The two countries have committed to sharing information on their respective policy approaches to build a more competitive global telecom equipment market

The governments of Japan and the UK have agreed on several joint initiatives to support efforts to reduce global over-reliance on a small number of suppliers to build and maintain telecom networks.

The UK Department for Digital Infrastructure said both countries are committed to sharing information on their respective policy approaches to build a more competitive and diverse global market for telecom equipment, including for 5G and future wireless networks.

Further commitments include enhanced research and development cooperation, in particular in open and interoperable network technologies such as Open RAN (O-RAN).

The Japanese and British governments also agreed to share information and facilitate joint efforts between industry and academia in both countries to develop future communication technologies, such as 6G, which is not yet standardized.

“We will explore opportunities to collaborate on research and development initiatives, with a particular focus on seeking to support the work of industrial partners in accelerating the development of interoperable equipment and open interfaces, such as O-RAN. This includes bringing together experts from industry, academia and government to share information, foster collaboration between testing facilities in the UK and Japan and identify opportunities to launch joint R&D projects,” the two governments said in a statement. joint statement.

UK Minister for Digital Infrastructure Julia Lopez said: “The UK and Japan share a track record of strong telecom leadership and expertise and we both recognize the need for a more diverse global telecom market. This partnership opens important new avenues for our countries to work together to pursue our shared goal of a safer, competitive and innovative telecom supply chain.”

“The telecommunications cooperation framework between Japan and the UK will promote supplier diversification, including for 5G. Our countries both recognize the importance of initiatives to secure telecommunications infrastructure supply chains. A secure, competitive and innovative supply chain is essential. Japan and the UK will pursue this together through this new framework,” said Yuji Sasaki, Japan’s Deputy Minister of Policy Coordination for International Affairs.

The two governments also recognized that the lack of supplier diversity in the telecommunications equipment market is a global issue that requires a concerted and coordinated approach from a wide range of international stakeholders.

The UK has already announced similar partnerships with India and the US to work more closely together to realize shared telecom diversification ambitions.

The UK government noted that these initiatives support the UK’s £250 million 5G Supply Chain Diversification Strategy, which aims to build a more competitive and diverse telecoms supply market by supporting existing suppliers, attracting new suppliers to the UK market and development and implementation of open interface solutions such as O-RAN.

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