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Illustration:Sarah Grillo, Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The first businesses to invest in and take advantage of 5G will be heavy industries, not consumer brands.

The bottom line: 5G will boost a range of technologies, from transportation to virtual reality, but the initial impact will be on industrial and other business uses rather than consumer applications.

Heavy industries are likely to invest in and take advantage of 5G first, according to Lux Capital partner Bilal Zuberi.

  • Oil fields, for example, could use the tech to boost their collection of data from sensors.
  • Other applications could include manufacturing (automotive, electronics, and even textiles), and agriculture, such as using sensors to monitor crops or livestock, says Promus Ventures partner Gareth Keane.
  • Companies working on self-driving tech will also look to use 5G in their development, as it can help take some load off the cars’ computers, adds Keane.
  • Functions like route planning could be done remotely and streamed to the car using 5G, though critical tasks like executing a turn or identifying road elements will likely remain in the car.

Eventually, 5G will be widely available to consumers via mobile devices. It could mean better and faster stream media on their devices like video, for example, or gathering health data from smartwatches.

Yes, but: Some experts are skeptical that there will be a widespread consumer demand for 5G just as an upgrade to existing uses. “I don’t think that’s a super compelling argument — I’m pretty happy with what I have right now,” says Keane.

Consumer adoption won’t be widespread unless and until a “killer app” for 5G emerges, Stacey Higginbotham, a journalist and expert on 5G and connectivity tech, tells Axios.

  • The iPhone (and smartphones more broadly) had that function for 4G because consumers wanted to take advantage of connecting to the Internet to use a multitude of apps and consumer rich media, she says.
  • Though 5G will make much of this faster and better, its benefits may not outweigh the costs for consumers with today’s mobile apps.

Go deeper

27 mins ago - World

Biden huddles with European allies on Ukraine ahead of Putin call

Putin in the Kremlin. Photo: Grigory Sysoyev/Sputnik via Getty

President Biden will seek to convince Russia's Vladimir Putin in a phone call Tuesday that the price of invading Ukraine would be steeper than anything he's faced in the past.

Driving the news: Biden held a call on Ukraine this evening with the leaders of France, Germany, Italy and the U.K., while Secretary of State Tony Blinken called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to offer America's "unwavering support."

Justice Department closes Emmett Till murder probe

A faded photograph is attached to the headstone that marks the gravesite of Emmett Till in Burr Oak Cemetery in Chicago. Photo: Scott Olson via Getty Images

The family of Emmett Till announced Monday that the Department of Justice has formally closed its second investigation into the 1955 murder of Emmett Till.

Why it matters: The DOJ reopened the probe in 2018 after the white woman at the center of the case reportedly recanted her allegation that Till, a Black 14-year-old, sexually harassed her prior to his murder.

GOP Rep. Devin Nunes to retire, will be CEO of Trump media org

Rep. Devin Nunes. Photo: Dylan Hollingsworth/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), who serves as the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, will retire at the end of the year and become CEO of Trump's new media organization.

Why it matters: Nunes, once considered a moderate member of the party, became one of the fiercest defenders of former President Donald Trump throughout both of Trump's impeachments and the Intel committee's Russia investigation.