In a new deal signed on Friday, the UK and Japan agreed to collaborate to expand the technologies on which telecom networks are built.

Julia Lopez, the UK Minister for Digital Infrastructure, and Yuji Sasaki, Japan’s vice-minister of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, agreed to several collaborative efforts to reduce the global over-reliance on a limited number of technology suppliers.

The nations agreed to share more information on respective policy approaches and plan to build a more diverse and competitive global market for telecoms equipment like wireless networks and 5G.

Betting on a better future

They also committed to collaborating on research and development, particularly in open and interoperable network technologies such as Open RAN, which allows telecom carriers to combine technical equipment from various vendors in the same network.

To develop future technologies such as 6G, the governments will share information and enable cooperative efforts between academic and business communities in both nations.

According to Lopez, the collaboration offers significant new opportunities for both nations to interact to achieve their common aim of a more protected, competitive, and advanced telecommunications supply chain.

The US and India are open to the idea

Similar collaborations between the United Kingdom, India, and the United States have been announced to promote telecommunications diversity.

The UK government is expecting that these measures will help it realize its £250 million 5G Supplier Chain Diversification Strategy, which aims to make the telecoms supply sector more competitive and varied.

According to the government, this will entail supporting current vendors, enticing new suppliers to the UK market, and speeding up the development and implementation of open-interface technologies like Open RAN.