International meetings between federal regulatory bodies are rather common. Hence, the recent visit by Ajit Pai, the Chairman of the United States’ Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) is generally nothing out of ordinary.
However, the meetup comes at a very interesting time as U.S and China are currently locked in a trade war which has since affected the tech world especially when U.S decided to impose a major sanction on Huawei on the ground of security concerns. Despite the sanction, our Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir stood his ground by saying that Malaysia will continue to utilize Huawei’s technologies.
— Al-Ishsal Ishak (@ishsal) December 16, 2019
Given the trade dispute alongside the fact that both of these countries are two of Malaysia’s largest trade partners, some might be wondering what were the topic that were discussed by Ajit and the leadership team of MCMC. While we might not get to know the full extent of their discussion, the Chairman of MCMC, Al-Ishsal Ishak has tweeted that 5G, rural broadband deployment, and broadband pricing were among the topic of the discussion.
An excellent discussion in Kuala Lumpur about the telecom issues confronting Malaysia, including representatives of @Maxis, @Celcom, Telecom Malaysia, @USASEANBusiness, @StateCIP, @usembassykl, and @FCC. Much we can learn from each other on #5G and infrastructure deployment! pic.twitter.com/OZmkR0CEvn
— Ajit Pai (@AjitPai) December 16, 2019
Interesting enough, Ajit has also spent time meeting with representative of local telcos including Celcom, Maxis, and TM. Based on the tweet above, it seems that the discussions revolve around 5G and infrastructure as well.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of FCC also made a rather interesting remark to local reporters after the meetup yesterday:
I am not singling out any country, or company, but there is an importance to make sure that the equipment and services that go into your 5G networks come from trusted vendors.
That is the best way we think, to make sure the people in your country benefit, not just from strong, but also safe and secure networks.
Considering the main supplier of our 5G infrastructure, this statement doesn’t strike us as surprising.