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Press Release | February 12, 2021

Rakuten Mobile and Ligado Networks sign Memorandum of Understanding to enter into commercial trials for 5G mobile private networks based on the Rakuten Communications Platform

Reston, Va. and Tokyo, February 12, 2021 – Rakuten Mobile, Inc. and Ligado Networks LLC, today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) where the two companies will collaborate to create a blueprint for Ligado’s 5G mobile private network solution that leverages the Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP). Under the MoU, the companies will commence efforts in Q1 2021 with ecosystem partners and vendors to establish a timeline for the implementation of network trials and blueprint for solutions.

“With 5G being introduced by mobile network operators around the world, some of the most innovative use-cases will be in 5G mobile private networks. 5G brings ultra-low latency and ultra-high bandwidth enabling unprecedented experiences and services and unique applications in private networks,” commented Tareq Amin, CTO of Rakuten Mobile. “We are very excited to collaborate with Ligado Networks and offer the Rakuten Communications Platform as the foundation for a next-generation of communications infrastructure for enterprises.”

Doug Smith, President and CEO at Ligado Networks, said: “5G mobile private networks are becoming critical infrastructure for many industries. Combining our know-how and licensed L-Band spectrum in the U.S. with the Rakuten Communications Platform and Open RAN infrastructure, we will create a novel blueprint for delivering new efficiencies to U.S. companies looking to deploy powerful mobile private networks that are highly secure and ultra-reliable.”

Under the MoU, the companies will define a strategy that leverages Rakuten’s ecosystem position to advance the jointly developed 5G mobile private network solution and accelerate overall L-Band commercial readiness among network hardware and software providers. Ligado Networks and Rakuten Mobile will collaborate with enterprise customers on advanced use cases and the final technology stack for a launch of the 5G mobile private network offering.

With this MoU, Rakuten Mobile and Ligado Networks aim to accelerate the delivery of private networks through the use of open technology. RCP combines the proven technologies and expert playbook of the world’s first end-to-end cloud native, software-centric, Open RAN based mobile network of Rakuten Mobile and its world-class partners to offer enterprises a way to easily build and deploy fully cloud native network services at speed and low-cost. Ligado’s licensed mid-band spectrum supports enterprises by building mobile networks that meet their requirements for availability, coverage and flexibility for indoor and outdoor deployments.

Ligado is currently a network operator of mobile satellite service (MSS) to government and commercial customers across North America. The Reston, Virginia-based company is enhancing its MSS offerings and developing new, innovative 5G services for enterprise customers across the public safety, manufacturing, agriculture, and other critical infrastructure sectors.

For 5G mobile private networks, Ligado’s vision is to offer connectivity dedicated to enterprise customers allowing a single company to manage the connection of people and things as they move within and across their various locations. 5G mobile private networks deliver continuity of coverage, local compute and connectivity integration, and greater control and security. These attributes are essential to support rapidly advancing digital use cases, such as AR/VR, smart robotics and enterprise cloud services, which provide the technology foundation for critical infrastructure entities with large footprints like factories, energy and resource operations, farms, and public utilities. Ligado’s approach to private networks – which runs on dedicated mid-band spectrum and offers both satellite and terrestrial connectivity – will give customers the scale of a public network and the security and customization of a private one.

About Ligado Networks

Making connections is Ligado’s core mission. Our vision is to create innovative commercial and technology solutions that will advance the next generation of American infrastructure. With our current state-of-the-art satellite technology and plans to deploy mid-band spectrum in 5G public and private networks, we’re paving the way for future innovations.

About Rakuten Mobile

Rakuten Mobile, Inc. is a Rakuten Group company responsible for mobile communications, including mobile network operator (MNO) and mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) businesses, as well as ICT and energy. Through continuous innovation and the deployment of advanced technology, Rakuten Mobile aims to redefine expectations in the mobile communications industry in order to provide appealing and convenient services that respond to diverse customer needs.

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