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With T-Mobile's launch of 5G in parts of six cities on Friday, all four major carriers now offer some form of the higher-speed service.

Yes, but: The 5G service that exists today is nascent to say the least, and each carrier offers at most a couple of devices that work on the high-speed network. True utility and mainstream adoption are still far away for most of the country.

Why it matters: 5G holds a lot of promise, from offering faster speeds to enabling smart cities and robotic surgery. All of that may come to pass, but it is very, very early.

Details: Here's what each of the major carriers is offering...

  • AT&T announced 5G service for parts of Las Vegas, bringing the total number of cities (well, portions of cities) covered to 20.
  • Sprint launched mobile 5G service on May 30 in parts of the Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and Kansas City areas, and said it plans to add service in portions of Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. in the coming weeks.
  • T-Mobile started offering service Friday in parts of Atlanta, Cleveland, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and New York.
  • Verizon has 5G service in parts of Chicago and Minneapolis and plans to be in more than 30 cities by the end of 2019.

Be smart: Think very long and hard before plunking down money on a 5G device, even if you live in one of the cities where it's partially available.

  • Also, be aware that AT&T has muddied the water by rebranding 4G service on existing devices as "5G Evolution" and showing a "5G E" logo.
  • Real 5G requires both available service and a new 5G-capable phone.

What to watch: Wall Street is closely watching for a decision from the Justice Department on the T-Mobile-Sprint merger which, if approved, would roll up significant high-speed spectrum assets under the new combined company.

  • But even if the deal is approved, the 5G network they've promised won't appear overnight, and integrating two wireless companies' infrastructures will take time.

Go deeper: Read CNET's comparison of peak speeds for the four carriers.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

Special report: Trump's U.S.-China transformation

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump began his term by launching the trade war with China he had promised on the campaign trail. By mid-2020, however, Trump was no longer the public face of China policy-making as he became increasingly consumed with domestic troubles, giving his top aides carte blanche to pursue a cascade of tough-on-China policies.

Why it matters: Trump alone did not reshape the China relationship. But his trade war shattered global norms, paving the way for administration officials to pursue policies that just a few years earlier would have been unthinkable.

McConnell: Trump "provoked" Capitol mob

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday that the pro-Trump mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 was "provoked by the president and other powerful people."

Why it matters: Trump was impeached by the House last week for "incitement of insurrection." McConnell has not said how he will vote in Trump's coming Senate impeachment trial, but sources told Axios' Mike Allen that the chances of him voting to convict are higher than 50%.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP leaders skip Trump sendoff in favor of church with Biden

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in July. Photo by Erin Scott-Pool/Getty Images

Congressional leaders, including House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, will skip President Trump's departure ceremony in Maryland tomorrow morning in favor of attending mass with incoming President Joe Biden ahead of his inauguration, congressional sources familiar with their plans tell Axios.

Why it matters: Their decision is a clear sign of unity before Biden takes the oath of office.