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Modi, Trump discuss India-US collaboration in 5G technology


Press Trust of India Osaka
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump Friday discussed measures to explore collaboration between India and the US in 5G telecommunications technology, amid pressure on New Delhi from the US to ban Chinese telecom giant Huawei over security concerns on these networks.
Modi, who is in Osaka, Japan to attend the G20 Summit, outlined that India is going to be a billion users of this technology and in that sense India is the second largest market in the world.
During the meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit, the two leaders discussed the technical and business opportunities that 5G provides for cooperation between India and the US.
"The way India moves or the way whatever choices India makes will essentially determine the way the global trend will go. And therefore the Prime Minister said it is important that we collaborate. India and the US in this regard to see how we can leverage this, the billion Indian users, India's capacity in technological development in start-up and design and silicon valley and its role in developing 5G technology for mutual benefit," Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale briefing media after the talks.
President Trump welcomed the idea and spoke about the work that American companies are now doing in 5G, Foreign Secretary said.
Trump specifically referred to Silicon Valley and said that since he had taken over as the President of US he has focused on this area, on developing America's capabilities in technology, he said.
"President Trump said that he look forward to working with us and it was again decided to continue the conversation through meetings at technical level as well as at the level of the Secretaries of State and External Affairs Minister on our side and the technical ministers on both side," Gokhale said.
"So, essentially the Prime Minister's real focus was on Make in India and the potential that this huge technology has in that goal or objective," he said.
Earlier, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday speaking at India Policy' speech in New Delhi suggested that Japan, America and India can collaborate on 5G, the fifth generation cellular network technology that provides broadband access.
The US has banned Huawei, the world's leader in telecom equipment and the number two smartphone producer, over concerns of security and Washington has been pressuring other countries to restrict the operations of the Chinese telecom firm.
India, however, is yet to take a call on whether it intends to place curbs on Huawei or allow the Chinese telecom giant to participate in the upcoming 5G trials, that are scheduled to commence in 100 days.
The US has been pressurising India to ban the Chinese company from its 5G development and deployment on the back of security concerns of Chinese surveillance on these networks.
The US had banned Huawei's products on May 21 and also barred US companies from supplying software and components to the Chinese company. Meanwhile, Australia and New Zealand have also banned Huawei from participating in their 5G trials.
Huawei has urged India to make an "informed and independent decision" on permitting its 5G trials in the country as the Chinese telecom giant reeled under pressure following the US ban.
Huawei Monday said it is ready to sign "no back door" agreement with the Indian government to discourage espionage, and other companies should also follow suit.
Huawei's business engagement in India is under scrutiny by the government after the US restricted hardware as well as software supplies to it.
The telecom department had come up with security guidelines in 2011 that mandated telecom operators to install certified equipment and devices in their network to ensure they are free from malicious softwares or bug.

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First Published: Jun 28 2019 | 3:15 PM IST

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