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India, Japan sign pact to work on 5G, telecom, smart cities

A telecom tower

India and Japan signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) last week to work together in the field of Information and Communications Technologies. The pact will focus on aspects like 5G, telecom security, and submarine optical fibre cable systems to the islands of India, among others, according to a press release by the government. The two countries will also work on smart cities, high altitude platform for broadband in unconnected areas, disaster management, and public safety. Apart from respective governments, entities such as C-DOT and ITI Limited along with industry players from Japan will also participate in the agreement, the government said. The MoU was signed by IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, and the Japanese Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications Takeda Ryota. This MoU comes as both India and Japan — part of the Quad grouping, along with Australia and United States — are currently at odds with China. India has been busy with a series of clashes along its border with China in Ladakh. Japan, meanwhile, is facing Chines intrusions in the Senkaku Islands. Concerns around Huawei’s 5G tech The pact also comes amid growing scepticism against Chinese technology companies, particularly Huawei's 5G technology. The US recently has already Huawei and ZTE, two Chinese companies with significant prowess in 5G, as “national security threats”. The US claimed the companies were likely cooperating with Chinese intelligence services, and had close ties to the country’s military as well. Since 2019, the US Department of Commerce has added Huawei and over a hundred…

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