In an appealing move towards international collaborations, five countries have pledged to enhance cooperation in the telecommunication sector. The focus of this newfound alliance, aptly named the Global Coalition on Telecommunications (GCOT), will be Open RAN, 6G, and the resolution of China-related security concerns.

Through this effort, the Department for Science, Innovation, and Technology in the UK; the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications, and the Arts in Australia; the Department of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development in Canada; the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications in Japan, and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration in the US are looking to pave the way for future telecommunication technologies.

The chief aim of the GCOT is to make certain that all participating nations are synchronised in policy matters linked to existing and yet-to-come telecommunication technologies. To deliver on this promise, the coalition plans to improve information sharing, build international consensus on key telecommunication policies, foster dialogue between policymakers, industry, and academia, and spur innovation and expansion prospects for the industry.

The blueprint of the collaboration entails the establishment of a GCOT steering group that will meet bi-yearly to discuss various areas of cooperation. The broad range of this group’s agenda includes information sharing, joint funding, research and development, setting industry standards, fostering skill development, supply chain diversification, security, and the concept of 6G.

The coalition stressed in the announcement, “Ensuring the security, resilience, and innovation of telecommunications networks is a global issue. The international community needs to collaborate to cultivate diverse supply chains, secure and interoperable standards, and innovation – particularly for the burgeoning field of future telecommunications technologies such as 6G.”

The GCOT will be a platform for the exchange of information on telecommunications, supplier diversity, future telecommunications, and associated security aspects. The coalition also envisions fostering direct information sharing among industry stakeholders and addressing challenges related to research and intellectual property management.

The key areas, such as Open RAN, 6G and China, are the current concerns within the telecom industry. Even though China hasn’t been explicitly named in the announcement, current discussions around security in telecommunications primarily focus on this Asian powerhouse. The GCOT has announced its intention to strengthen collaborations. What form this alliance will take in the future remains to be seen. It could either manifest itself through a series of joint statements or become an entirely new entity in the telecommunication landscape. There is a keen interest in the industry as to what the collaboration will lead to, and we will be sure to keep a close eye on its progress.