Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. will invest in NEC Corp. for joint development of next-generation 5G wireless network technology, the two firms announced Thursday.

NTT will acquire a nearly 5 percent stake worth about ¥64.4 billion ($600 million) in the electronics and information technology giant, they said.

Japan has lagged in the international race to develop 5G mobile networks and base stations, while Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson, Nokia Corp. and Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies Co. are expanding their market shares.

NTT and NEC plan to make a joint effort at expanding their presence in the global market for wireless communications networks and will promote cooperation on developing future communication technologies beyond 5G, using an optical network through the capital tie-up, they said.

The technology behind 5G networks allows large amounts of data to be transmitted at extremely high speeds, allowing mobile devices to connect to almost all products and services on a wireless network.