Japan, Britain agree to promote open 5G communications networks

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry

The Japanese and British governments have agreed to jointly promote competition in the global market for telecommunications equipment, eyeing the establishment of open 5G communications networks, the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry has announced.

The creation of open networks will be promoted through such measures as combining equipment from multiple manufacturers to establish cell phone base stations. To that end, the two governments will cooperate in efforts to spread the 5G high-speed, high-capacity communications standard.

Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Yasushi Kaneko reached the agreement with Julia Lopez, British minister of state at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, on Friday during his visit to Europe.

The two countries will consider jointly conducting research and development on open 5G networks and related projects.

The global market for base stations is dominated by three major operators — China’s Huawei, Sweden’s Ericsson and Finland’s Nokia — and there has not been much price competition.

If a certain operator dominates communications networks, that could pose security concerns, prompting Japan and Britain to opt for open networks.