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Mel Evans / AP

Get ready for 5G, or at least the 5G hype.

The next generation of mobile service won't be really ready until 2020, but to get their feet wet, AT&T, Verizon and others plan to use it to deliver an alternative to home broadband in select cities.

Verizon plans to offer service to some customers in 11 cities by the middle of this year. AT&T, meanwhile, has said it will use early 5G to deliver its DirecTV Now video-over-Internet service in Austin sometime in the first half of the year.

The 5G standards haven't even been fully set, so Verizon and AT&T will use pre-standard gear as network equipment makers such as Nokia and Ericsson also look to ramp up for the next generation of cell service.

What's next: Expect the 5G hype to continue to build, with the noise level set to rise next month as the cell phone industry gathers for the annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

3 hours ago - Health

CDC extends interval between COVID vaccine doses for exceptional cases

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty

Patients can space out the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by up to six weeks if it’s "not feasible" to follow the shorter recommended window, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: With the prospect of vaccine shortages and a low likelihood that supply will expand before April, the latest changes could provide a path to vaccinate more Americans — a top priority for President Biden.