Sep 22, 2018

How to sound smart about 5G

Illustration: Sarah Grillo, Rebecca Zisser/Axios

What's a G? The mobile industry refers to new "generations" or Gs each time it introduces a new industry-wide technical standard and rebuilds the fundamentals of mobile data networking. That's been happening at roughly a once-a-decade pace.

How it works: The initial version of 5G builds on today's LTE networks but introduces a new type of radio technology that responds more quickly, moves data faster, and uses less power.

Sound smart: Here are some key 5G terms.

  • Small cells — as the name implies, these devices for providing network service are smaller than a traditional cell tower but as a result have to be placed much more closely to one another. Critical to 5G, carriers have also been using small cells to improve their 4G LTE coverage and capacity in cities.
  • Latency — the amount of delay, or lag in response, in a network. One of 5G's main advantages, along with faster speeds once a response has started.
  • Spectrum — the frequency of airwaves used to carry, among other things, cell phone signals. 5G uses a wide swath of airwaves, including higher frequencies than have been used in the past.
  • Millimeter wave — This ultra-high-frequency spectrum is key getting the fastest speeds out of 5G. These signals are also fragile, traveling comparatively small distances and easily blocked by buildings and other objects.

Go deeper: How 5G works

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

American farmers are struggling to safely use the roads that cut through their fields; decades of neglect and lack of funding have made the routes dangerous.

The big picture: President Trump has long promised to invest billions in rural infrastructure, and his latest proposal would allocate $1 trillion for such projects. Rural America, where many of Trump's supporters live, would see a large chunk of that money.

South Korea and Italy see spikes in coronavirus cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 on Friday to 433 on Saturday, while Italy's case count rose from 3 to 62 as of Saturday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,362 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

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Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins

Bernie Sanders rallies in Las Vegas, Nevada on Feb. 21. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Center-left think tank Third Way urgently called on the Democratic front-runners of the 2020 presidential election to challenge Sen. Bernie Sanders on the South Carolina debate stage on Feb. 25, in a memo provided to Axios' Mike Allen on Saturday.

What they're saying: "At the Las Vegas debate ... you declined to really challenge Senator Sanders. If you repeat this strategy at the South Carolina debate this week, you could hand the nomination to Sanders, likely dooming the Democratic Party — and the nation — to Trump and sweeping down-ballot Republican victories in November."