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Illustration: Sarah Grillo, Rebecca Zisser/Axios

All of the major U.S. carriers have plans to deploy mobile 5G networks by early next year, with some early efforts planned for later this year. But the first 5G-ready smartphones won't arrive until 2019.

The big picture: Most of us will be using 4G devices for the foreseeable future.

This year's efforts will be a mix of portable hotspots and "fixed wireless" — that is, using cellular networks to offer an alternative to wires for home broadband.

Between the lines: While all of the Big 4 carriers plan to offer 5G mobile cell service in the first half of next year — and each is making the case they will be first — each is taking a different path.

  • AT&T will offer 5G-powered mobile hotspots in a dozen cities this year before likely rolling out phones in the first half of next year.
  • Verizon plans 5G service in at least 5 cities this year — not for mobile phones but for fixed wireless.
  • Sprint owns some unique airwaves that it hopes will give it an advantage as it works on eventually rolling out smartphone service in 9 U.S. cities.
  • T-Mobile says it plans to offer 5G smartphone service next year to customers in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and Las Vegas.
    • Sprint and T-Mobile say their proposed merger, which is still awaiting regulatory approval, will accelerate 5G deployment.

The global picture is more mixed.

  • China's early investments could help spur earlier economies of scale in the global 5G device market. But in Europe, concerns remain about the business case for 5G, with investment coming more slowly.

Reality check: 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.

Go deeper: Everyone says they'll be first with 5G

Go deeper

More corporations are requiring workers to get vaccinated

Graphic: Axios Visuals

Life for the unvaccinated could get more difficult as bosses increasingly move to make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory.

The big picture: The federal Government in May said that it is legal for companies to require employees to get vaccinated for coronavirus.

White House: Over 500,000 new shots recorded Friday, highest since July 1

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The United States recorded more than half a million new COVID-19 vaccine shots on Friday, the highest number since July 1, White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.

Why it matters: The Delta variant is continuing to spread across the United States and it now comprises over 80% of the coronavirus cases in the country, Jean-Pierre said. A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that "vaccination is the most important strategy to prevent severe illness and death."

Biden to announce sanctions, other efforts to address crisis in Cuba amid protests

Photo: Sarah Silbiger/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden will announce sanctions against one entity and two Cuban individuals this afternoon and provide details on his administration's efforts to improve internet connectivity in Cuba, a senior administration official said Friday.

Why it matters: After initially hoping to place the issue on the back burner, the White House has recently ramped up its focus on Cuba amid protests on the island and in the United States, congressional backlash and political pressure from the South Florida Cuban community.

  • The president is also expected to make announcements on remittances and plans for U.S. embassy augmentation, the official said.
  • The official noted that the administration is in talks with private sector providers about the possibility of providing wireless LTE communications to the Cuban people.
  • "Given the protest of July 11, it is important for U.S. diplomats to engage directly with the Cuban people and if we can do that in a way that ensures the safety of U.S. personnel, that is something that we will undertake," he said, noting that the president would announce more details later this afternoon.

The details: The president will meet today with Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), a Cuban-American, and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), among other political and community leaders and artists.

  • Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), an outspoken voice on Cuban issues, is not expected to attend the meeting.
  • The meeting follows a series of engagements by Cedric Richmond and the Office of Public Engagement with the Cuban-American community, the official said.

What they're saying: "We're gonna do everything we can to keep Cuba on the front burner, so we can keep the conversation on the rights of the Cuban people and their rights to manifest peacefully," the official said on the call with reporters.

Be smart: Cuba is a tricky political issue for Democrats, who are split on the matter. The president was defeated by Donald Trump in South Florida during the 2020 election, and Democrats fear similar results, particularly in the upcoming midterms, if they mishandle the situation.

Go deeper: The newly announced sanctions today will follow already imposed sanctions against Cuban officials and entities allegedly responsible for human rights abuses during the government's crackdown on island-wide protests earlier this month.