Japanese telco Rakuten has ordered small-sized optical repeaters for its 4G LTE network from South Korean parts suppliers, The Elec has confirmed.
CS and GS Instech each supplied half the initial order placed by the mobile carrier earlier this year, people familiar with the matter said.
However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rakuten has been unable to perform field tests on the goods, causing a delay in proceeding with the main order, they said.
The Japanese telco started 4G LTE services last month. It was named by the Japanese government as the fourth mobile network operator back in 2018 __ joining the likes of NTT Docomo, KDDI and SoftBank.
Prior to being named as an mobile operator in its own right, Rakuten was the mobile virtual network operator for NTT Docomo, the country’s largest mobile carrier.
Last year, the telco signed a deal with South Korea’s SK Telecom to gain access to the latter’s 4G and 5G technology.
In March this year, Rakuten ordered 89 billion worth of 4G radio stations from South Korean company KMW. It ordered remote radio antennas __ which combines a remote radio head with an antenna __ as well as remote-controlled tilting and steering equipment.
Optical repeaters widens the range of radio signals. CS and GS Instech’s repeaters uses optical cables to amplify signals.
Rakuten is expected to expected to select vendors for large-sized optical receivers later this year.
CS posted revenues of 32.2 billion won last year, but marked 900 million won in operating loss. GS Instech, meanwhile, marked an annual revenue of 18.1 billion won and posted operating profits of 5.3 billion won.
This month, CS won the order to supply SK Telecom with 5G repeaters that also supports 4G LTE. The deal is worth 5.9 billion won.