I haven't been on a plane in a while, so I thought I'd see if the world has made any big advances in that issue where you arrive 15 minutes early and then spend 45 minutes waiting for a gate. Also, I'm headed to D.C. to connect with my Axios colleagues.
Meanwhile, if you're a student or young professional in New York, you can have a drink with Axios tomorrow evening, Dec. 5. Free drinks, snacks, networking and a conversation about the future of news and media is worthy of your time. Bring a friend and RSVP here.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo, Rebecca Zisser/Axios
The first 5G networks will start showing up in the coming months and the rhetoric is heating up.
Yes, but: 5G's arrival in your life will depend on your phone, city and choice of carriers — and for most Americans, the new network lies beyond the immediate future.
Why it matters: 5G networks will offer faster speeds and shorter delays, but will require you to purchase a new cellphone and have service available in your area. Some phone makers, like Apple, may not even support 5G until 2020.
What's happening: Next year all 4 major U.S. carriers will have 5G service available in some cities, with support for a range of smartphones.
What's not happening: Nationwide 5G coverage will take some time. Also, don't expect a 5G-compatible Apple iPhone next year. Apple has always preferred to take their time with new cellular technologies, allowing the standards to mature, battery-life impact to be minimized, and coverage to be more widespread.
The latest: Verizon and Samsung announced Monday that they will work together to make a flagship 5G phone available in the first half of next year.
What's next: Expect fresh details on 5G plans this week as Qualcomm hosts a technology summit in Maui (livestream here). Qualcomm is set to show off the chip that will power the earliest 5G phones, while leading carriers will have live demo networks to show 5G in action.
"We're going to show this technology is here," Qualcomm's Cristiano Amon tells Axios. "5G is here. We are just months away."
The bottom line: Network transitions often shake up competitive races in tech, and how 5G shakes out will be especially important in the battle between Apple and Android. Just how big that gap will be between having/not having 5G in 2019 will depend on several factors, including...
A potential recession, combined with increasing regulatory threats for some of the biggest tech companies, could make for a difficult 2019 for the tech industry.
Why it matters: The biggest tech companies have already raked in billions of dollars in profits and benefited from major tax cuts that aren't going to be repeated, so next year isn't likely to be better for them financially.
Big Tech is closing out a contentious year in Washington. A slowing economy could increase the pressure on Congress and regulators to take action.
"People look for scapegoats in a bad economy. And with big tech already on its heels, a downturn probably would feed arguments that the largest internet companies are too big and need to be reined in."— Paul Gallant, analyst, Cowen Washington Research Group
Go deeper: Axios' David McCabe, Sara Fischer and Courtenay Brown have more here.
Verizon's decision to ban adult content on Tumblr was the talk of Twitter on Monday, with a range of mockery, criticism and derision.
What they're saying:
The bottom line: Kidding aside, Tumblr — which hosted much of the web's alternative culture before Yahoo (and then Verizon) acquired it — will be losing a big part of its remaining identity.
Microsoft last summer promised to partner with small, rural ISPs to make broadband available to 2 million people who don’t have access.
Background: The program, known as Airband, would use a mix of technologies, including vacant broadcast airwaves called TV White Spaces, to cobble together connectivity.
Today, Microsoft’s Brad Smith is in D.C. to announce the company is raising its goal to reach 3 million rural Americans by 2022, Axios' Kim Hart reports.
Beyond building out connectivity, the consumer devices necessary to tap into the broadband networks also must be affordable.
Be smart: Microsoft’s Airband plan still needs a green light from the FCC to make use of all the unlicensed white spaces airwaves it needs to realize its goal.
Superpedestrian, a Boston-based startup best known for its Copenhagen Wheel, a system that turns a regular bike into an electric one, now wants to sell a commercial-grade electric scooter to fleet operators, Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva reports.
The big picture: When scooters suddenly took over U.S. streets earlier this year, setting up a scooter rental company looked easy, thanks to manufacturers like Segway-Ninebot.
But that’s not so much the case any more, given the growing number of problems with the vehicles, including faulty scooters that were recalled, designs that couldn't sustain commercial use, and supply shortages.
Access to a large supply of scooters is becoming a real advantage for companies, and some are coming up with creative business models, such as franchising them.
Go deeper: Kia has more here.
Imagine if your cellphone was at 10% battery level and it lasted 8 days. Now you understand Hanukkah.— I saw this on a friend's Facebook feed, so I don't know the origin. But it's too perfect not to include.