Yuta Shikakura

Accelerating the Growth of Engineering Professionals

Yuta Shikakura

SRE Promotion Department

Yuta Shikakura, who has been working in operations since joining KDDI as a new graduate, will start working on the creation of a work environment for 5G SA mobile core equipment in April 2022 in an environment where he can take on new challenges unique to xGN, while expanding his scope of work as an engineer and experiencing personal growth.

Expectations to be the first to be engaged in the latest technology.

I joined KDDI in 2019 and was in charge of operational work such as setting change work, fault handling, and new equipment installation for “4G/5GNSA” mobile core equipment. Just when I was thinking, “As a Becoming an engineer, I would like to gain more experience in a variety of systems, from planning to development, in addition to operations,” I got a resignation and was transferred to xGN in April 2022.

The 5G SA that xGN is working on is a very advanced technology that should become the new norm in the near future. As an engineer, I realized that it was a great opportunity for me to be engaged in a service that will become a socially important infrastructure, and I am proud to be a part of it. I was also excited to be able to take on new challenges while making use of my past experience in 4G/5GNSA technology, as it is an extension of the technology I have worked with in the past.

Currently, I am in charge of the preparations for the work environment required for the overall development and operation of 5G SA mobile core network at xGN: coordinating workflow with KDDI related departments, handover to monitors and conducting training, monitoring daily equipment status and reporting to KDDI, and internal training within xGN to improve operational quality, developing systems to improve operational efficiency. Compared to my time at KDDI, when I was engaged in work related to specific facilities, the scope of my responsibilities has expanded considerably.

Since xGN is in the phase of creating new services, we not only have the option of making partial changes to existing systems and dealing with things the way both companies have done them in the past, but in some cases we also have the option of changing things all at once in a new way. In some cases, while utilizing the experience and knowledge accumulated at KDDI and CTC (ITOCHU Techno-Solutions), xGN decided to replace and rebuild a new system to provide better service after discussion and deliberation.

Working with the experts, in close relationship.

Although xGN is a compact organization compared to KDDI, it handles a large range of work, including core, base station, common infrastructure, and so on. New projects are launched one after another, and I have been engaged in two to four projects in parallel at any given time in my past. Many projects have tight deadlines, so a speedy project management is also required. I have become more deadline-conscious in my work than ever before.

It is not easy to proceed with a sense of speedy project management in a wide range of work. However, xGN is an environment where a small team of experts are gathered in close proximity, making it very easy to cooperate, share information, and collaborate with those around us.
For example, I am in charge of operating mobile core network systems, but there are also people in charge of different areas such as base stations, networks, and hardware in close proximity to me. The development department is directly nearby, and many voices can be overheard on a daily basis, which allows us to catch up on information quickly. I am able to understand the status of projects that I am not directly involved in, and through conversations I am able to learn the perspectives of various people with different experiences.

I myself am not naturally a good at communicating, but in order to smoothly carry out various projects in the xGN environment, I have become more conscious of communication than I used to be. In particular, the development team members from CTC have a very high awareness of communication and speedy project management, which has been a great source of inspiration for me.

Becoming an engineer who can develop utilizing operational viewpoints.

I feel that my work at xGN was extremely valuable in terms of building my career, as I was able to learn about the latest 5G SA mobile core equipment from a wide variety of perspectives, which broadened my technical perspective. I have also been able to strengthen my communication skills with colleagues from different backgrounds, which has helped me to grow in terms of my skills.

In addition, I have been thinking for some time that “as an engineer, I would like to acquire experience working on a wider variety of systems, from planning to development, not just operation,” and this desire is growing stronger now.
As a step toward this, I believe that my current experience of “working on operations in an environment where development is nearby” will be a big advantage.

By utilizing the various perspectives from planning to development to service that I have gained at xGN in addition to my past experience in operations, I am sure that I can lead to better system development with fewer gaps that tend to occur between the people who make the systems and the people who use them.
I hope to continue to grow toward my goals while taking on challenges in the xGN environment.