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Japan enlists Huawei and ZTE to help win the race for 5G, report says

5G will let you download a full film in seconds -- and a Japanese telco wants to be the first company to offer it.

Kelly Nelson/CNET

It looks like Japan could be the first country to get 5G up and running.

T-Mobile and Singapore's Singtel have begun 5G trials, showing mind-boggling speeds. But Japanese telco SoftBank has been in quiet talks with China's Huawei and ZTE to develop the company's 5G infrastructure. And much of that infrastructure is already in place, according to a report by The South China Morning Post.

The two companies are giants in China, separate from being phone brands. But they don't have a stellar reputation in the west as telecommunication firms.

Huawei is currently being subpoenaed by the US government for its dealings with North Korea and Iran, while ZTE has had restrictions placed on it by the US Commerce Department for allegedly doing business with Iran.

5G is definitely something to get excited about, with some projecting the service to be 30 to 50 times faster than 4G. HD films can be downloaded to your phone in seconds over a 5G connection.

Softbank has many competitors in the race to be the world's first 5G carrier. The United States' Verizon is aiming for "some kind of commercial deployment" of 5G by 2017 (ambitious), Australia's Telstra has goals to trial 5G in 2018 ahead of a 2020 release and South Korea's SK Telcom has declared it'll be the world's first 5G carrier.

While neither side has admitted to this project, it should be noted that both ZTE and Huawei signed memorandums with SoftBank in the middle of last year to develop new mobile communication technologies.

ZTE and Huawei didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.