Mainichi wrote that the United States, Japan, and Australia have decided to jointly fund the development of advanced 5G telecommunications networks in the South Pacific to hedge against the possibility of China seizing control of critical infrastructure in the region. The trilateral cooperation in 5G network development will be achieved through the Pacific operations of Digicel Group, an international mobile phone network and home entertainment provider headquartered in Jamaica. NEC and other Japanese companies will provide advanced equipment for 5G that offers the advantage of “Open RAN,” industry-wide standards that enable interoperability between different vendors for cellular wireless networks.
Separately, the three nations announced on Sunday that they will help with construction of a new undersea cable to improve Internet connectivity to the Pacific island nations of Micronesia, Nauru, and Kiribati. Nikkei wrote that last year’s bids for the project were invalidated because the United States, Japan, and Australia raised security concerns over the bidding in which a Chinese company had tendered the lowest bid. The United States, Japan, and Australia will provide funds to a consortium of carriers from the three Pacific island nations.