F5’s security functions now available to CSPs via Rakuten’s Symworld marketplace

Rakuten Symphony has announced that F5’s new BIG-IP Next Cloud Native Network Functions (CNFs) will be available to mobile operators via Rakuten’s Symworld marketplace.

F5 CNFs offer a rich set of capabilities including:

  • BIG-IP Next Edge Firewall CNF
  • BIG-IP Next Policy Enforcer CNF

Traditionally, deploying software applications in mobile networks requires manual testing and installation, which is a highly time-consuming process. Maintaining these applications throughout their lifecycle can also be slow and expensive. The partners aim to transform this by accelerating and simplifying the process for telecom operators through cloud-native functions and a delivery model that reduces application deployment from months and years to minutes and hours.

This collaboration between Rakuten and F5 is the culmination of a longstanding relationship that began with F5 providing security functions to Rakuten Mobile. The Symworld marketplace simplifies the onboarding of telecoms application for mobile operators, supporting a variety of use cases that can be deployed in a simple and automated manner.

F5’s BIG-IP Next CNFs will also be deployed by Rakuten Mobile in its 5G network in Japan. This results from three years’ collaboration between Rakuten and F5 that included the roll-out of an end-to-end fully virtualised 4G network. F5 and Rakuten have leveraged that experience to simplify operations, strengthen security and boost traffic optimisation for Rakuten Mobile’s cloud-native 5G deployment.  

Tareq Amin, CEO Rakuten Symphony

According to Tareq Amin, CEO of Rakuten Symphony, F5 has been a key partner to Rakuten’s journey to becoming a mobile operator. “We have actively collaborated [with F5] on what needs to change in the industry for many years and I am more than excited to be able to announce that F5’s newly developed products will be deployed by Rakuten Mobile and offered through Symworld. In this day and age it is not acceptable that software delivery is so complicated and cumbersome in the telecoms industry when it is not like that in other industries. The simplicity delivered by this collaboration will enable faster deployment, more participation and more innovation in the industry.”

Ahmed Guetari, VP of Products for Service Providers at F5, noted that harnessing cloud-native technologies and cloud operating models is game changing for CSPs. “Together with Rakuten Symphony, we’re looking forward to enabling service providers across the world to easily deploy F5’s expanding suite of cloud-native network functions to enrich and protect their 5G networks and offerings,” he said.