5g

FCC's Pai to face lawmakers on sought-after 5G spectrum

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The debate over a proposed private sale of valuable airwaves that are key to companies' 5G plans will get aired before Congress Thursday.

Why it matters: Midband airwaves are coveted for 5G service because they can carry more data than lower-frequency spectrum while traveling greater distances than high-frequency airwaves.

  • Satellite companies, wireless providers and nearly every other sector the FCC regulates have been wrangling for months over midband spectrum known as the "C-band."
  • A Morgan Stanley research note this month estimated the C-band spectrum is worth between $10 billion and $30 billion.

China is eroding the U.S. edge in AI and 5G

An illustration of a lightbulb with the stars of the chinese flag
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The U.S. has the upper hand in pivotal emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and quantum computing, in part because American universities and companies boast world-class talent. But experts say its dominance could soon slip.

Why it matters: The country that reigns in AI, 5G or quantum cryptography will likely have a huge military and economic advantage over its adversaries for years to come and will get to shape the technologies as they are implemented the world over.