Jan 28, 2018

How 5G works

Qualcomm touts 5G wireless during an event at CES this year. Photo: David Becker/Getty Images

5G wireless networks, a segment of the wireless infrastructure that Trump's National Security Council may seek to nationalize, are expected to deliver data up to 100 times faster than any mobile technology available today.

Why it matters: 5G — shorthand for the fifth generation of wireless networks — will enable a wide range of products, including self-driving cars, virtual reality and other parts of the growing Internet of Things that all rely on super-fast connectivity.

How it works
  • Data moves quickly along high frequency airwaves but those airwaves get stopped by objects in their path. That means that providers like AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile would have to use collections of smaller transmitters to deliver those revolutionary speeds to phones and other devices rather than the classic large cell towers, which have a longer range.
  • The wireless industry forecasts that building nationwide 5G networks will require 300,000 new cell cites (the size of pizza boxes) to be erected by 2020. For comparison, there are currently 150,000 cell towers in existence today.
  • Providers could also build 5G networks using more reliable, but lower-frequency, airwaves. This is the chunk of spectrum that the Trump administration is talking about nationalizing.
What it does

The promise of 5G is not just that consumers will have faster data speeds, but offers two other key benefits:

  1. Less lag as data moves across the network. That makes it more feasible, for example, to control an industrial machine remotely or to communicate information in real time to a self-driving car.
  2. While 4G was aimed primarily at smartphones, 5G is designed to handle phones plus all manner of Internet-of-things devices. Some of these devices need very fast connections, while others are tiny sensors that need only a trickle of communication.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 665,164 — Total deaths: 30,852 — Total recoveries: 140,225.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 124,665 — Total deaths: 2,191 — Total recoveries: 1,095.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump announces new travel advisories for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, but rules out quarantine enforcement. Per the CDC, residents of those states must now "refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days," with the exception of critical infrastructure industry workers.
  4. State updates: Alaska is latest state to issue a stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month and has moved its presidential primary to June 23. Some Midwestern swing voters who backed Trump's handling of the virus less than two weeks ago are balking at his call for the U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter.
  5. World updates: In Spain, over 1,400 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
  6. 🚀 Space updates: OneWeb filed for bankruptcy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  7. Hollywood: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have returned to U.S. after being treated for coronavirus.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Coronavirus updates: Global death toll tops 30,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The novel coronavirus has now killed more than 30,000 people around the world — with Italy reporting over 10,000 deaths, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: The number of deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. surpassed 2,000 on Saturday. The United States leads the world in confirmed coronavirus infections — more than 124,000 by early Sunday. The number of those recovered from the virus in the U.S. passed the 1,000-mark on Saturday evening.

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Gilead expands access to experimental coronavirus drug in emergency cases

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Gilead Sciences CEO Daniel O’Day said in an open letter Saturday the company is expanding access to its experimental anti-coronavirus drug remdesivir to include severely ill COVID-19 patients.

The big pig picture: President Trump has called the antiviral drug "promising," but the results of six clinical trials on this investigational medicine are still being conducted, so its effectiveness the treatment of the novel coronavirus has yet to be proved. The World Health Organization is involved in the tests.

Go deeperArrow3 hours ago - Health