Brazil Partners with China Eyeing 5G and Beyond

April 17, 2023

Written by Caio Castro
CATEGORY: Exclusives

The Brazilian government has signed a series of Memorandums of Understanding with China to advance research and development of telecommunications technology, including 6G, semiconductors, IoT, and quantum computing.

The partnership was made official during the first visit of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to China since being elected last October. The package encompasses other areas such as industry and agriculture.

The Memorandums include the exchange of knowledge about telecommunications policies, regulations and technical standards. They also aim to further insert Brazil in international discussions, specifically at the ITU and the G20.

One of the agreements sets out the exchange of information about “the development of 5G mobile communications technology, as well as key technologies and applications for the next generation of communications.”

The Brazilian mission included a visit to Huawei’s Research and Development Centre last week. The Chinese company walked the president through some of the use cases and research it has been carrying out, including 5G and VR.

“This partnership is important to Brazil’s technological development since it will promote cooperation between both countries’ research institutes. I’m sure this collective effort will directly contribute to one of our main goals: bringing digital and social inclusion to all Brazilians,” said Juscelino Filho, Minister of Communications.

Going to the Sky

Credit: Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation of Brazil

While most of the agreements on telecommunications regard terrestrial operations, the Brazilian government also signed a partnership to go to the sky – literally.

Both countries will cooperate in developing, manufacturing, launching and operating CBERS-6. This Brazilian satellite promises to enhance the monitoring of the Amazon Forest, complementing data provided by current satellites by using new technology. The Ministry of Science expects to launch CBERS-6 by 2028.

“President’s Lula visit establishes a new level of relationship between Brazil and China, aiming at a deeper cooperation policy. […] The highest point of Brazil’s agenda [of defending the national interest] is the signing of several instruments of scientific and technological cooperation,” said Luciana Santos, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation.

Deepening the Bonds

One of the main goals of the Brazilian government is to develop the country’s self-sufficiency in the telecommunications sector.

According to a report issued in January by the Ministry of Foreign Trade, telecommunications equipment was among the top ten items imported in 2022, totalling USD 6,6 billion. There was no technology item among the most exported products.

China is Brazil’s biggest trade partner, accounting for 27.2% of the exports and 22.6% of the imports.

Featured image by Ricardo Stuckert/PR

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