BRICS to develop Internet infrastructure

On 22-23 October, the BRICS communications ministers met in Moscow to address ways of deepening cooperation in the area of communications, de-monopolising the global IT industry and developing the Internet governance ecosystem.

Chinese Industry and IT Minister Miao Wei proposed expanding cooperation among the BRICS countries in the 5G communication standard, the internet of things and cloud technology.

In 2014, the number of Internet users in the BRICS countries reached 1.2 billion, or 40 percent of the global population, he said. However, despite the obvious success stories in this sphere, Internet infrastructure and the interconnectedness among the BRICS countries lag seriously behind developed countries.

He proposed more actively utilising the capabilities of the New Development Bank, established by the BRICS countries, to expand cooperation in these areas.

Speaking at a news conference following the first forum of the BRICS IT ministers, Russian Minister of Communications and Mass Media Nikolai Nikiforov endorsed the idea of BRICS cooperation in developing the 5G communication standard.

"I very much liked the idea of synchronising our efforts in promoting the 5G communication standard because if we do this quickly within BRICS, this will mean strengthening the position of this standard and making decisions with regard to it for virtually half the world's population," he said.

"We know little about one another; we know little about our IT companies, and even the simple establishment of contacts will be a serious breakthrough," the Russian minister added.

The ministers also agreed to create an expert group to prepare a plan of action to implement the proposals recorded in the final communiqué.

The next meeting of the BRICS communications ministers is due to take place in India.