated problems arise, such as a requirement for more IP backbone capacity, an integration with an unexpected legacy system or an integration that must happen six times instead of one, the project cost balloons.

Especially with complex, high stakes initiatives like the integration of automation and AI, operators will be best positioned if they map a detailed lay of the land before engaging vendors. This has the added benefit of accelerating timetables and improving requirements gathering that makes it easier to assign an appropriate cost to the project.

What is the true cost of the project?

$200 headphones are worth it to me because I travel often, frequently do conference calls and value noise cancellation. My mother would never consider paying this much for headphones because a $20 pair is more than capable of serving her primary use case of listening to music quietly at home.
If operators don’t understand what they will ask of vendors beyond an end-state vision, they will not be able to appropriately value the initiative and set a budget to achieve it.

In our experience, the best way to calculate the true value scope is to:

Develop a clear understanding of what is needed and develop a business case to match what is desired to an appropriate budget.

Determine whether the organizational structure, people and time capacity exist to be successful.
Understand at a deeper level the technical landscape, such as the number of instances of a system, software versions and capability to consume and expose data in a given format.

This work will provide the information needed to plot the best path to achieving the new vision and help establish a more accurate budget projection. After all, we know the cost of a solution is not simply the sum of the components.

In telecom, not having a clear integration scope can be a project killer. The reality is that the end-state architecture always includes existing systems that need adaptation to the new wanted operating model. These costs need to be proactively accounted for.

A real world perspective on preparation

I was once part of a solutioning team exploring how to utilize the use of telemetry data coming from the RAN to enable near real-time collection of call trace details and performance degradation. The benefits of collecting RAN metrics in telemetry format supports reacting to changes as they appear versus waiting for traditional data collection and processing, but also introduces high volumes of small data chunks to flow through the IP backbone.

As we peeled back the onion of how to accommodate this functionality, we determined that our IP backbone was insufficient and that we needed to scale up capacity. This is an example where three system owners that usually don’t directly collaborate on use cases needed to sit down and work out a common solution and plan for execution.

Ultimately, we determined exactly how our organizational infrastructure would be impacted. We went step by step, combing through every roadblock and cost implication. This took time but when we reached the buying stage, we knew exactly what we needed, what the roadblocks would be and what budget could be expected to support it.

Better to plan the journey than let the journey dictate the plan

When it comes to massively complex digital transformation projects, it will always be faster and cheaper to spend the time needed up front to understand every facet versus diving straight into long vendor engagements where every day brings a new discovery of what was not known.
The reward for this hard work is ending up exactly where you planned at the cost expected.



62375 Postings, 7088 Tage LibudaRakuten Drive in Japan

06.02.24 11:50
Rakuten Symphony Announces Full-Scale Commercial Launch of File Storage Cloud Service “Rakuten Drive” in Japan

- Now integrated with Rakuten ID for easier access and Microsoft 365 for boosting team productivity.

Tokyo, February 6, 2024 – Rakuten Symphony, Inc. today announced the full-scale commercial launch of Rakuten Drive, a file storage cloud service, in Japan. Rakuten Drive provides file storage cloud services for both individual and enterprise customers that allow users to send large files quickly and offer secure, intuitive file storage and sharing on the cloud.

The consumer-facing version of the service has also been integrated with Rakuten ID – a shared ID that allows Rakuten members to access multiple services – making it possible for the 100 million Rakuten members in Japan to conveniently use the service with their existing Rakuten ID.

Since launching as Sendy in 2019, Rakuten Drive has grown its userbase both in Japan and worldwide. The cloud service has seen considerable growth in Japan since joining the Rakuten Group when Rakuten Symphony’s parent company Rakuten Mobile, Inc. acquired the South Korean peer-to-peer file transfer solution provider Estmob, Inc.*1 in 2021. Estmob was renamed to Rakuten Symphony Korea, Inc. in 2022 and is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Rakuten Symphony. Rakuten Drive is operated by Rakuten Symphony Korea in the global market, with Rakuten Symphony conducting sales and marketing activities for the service in the Japanese market.



62375 Postings, 7088 Tage LibudaRakuten Reinvigorates Its Partnership With NYFW

06.02.24 21:10
Rakuten Reinvigorates Its Partnership With NYFW: The Shows With More Access to Shoppers

Alexandra Pastore

Mon, February 5, 2024

Rakuten is entering the second season of its partnership with NYFW: The Shows with a fresh lineup of deals and exclusive access moments this month. Building on the excitement it built for its fashion-loving members in September, the platform will once again give its users exclusive access to pre-sale on select items seen on the runway and has tapped celebrity stylist Erin Walsh to share her curation of designer looks inspired by the latest trends.

In conversation, Vicki Wagner McRae, senior vice president of brand, creative and communications at Rakuten, told WWD that Rakuten sees New York Fashion Week as an incredible place for the company to play “because it’s a center stage for trends, designer fashion and style.” These are all things that Rakuten is focused on serving up to its shoppers — especially Millennial women.

This season Rakuten’s four partnering designers include Prabal Gurung, Sergio Hudson and PatBo. Each designer will be featured on Rakuten’s platform and members will receive early access and cash back to purchase select items from their runway collections this season.



62375 Postings, 7088 Tage LibudaRakuten Travel Strengthens Collaboration with IHG

06.02.24 22:05
Rakuten Travel Strengthens Collaboration with IHG Hotels & Resorts, Announces MoU to Link Member Loyalty Programs

Tokyo, February 6, 2024 - Rakuten Group, Inc. today announced that its travel reservation service Rakuten Travel, a leading online travel agency in Japan, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with hotel chain IHG Hotels & Resorts (IHG) to consider collaborating on a seamless travel booking experience linking the two companies’ loyalty programs. This is the first time that IHG has signed an MoU with a Japanese travel reservation service.



62375 Postings, 7088 Tage LibudaManga, Merchandise...Movies!?

07.02.24 07:27

February 02, 2024

Did you know Rakuten produces anime, manga, and merchandise? The IP Content Business Department creates a variety of fun and exciting content to contribute to the value of the Rakuten Ecosystem and expand areas for monetization. Check out the video for a look into a day in the life of Rakutenians (Rakuten employees) behind this creative work!




62375 Postings, 7088 Tage LibudaExcellent for Rakuten

07.02.24 15:18
E-commerce is poised to break revenue records.

Total worldwide online retail sales are expected to increase 15.6% year-over-year.

According to new Statista data presented by AltIndex.com, global e-commerce revenue will continue strong growth to $3.64 trillion in 2024 after spiking 108% during the previous five years, rising from $1.52 trillion in 2018 to $3.15 trillion in 2023. This trend is expected to continue through 2028, when global e-commerce revenue is forecast to reach $5.3 billion.



62375 Postings, 7088 Tage LibudaRakuten Mobile Referral Campaign

07.02.24 22:19
Rakuten Mobile Referral Campaign! We’re giving all current & new subscribers a chance!

From Feb 15 (Wed), 2023, at 07:00, with the end date to be announced.



62375 Postings, 7088 Tage LibudaOpen RAN with 20% to 30% of RAN revenues by 2028

07.02.24 23:29

Despite prevailing market challenges in the near term, the long-term forecast for Open RAN remains optimistic, with projections indicating that Open RAN will constitute 20 percent to 30 percent of worldwide RAN revenues by 2028, a significant increase from the 7 percent to 10 percent projected for 2024.

Despite the downward revision of Open RAN revenues in the near term, the forecast has been adjusted upward for the later part of the period, reflecting an improved pipeline particularly in the United States.

North America, despite facing challenges in 2023, is anticipated to lead the Open RAN market throughout the forecast period. Meanwhile, Europe, after a sluggish start, is forecasted to nearly double its share of Open RAN revenue between 2023 and 2028, the repot said.



62375 Postings, 7088 Tage LibudaThe amount of early tender offers is okay

08.02.24 09:08

Rakuten Announces Early Tender Results of its Cash Tender Offers and Election of Early Settlement

February 8, 2024



62375 Postings, 7088 Tage LibudaRakuten at MWC Barcelona 2024

08.02.24 12:44
Experience “Telecom Reinvented” with Rakuten at MWC Barcelona 2024

2 days ago

Taking place at Fira Gran Via from February 26 to 29, Mobile World Congress (MWC) Barcelona, the world’s largest and most influential connectivity event will convene global leaders and tens of thousands of visitors to discuss the latest trends and innovation impacting the future of the telecom industry.

Rakuten is returning for the fifth time with a can’t-miss lineup of speaker sessions, booth activities and industry engagements that will showcase the company’s innovative, software-first approach to building and operating mobile networks.

Join us at the Rakuten Booth in Hall 2, 2D46

The hub of Rakuten’s activities for the week will take place at the Rakuten Booth, located in Hall 2 of the Fira Gran Via. There, visitors can connect with the team behind the world’s first fully virtualized mobile network based on Open RAN specifications and learn more how Rakuten is delivering telecom efficiency with automation in cloud solutions for planning, building and operating networks. This year’s booth will again include special experience zones, staffed by Rakuten tech experts, partner showcases and an active theater space for live keynotes, panels and more.

Dive into the details at Rakuten “Experience Zones”

During MWC Barcelona 2024, the company will share its expertise in four special Rakuten Experience Zones focusing on automation, Open RAN, AI, telco cloud, white label solutions and Rakuten Symphony’s partner ecosystem. Rakuten subject matter experts will be on hand in each zone to take visitors through the unique technology powering Rakuten’s next-gen network.

What’s happening at the booth theater

During MWC, leaders from Rakuten Mobile, Rakuten Symphony and the wider Rakuten Group will take to the stage, joined by partners, customers and industry innovators, to share how AI and an ecosystem experience from Rakuten Group can drive the telecom industry forward.

Here are highlights of events taking place at Rakuten’s booth theater:

Monday, February 26 at 2:30pm
Rakuten International Showcase
Rakuten International CEO, Amit Patel will share his business vision for expansion across Europe and the UK while Rakuten TV will give insights into innovative content services for the telecom industry. Rakuten Viber will delve into their core business and customer offerings, providing valuable insights into the future of the messaging app landscape.
– Amit Patel, CEO, Rakuten International
– Ofir Eyal, CEO, Rakuten Viber
– Cedric Dufour, CEO, Rakuten TV

Tuesday, February 27 at 10:30am
Rakuten Group Showcase
Rakuten Chairman and CEO Mickey Mikitani and Rakuten Mobile co-CEO Sharad Sriwastawa will share updates on Rakuten Group and Rakuten Mobile’s ambitious vision for bringing innovation in global telecom. 1&1 CEO Michael Martin will share the stage with Rakuten Symphony Chief Business Officer Rabih Dabboussi and telecom industry analyst Roy Chua to discuss the launch of 1&1’s mobile services in Germany, what it means for Europe, and where the innovative relationship is heading next.
– Mickey Mikitani, Chairman and CEO, Rakuten Group
– Sharad Sriwastawa, Co-CEO, Rakuten Mobile
– Michael Martin, CEO 1&1 Mobilfunk
– Rabih Dabboussi, Chief Business Officer, Rakuten Symphony
– Roy Chua, AvidThink

Tuesday, February 27 at 4:00pm
Rakuten Symphony Showcase & Happy Hour
Rakuten Symphony leaders Sharad Sriwastawa and Rahul Atri will share the stage with AT&T’s Yigal Elbaz and industry analyst Chetan Sharma to discuss their vision for Telecom Reinvented.
The Rakuten Happy Hour follows at 5pm
– Sharad Sriwastawa, President, Rakuten Symphony
– Rahul Atri, President of OSS BU, Rakuten Symphony
– Yigal Elbaz, Network Chief Technology Officer, AT&T
– Chetan Sharma, CEO of Chetan Sharma Consulting

Wednesday, February 28 at 10:30am
Rakuten AI Showcase
How is Rakuten leveraging AI to transform telecom and power the wider Rakuten Group ecosystem? AI executive Ting Cai alongside Rahul Atri and Medithe Madhukiran will discuss Rakuten’s transformative ‘AI-nization’ mindset and potential role of AI and automation to upend industries with Appledore Research’s Robert Curran.
– Ting Cai, Chief Data Officer, Rakuten Group
– Rahul Atri, President OSS BU, Rakuten Symphony
– Medithe Madhukiran, Head of Data Science, Rakuten Mobile
– Robert Curran, Appledore Research
Rakuten appearing on MWC stages

Outside the booth, the event will see several Rakuten leaders take to the official MWC stage to discuss a range of pressing industry issues:

Monday, February 26 at 10:50am
Rahul Atri, President of OSS BU, Rakuten Symphony
MWC Stage B

Tuesday, February 27 at 2:30pm
Geoff Hollingworth – CMO, Rakuten Symphony
MWC Debate Stage

Wednesday, February 28 at 11:00am
Nagendra Bykampadi – Co-chair of the O-RAN Alliance Security Work Group
Partner Theatre 5

Wednesday, February 28 at 4:15pm
Nagendra Bykampadi – Head of Product Security, Rakuten Symphony
MWC Stage B




62375 Postings, 7088 Tage LibudaUSD 50880 million by 2030 with a CAGR of 51.3%

08.02.24 16:46

According to our latest study, the global O-RAN market size was valued at USD 2799.7 million in 2023. With growing demand in downstream market, the O-RAN is forecast to a readjusted size of USD 50880 million by 2030 with a CAGR of 51.3% during review period.



62375 Postings, 7088 Tage LibudaRahul Atri re-joins Symphony with focus on AI

08.02.24 22:00
Rahul Atri re-joins Rakuten Symphony with a focus on AI

By Linda Hardesty Feb 8, 2024 12:23pm

Rahul Atri became a familiar name in the wireless world during his more than three years working for Rakuten Mobile and Rakuten Symphony. But he left Rakuten about two years ago to join Tech Mahindra.

Speaking with Fierce Wireless recently, Atri said he left Rakuten because Rakuten Mobile and Rakuten Symphony had reached a level of maturity, and he felt it was important to keep moving forward and learning new things, particularly on the business side.

But he also learned that not all companies move super fast the way that Rakuten has moved. And when Rakuten CEO Mickey Mikitani reached out, asking Atri to re-join Symphony, he welcomed the opportunity. “I thought this is perfectly aligned with how I want to understand my career,” said Atri.
Rakuten Symphony has three business units — OSS; RAN; and Internet Services. Symphony is led by its President Sharad Sriwastawa.

Atri has been back at Symphony for about a month in the role of president of the OSS business unit. But his title is a bit deceiving because his group is doing a vast number of things and is really tapping into artificial intelligence (AI), which he talks about in a blog today.

He’s been inspired by Sam Altman’s work in generative AI, and he wants to bring that disruptor mindset to the telecom world. “In telecom people are in siloes,” he said. “When they see challenges like open RAN or cloud, they go back to their cocoon. These are the things as an industry we should solve. Why go to Mobile World Congress every year and not do the things we talk about?”

Symphony is in a nice position because everything it develops can be trialed in a real-world wireless network — Rakuten Mobile. “It’s great because the products we build are the one’s we’re using,” said Atri.




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09.02.24 10:18
Peak Shopping Season for Rakuten France Boosted by Hi-tech Additions

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The holiday shopping season was bigger than ever for Rakuten France in 2023, as it enjoyed the No.2 market share nationally on Black Friday. In this report, we examine the factors behind this success, including new partnerships with major electronics retailers and the introduction of a new AI-powered chatbot to answer customer inquiries. We also share findings from the company's annual "Christmas Barometer" survey of consumer behavior in France, including a growing trend towards buying second-hand products as Christmas gifts.



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62375 Postings, 7088 Tage LibudaLaunches Service to Eliminate Counterfeit Goods

09.02.24 17:11
Rakuten Rakuma Launches Service to Eliminate Counterfeit Goods

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Rakuten Rakuma, Rakuten's second-hand marketplace app, has joined forces with KOMEHYO, Japan's No.1 brand reuse company, to formally launch Rakuma's authentication service. Over 400 brand items can be checked using the judgement of professional appraisers and AI-powered appraisal technology with 99% precision. Hear representatives from both Rakuten and KOMEHYO share their thoughts on eliminating counterfeits from the C2C market, as well as an interview with an actual user of Rakuma's new authentication service.



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