Estadão (Brazil): 5G network and national interests

According to available information, the government has still not decided whether to approve it or to postpone for 2021 the purchase of fifth generation cellular networks 5G format. The solution to this issue is important for the industrial sector, as it will improve productivity and quality. It has value for agriculture due to signal enhancement in the fields.

Regardless of the decision of the Agency when Brazil should check the current technical studies and reserve a special range of 5G for private networks. There is a demand for licensed frequencies and standardized technology, such that there is no need to pay for receiving the signal. The Agency must as soon as possible to set rules for their connection, which would make possible the coexistence of the private networks and other services without harmful for each other intersections.

It is important for Brazil question. The delay in the decision would alienate even further the introduction of new technologies such as artificial intelligence and manufacturing based on Internet of stencils of items, for example, the modernization of the Brazilian industry. According to research by the Federation of industries of são Paulo state, today less than 2% of production can relate to industry 4.0.

For anybody not a secret that the crisis between Washington and Beijing, to join the battle for world domination in the 21st century, the US put pressure on other countries that they did not buy Chinese technology, including 5G. Now the North American government sees China as the enemy in many areas — trade, technology, healthcare and the army. This opposition will grow and force other countries to take part in it on one side. A number of countries in South-East Asia and Europe does not approve of such things. Britain changed the supplier at the urging of trump. But London made it clear to China that in case of a victory on elections in the USA Joe Biden the decision on the use of Chinese technology can be changed. Germany and France, by contrast, still resist flirting with China. In a dispute concerning a question 5G China threatens to ban import of components for alternative Chinese firms Ericsson and Nokia. For Brazil they alternative suppliers, and China competitors. This could further push the adoption of new technologies. By its actions, the US is trying to prevent Chinese technology to do with the world what he did with the USA through control of the financial system.

Our economy is among the ten largest, in addition, our country is one of the three main suppliers of agricultural products in the world (33% of exported agricultural products goes to the Chinese market), all this explains Brazil’s desire to defend himself. But it is best to take an equidistant position between China and the West. In fact it is risk — guidance for the purchase of technology biased criteria, which destroy free competition and the opportunity to get the best prices and quality of the product. On the other hand, why do we always get annoyed about the criticism of the West? N-no there is no logic in denying international criticism, say, of our policy in the field of environmental protection in the Amazon. How can you resist the Western countries on the environment and thus to succumb to pressure from those same countries on the 5G?

Absolutely not in our interest to lead in South America geopolitical conflict, evidenced by some actions of the us government to curb Chinese presence in the region. Contrary to the customs of recent years, the US is trying to take the place of the head of the inter-American development Bank and may intend to influence the continent that they took in this fighting stance against China. But China is already one of the main trade partners of the region, and it should be remembered.

From the point of view of foreign policy, the delay will not affect the necessity of choosing between the US and China. Confrontation between the US and China for global technological dominance in the future will put before Brazil and other problems. The wisest decision will be from the beginning to maintain the same distance between our country and the two superpowers and to put the interests of Brazil in the first place.

USA will hardly be able to take revenge on Brazil for its decision. Unlike the UK and Germany, Brazil is not included in any international intelligence network and has no access to confidential information of the United States. A negative decision in question 5G and the support that Brazil recently supported the US proposal to exclude China from the WTO, can lead to serious economic and trade consequences for our country.

With the aim of protecting national interests, in the presence of data security threats, should be set high requirements for the security standards of all Brazilian companies, as is done in other countries. Trades, as stressed by many high-ranking officials, should be open to interested companies, do not have any restrictions and to take account of market conditions.

Communications Minister Fabio Faria came to the government with commitment, along with other Ministers to help the President Bolsonaro make the most important strategic decisions. We hope that in this case, the interests of Brazil will be put first, above ideology and geopolitics.

Rubens Barbosa — President of the Council of foreign relations and external trade (IRICE).