Bharat 6G Alliance and Next G Alliance, an initiative of the US-based Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS), have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore collaboration opportunities on 6G wireless technologies in India and other parts of the world. The MoU was signed by the N. G. Subramaniam, chairman, Bharat 6G Alliance, and Susan Miller, president and chief executive officer, Next G Alliance. The MoU will facilitate aligning research and development priorities that support a common 6G vision and creating secure and trusted telecommunications as well as resilient supply chains.

Under the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGI) at the 2023 G20 Summit, India and the US announced establishing two joint task forces on advanced telecommunications, focused on open radio access network (RAN) and research and development in 5G/6G technologies. Both countries are partnering on open RAN field trials and rollouts, including scaled deployments, with operators and vendors of both markets.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joseph R. Biden welcomed the signing of the MoU between Bharat 6G Alliance and Next G Alliance as a first step towards deepening public-private cooperation between vendors and operators. They further acknowledged the setting-up of two joint task forces focused on collaboration in the field of open RAN and research and development in 5G/6G technologies. According to a joint statement by the two countries, a 5G open RAN pilot in a leading Indian telecom operator will be undertaken by a US open RAN manufacturer before field deployment. The leaders continue to look forward to the participation of Indian companies in the US Rip and Replace Program. President Biden also welcomed India’s support for a Rip and Replace pilot in the US.

Further, Prime Minister Modi and President Biden reaffirmed technology’s defining role in deepening strategic partnership and lauded ongoing efforts through the India-US Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET) to build open, accessible, secure, and resilient technology ecosystems and value chains, based on mutual confidence and trust, which reinforce our shared values and democratic institutions. The two countries intend to undertake a midterm review of iCET in September 2023 to continue to drive momentum toward the next annual iCET review, co-led by the National Security Advisors of both countries, in early 2024.

The leaders also reiterated their support for building resilient global semiconductor supply chains, noting in this respect a multi-year initiative of Microchip Technology, Inc., to invest approximately $300 million in expanding its research and development presence in India and Advanced Micro Device’s announcement to invest $400 million in India over the next five years to expand research, development, and engineering operations in India. The leaders expressed satisfaction at the ongoing implementation of announcements made in June 2023 by US-based companies including Micron, LAM Research, and Applied Materials.

Industry reactions:

Commenting on the partnership between Bharat 6G Alliance and Next G Alliance, Mahendra Nahata, managing director, HFCL, said, “We welcome the recently signed bilateral MoU between India and the US government. The signing of a MoU between the Bharat 6G Alliance and the Next G Alliance, operated by ATIS, is certainly a first step toward deepening public-private cooperation between telecom vendors and telecom operators. We look forward with optimism to further collaboration in the fields of telecom and technology. The establishment of two joint task forces will undoubtedly facilitate collaboration, research, and development in the areas of open RAN and 5G/6G technologies. We believe that open RAN will unlock a plethora of opportunities for both telecom equipment manufacturers and operators, ultimately benefiting end consumers and enhancing global connectivity.”