UK and Japan strengthen ties in telecoms

  • Two countries agree closer cooperation to address global telecom supply chain issues
  • Includes a commitment to share more information on innovative ways to network
  • Will support R&D collaboration on future technologies such as Open RAN and 6G

Britain’s Digital Infrastructure Minister Julia Lopez and Japan’s Deputy Home Affairs and Communications Minister Yuji Sasaki met in London on Friday morning. They agreed on several joint initiatives to support efforts to reduce the global overreliance on a few vendors to build and maintain telecommunications networks.

The two countries have committed to greater information sharing on their respective policy approaches aimed at creating a more competitive and diverse global market for telecommunications equipment, including for 5G and future wireless networks.

Other commitments include deeper research and development cooperation, particularly on open and interoperable network technologies such as Open RAN, which allow telecommunications providers to mix and match technical equipment from different vendors to the within a network.

The Japanese and British governments have also agreed to share information and facilitate joint efforts between industry and universities in the two countries to develop future communication technologies such as 6G.

UK Digital Infrastructure Minister Julia Lopez said:

The UK and Japan share a strong track record of telecommunications leadership and expertise and we both recognize the need for a more diverse global telecommunications market.

This partnership opens important new avenues for our countries to work together to pursue our common goal of a more secure, competitive and innovative telecommunications supply chain.

Japan’s Vice Minister for Policy Coordination for International Affairs Yuji Sasaki said:

It gives me great pleasure to announce the Japan-UK telecom cooperation framework that will promote supplier diversity, 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 goal together in this new framework.

The UK has already announced similar partnerships with India and the US to work more closely together to achieve common telecommunications diversification ambitions. These will support the UK’s £250m 5G supply chain diversification strategy, which aims to create a more competitive and diverse telecoms supply market by supporting incumbent suppliers, attracting new vendors to the UK market and by accelerating the development and deployment of open interface solutions such as Open RAN.

Read it Joint announcement on telecommunications provider diversity between the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Japanese Ministry of Home Affairs and Communications (ODT, 4.11 KB)


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