Illustration: Sarah Grillo, Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The next generation of mobile networks will make or break the big tech ideas of the future, allowing each one to be field-tested at scale and checked off as a revolution or a dud.

Why it matters: Autonomous vehicles, smart homes, smart cities, "Internet of Things" devices, virtual and augmented reality — 5G will carry this raft of new technologies out of the labs and into our streets and homes, weaving the internet into the fabric of daily life.

Between the lines: Yes, 5G will mean faster data on phones. But it will also pave the way for billions of connected devices — everything from sensors that can measure water levels to surgery done remotely over the internet.

5G offers three upgrades to its predecessor, today's 4G (or LTE) networks:

  1. Minimal delay, or low latency, for real-time applications like gaming or remote piloting.
  2. Long battery life, for those days when you can't find a charger — and for devices that need to sit untended in the field.
  3. High speeds, for no-wait viewing of high-definition video and transfers of enormous hunks of data.

The big picture: 5G will take a long time to roll out. It's as easy to overestimate this transformation in the near term as it is to underestimate its impact over 5 to 10 years — just as, 10 years ago, it was hard to believe that the last generations of network-tech upgrades would make streaming anywhere, navigation everywhere, ride sharing, and mobile transactions our new normal.

What’s next: In the same way that 4G led to a never-forecast world of Uber, Spotify, and Square, we don’t know what new companies and services 5G will inspire.

  • And the providers don’t care. They’ve learned that their job is to keep creating new technical realities that entrepreneurs and engineers will inevitably explore and exploit.

The bottom line: Last time around, the arrival of a new network generation moved the internet off our desktops and into our palms and pockets. This time, it will transform the network from something we carry around to something that carries us around.

Worthy of your time:

  1. Read the full deep dive
  2. When 5G will arrive
  3. How to sound smart about 5G
  4. The global race for 5G
  5. Why 5G keeps security experts awake
  6. Smart-city tech sees a jumpstart from 5G
  7. Cities and feds clash over 5G costs
  8. 5G's great divide
  9. The fight for airwaves
  10. 5G's first adopters

Go deeper

Scoop: How the White House is trying to trap leakers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has told several White House staffers he's fed specific nuggets of information to suspected leakers to see if they pass them on to reporters — a trap that would confirm his suspicions. "Meadows told me he was doing that," said one former White House official. "I don't know if it ever worked."

Why it matters: This hunt for leakers has put some White House staffers on edge, with multiple officials telling Axios that Meadows has been unusually vocal about his tactics. So far, he's caught only one person, for a minor leak.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 12,813,864 — Total deaths: 566,790 — Total recoveries — 7,046,535Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 3,286,025 — Total deaths: 135,089 — Total recoveries: 995,576 — Total tested: 39,553,395Map.
  3. States: Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases with over 15,000 — Miami-Dade mayor says "it won't be long" until county's hospitals reach capacity.
  4. Public health: Ex-FDA chief projects "apex" of South's coronavirus curve in 2-3 weeks — Coronavirus testing czar: Lockdowns in hotspots "should be on the table"
  5. Education: Betsy DeVos says schools that don't reopen shouldn't get federal funds — Pelosi accuses Trump of "messing with the health of our children."

11 GOP congressional nominees support QAnon conspiracy

Lauren Boebert posing in her restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, on April 24. Photo: Emily Kask/AFP

At least 11 Republican congressional nominees have publicly supported or defended the QAnon conspiracy theory movement or some of its tenets — and more aligned with the movement may still find a way onto ballots this year.

Why it matters: Their progress shows how a fringe online forum built on unsubstantiated claims and flagged as a threat by the FBI is seeking a foothold in the U.S. political mainstream.