And on Thursday, NEC announced a tie-up with Japanese operator NTT intended in part to speed up the development of a 5G network.
Britain's government has reportedly asked both NEC and Samsung to take part in demonstrations as it looks to diversify its 5G options.
Washington has pushed allies to bar Huawei, a Chinese telecom giant, from building next-generation 5G mobile networks, claiming its equipment can be used to spy for Beijing.
With growing pressure to keep China's Huawei out of 5G network development, it could be time for firms like Japan's NEC and South Korea's Samsung to shine.
"Plus NEC will need to build operator trust that they will be there to support them in five to 10 years as those 5G networks evolve."