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5G networks

Rakuten to export low-cost 5G tech to German telecom

Virtual network deal with 1&1 seen worth more than $2bn

Rakuten Mobile launched its wireless communications business in Japan last year. (Photo by Kosuke Imamura)

TOKYO -- Rakuten Group has agreed to export its low-cost virtual 5G telecommunications technology to German wireless carrier 1&1, the Japanese tech conglomerate said Wednesday, in a deal believed to be worth more than $2 billion.

1&1, a relative newcomer in the telecom industry, represents the first client to fully adopt Rakuten's virtual network tech, which will support 5G communication. Rakuten won contracts to design, maintain and operate the network.

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