We’re about to start seeing the rollout of the first 5G wireless systems, starting with Verizon in four US markets and moving through multiple carriers worldwide over the next few years. The most interesting aspects of 5G are neither its next-gen tech appeal nor the actual speeds involved. Instead, the most dramatic changes and highest stakes in this new rollout will occur behind the scenes, generally opaque to most users and media reporters. In fact, countries and companies are in a struggle for dominance – and even survival – based on the outcomes of this new competition, in ways that were not true for any earlier wireless standards. While most consumers think of 5G as a chance to get better reception, national leaders and corporate CEOs see their futures made or threatened by who will win in the next couple of years.