Apple Files FCC Application to Test Next-Generation 5G Wireless Technology

Apple is planning to test next-generation 5G wireless technologies, according to an application document filed with the FCC and discovered by Business Insider.

Apple applied for an experimental license to test wireless technology on millimeter wave spectrum bands. Millimeter wave bands provide higher bandwidth and throughput up to 10Gb/s, but are limited by line of sight issues that cause problems in dense urban areas.

"Apple Inc. seeks to assess cellular link performance in direct path and multipath environments between base station transmitters and receivers using this spectrum," Apple wrote in its application.

"These assessments will provide engineering data relevant to the operation of devices on wireless carriers’ future 5G networks," it continued.

Apple will test the technology in two locations in Milpitas and Cupertino over a period of time that is not expected to exceed 12 months, using equipment sourced from Rohde and Schwarz, A.H. Systems, and Analog Devices. Apple will use the 28 and 39 GHz bands, which were among those opened up by the FCC last year for the purpose of next-generation 5G broadband.

It’s not entirely clear why Apple is planning to test millimeter wave performance or the purpose behind the testing. Cellular carriers like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile are currently testing 5G networks in preparation to deploy the next-generation technology in the coming years.

Apple could perhaps be preparing its future iPhones to take advantage of 5G technology, or the company may have some other purpose in mind. As Business Insider points out, the 28GHz band in particular could be of interest as it has been earmarked for earth-to-space transmissions, an area Apple has been exploring based on recent hires with satellite expertise.

Tags: FCC, 5G

Top Rated Comments

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44 months ago

It’s beginning to look like DSL, cable modems, and even fiber optics to the home are circling the drain. It will be much cheaper for service providers to build a tower and put an antenna on your home than to run copper, coax, or fiber to your house. Virtually no infrastructure maintenance and very high speed. Let’s hope the engineering hurdles get overcome quickly. The vast majority of homes will do just fine with a 1gigabit wireless connection.

That's not true at all.

[LIST=1]
* The cost of building an entire network from almost the ground up would be huge. You're talking about billions of dollars to build something like this.
* It takes anywhere from 2 months to 2 years to get approval for a permit to build a wireless tower. While you may be able to get approval quickly in the middle of nowhere in Texas, it's currently around 2 years for approval in areas like San Francisco or NYC. It would be a LONG time before they could create a decent network.
* You're ignoring data caps. Right now the average home uses 190GB per month and that number is only rising as video becomes more and more popular. Which carrier is going to be cool with streaming truly unlimited data with no speed caps?
* Why would an existing provider who is currently making money and has existing infrastructure want to make this huge left turn and go a completely different direction? There's no need. At home, you don't need wireless. You aren't going anywhere.
* Wireless isn't a great solution for homes. Many currently struggle with signal issues and other problems due to the location of their home. Traditional cable modem, fiber, and DSL solve this issue by bringing reliable service into the home.

Sorry, but it'll be a very long time before we see these technologies replaced by wireless.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
44 months ago
It’s beginning to look like DSL, cable modems, and even fiber optics to the home are circling the drain. It will be much cheaper for service providers to build a tower and put an antenna on your home than to run copper, coax, or fiber to your house. Virtually no infrastructure maintenance and very high speed. Let’s hope the engineering hurdles get overcome quickly. The vast majority of homes will do just fine with a 1gigabit wireless connection.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
44 months ago
Any similarity with price will be just coincidence :D
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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44 months ago
I would throw my money to an Apple carrier.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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44 months ago
Hope it doesn't take as long as LTE did in the iPhone 5.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
44 months ago

I would throw my money to an Apple carrier.

$99.99 per month for single line, $299.99 for family plan. Starts with 8GB data, 16GB and 32GB cost you $100/$200 more per month.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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