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Japanese telecom company NTT and India's Telecommunications Consultants of India Limited (TCIL) have come together to cooperate in the areas of fifth-generation (5G) technology, Cybersecurity, Artificial Intelligence, and submarine cable systems.

The two-year-long extendable deal with NTT Advanced Technologies would enable both companies to co-provide services in the telecom, networking, information, and related applications to their customers.

"The parties agree to cooperate, discuss, conduct workshops, and transfer knowledge on non-exclusive basis in order to explore evolution of services such as smart cities, Cybersecurity, 5G, AI, Internet of Things (IoT), skill development, test labs and submarine cable," the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two companies read.

Through this partnership, India's state-run telecom engineering and consulting company would be able to leverage Tokyo-based NTT's system integration, networking and product management expertise within the country and other overseas initiatives through local partner Virgo Corporation.

"NTT will act as a technology provider for upcoming next generation (5G) networks, and will also boost AI-based applications, blockchain and digital healthcare services," Sanjeev Kumar, Chairman, TCIL told ETTelecom.

Kumar, however, added that the alliance between the two companies may also provide a remote possibility of bidding for Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited's (BSNL) fourth generation or 4G deployment with 5G-upgradable equipment as one of the conditions.

The partnership with the Japanese company, according to the top official, would also provide a competitive edge following a sharp cut in dependence on Chinese products and underdeveloped locally-manufactured equipment. 

Early this year, India's fourth-largest telco in its ambition to foray into commercial 4G services has invited bids for as many as 57,000 sites that can be further upgraded to next generation technology. 

"The partnership makes us committed to work together more closely towards our common goals in order to make our partnership fruitful in the specified areas," kamendra Kumar, director - Technical at TCIL said.

In 2018, BSNL had formed a similar alliance with the Japanese telecom major to work together in the areas such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, and jointly create a 5G test bed.

In April 2019, NTT-AT and Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad (IITH) inked a pact to accelerate the development of advanced technologies in an effort to accelerate industry-academia collaboration.