Deep Dive - 5G

Special report: The next tech wave rides on 5G

Illustration: Sarah Grillo, Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The next generation of mobile networks will make or break the big tech ideas of the future, allowing each one to be field-tested at scale and checked off as a revolution or a dud.

Why it matters: Autonomous vehicles, smart homes, smart cities, "Internet of Things" devices, virtual and augmented reality — 5G will carry this raft of new technologies out of the labs and into our streets and homes, weaving the internet into the fabric of daily life.

When 5G will arrive

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.