Oct 2, 2018

A 5G reality check

Data: Strategy Analytics; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

There seems to be a new 5G announcement every week — the latest being Verizon’s first 5G commercial launch on Monday in parts of Houston, Indianapolis, L.A. and Sacramento. But roll-outs are limited in scope.

Why it matters: Despite the hype about the first 5G-capable devices hitting the market next year, it will be years before average consumers experience the new networks.

  • Even after 5G is more widely available, many devices will still rely on 4G for roaming outside of 5G coverage areas.
  • By 2023, research firm Strategy Analytics projects only 6.5% of global wireless subscriptions will be 5G, while 70% will be 4G.

The other side: Some experts predict early uses of 5G will consist of fixed wireless and industrial “internet of things” applications, rather than consumer-facing subscriptions. The key to driving consumer adoption is developing compelling uses for the networks — such as new ways to deliver content or interactive entertainment — to give consumers a reason to upgrade from 4G technologies. 

The bottom line: We’ll be in a 4G world for the foreseeable future.

Go Deeper: Special report: The next tech wave rides on 5G

Go deeper

What we're watching in 2020

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Ralph Morse/Getty Contributor, Kirn Vintage Stock/Getty Contributor

This is going to be a momentous presidential election year, as we face the very real possibility that an impeached president could be re-elected for the first time in U.S. history. But there will be plenty of other events that will matter in 2020, too.

  • Here’s what Axios’ newsletter authors and reporters will be watching — from the future of tech regulation to the impact climate change and job automation will have on all of our lives. (Sign up for their newsletters here.)
Go deeperArrowJan 1, 2020

Vox Media launches new privacy-focused ad-targeting platform

Vox Media chief revenue officer Ryan Pauley. Photo: James Bareham/Vox Media

Vox Media announced Monday the launch of Forte, a new ad-targeting data platform designed to help advertisers reach Vox's monthly audience of 125 million consumers efficiently — without using shady data practices to target them.

Why it matters: It's Vox Media's first big commercial announcement since it merged with New York Media last year, and it comes amid regulatory changes and an industry reckoning around data privacy in advertising.

Go deeperArrowDec 30, 2019

Huawei ends 2019 with record-high $122 billion in revenue

A Huawei store in Hangzhou, China on Dec. 12, 2019. Photo: Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Chinese telecom giant Huawei said Tuesday that its revenue reached $122 billion in 2019, setting a new record for the company even as it weathers a campaign by the Trump administration to block its global expansion, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: Many U.S. officials fear that Huawei's telecom equipment could be used by China for surveillance, and that a 5G equipment market dominated by Huawei would give the authoritarian government in Beijing access to massive amounts of data. The company is just one flashpoint in the escalating U.S. confrontation with China.

Go deeperArrowDec 31, 2019