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Photo: John MacDougall/AFP via Getty Images

T-Mobile on Thursday pledged that 200 million people in the U.S. will have access to a fast version of 5G wireless service by the end of the year, a far larger number than can be expected from AT&T or Verizon.

Why it matters: Long the upstart challenger, T-Mobile has a strong network story when it comes to 5G, thanks to its possession of a key swath of mid-band spectrum —which offers a good balance of faster speed and decent coverage compared to other chunks of airwaves.

The big picture: Each of the major carriers is making fresh 5G commitments this week, increasing the number of people they hope to reach with different flavors of the high-speed wireless technology.

  • Verizon detailed its 5G plans on Wednesday, including how it plans to use the $53 billion in spectrum it bought in a recent government auction as the airwaves become available. It plans to offer midband service in 46 markets this year, per CNET.
  • AT&T holds its investor event Friday. It has been faster than Verizon at rolling out broad 5G coverage, but not as fast as T-Mobile. Also, like Verizon, it is relying on just-acquired midband spectrum to build out its network.

Meanwhile: T-Mobile also boosted its expected cost savings from the Sprint merger. Executive VP John Freier said that won't necessarily mean job cuts, as much of the savings have come from network redundancies and closing retail locations.

  • T-Mobile plans to open at least 200 more stores this year as it expands into more rural and suburban areas, Freier said.

Go deeper on 5G technology with our video short course.

Go deeper

57 mins ago - World

Scoop: U.S. and Israel to hold strategic Iran talks on Tuesday

Jake Sullivan. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty

Top national security officials from the U.S. and Israel will convene virtually on Tuesday for a second round of strategic talks on Iran, three Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: The talks come two days after an explosion at an Iranian nuclear facility that experts consider a likely act of Israeli sabotage, and one day before the U.S. resumes indirect nuclear talks in Vienna over a return to the 2015 nuclear deal — a prospect that has raised anxiety levels in Jerusalem.

Updated 1 hour ago - Axios Twin Cities

Police: Officer who shot Daunte Wright accidentally pulled gun instead of taser

The officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, outside Minneapolis Sunday appeared to have inadvertently pulled out her gun instead of a taser, police said.

Driving the news: "This appears to me, from what I viewed in the officer's reaction and distress immediately after, that this was an accidental discharge that resulted in the tragic death of Mr. Wright," Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon told reporters Monday.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: The warning signs of a longer pandemic — CDC director: Answer to Michigan COVID-19 surge is "to close things down."
  2. Vaccines: Former FDA chief offers reality check on vaccine passports.
  3. Economy: Jobs growth could be curbed by demands for higher wages.
  4. World: Facebook to push notifications about vaccine eligibility to 20 countries outside of the U.S. — Brits flock to pubs for first time in months as U.K. lockdown eases.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.