India, Japan sign MoU to enhance cooperation in ICT, including 5G tech

S Ronendra Singh/Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on January 15, 2021

Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister for Communications, Electronics and IT   -  PTI

India and Japan on Friday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to enhance cooperation in the field of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), including 5G standardisation.

As per the agreement, both the countires will enhance mutual cooperation in the field of 5G technologies, telecom security, submarine optical fibre cable system to islands of India, spectrum management, smart cities, high-altitude platform for broadband in unconnected areas, disaster management and public safety.

It has been agreed that apart from Ministry-level cooperation, government of India organisations such as C-DOT and ITI Limited, along with industry partners from Japan, will also be part of this cooperation.

The MoU was signed between Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister for Communications, Electronics and IT and the Japanese Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications Takeda Ryota, through a video conference.

Beyond 5G too

“The new agreement will bring the cooperation between Japan and India in the field of ICT to another level, which has already been close under the Japan-India ICT Comprehensive Cooperation Framework of 2014,” a Japanese government official told BusinessLine.

The official said the new MoU is the first to be signed by the Ministers of Japan and India, and sets a framework where Japan and India, as trusted partners, will work in the ICT field.

Speaking of 5G networks, the official said, “In Japan, various efforts are made to utilise 5G in agriculture, transportation and disaster risk reduction. Japan is willing to share experience and expertise and work together towards the successful introduction of 5G in India.”

“Security and trust are crucial for the ICT infrastructure such as submarine cable networks and 5G. Japan and India will also collaborate for beyond 5G (B5G),” the official further said.

He also mentioned that Japanese firm NEC has already laid the submarine optical fibre cables between Chennai and Andaman & Nicobar, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in August.

The government is planning to connect Lakshadweep with submarine optical fibre cable as well. “As next year marks the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and India, we would like to take concrete steps for enhancing cooperation towards the commemorative year,” the official added.

Speaking on the occasion, Prasad said, “India holds great potential for Japanese investors in 5G and 5G based services, IoT, digital health technologies, etc.”

He urged the Japanese electronics industry to invest in India.

Published on January 15, 2021

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