Apple Files FCC Application to Test Next-Generation 5G Wireless Technology
May 23, 2017 2:41 pm PDT by Juli Clover
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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10 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.
Rating: 15 Votes
10 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.
Rating: 5 Votes
10 months ago
I would throw my money to an Apple carrier.
Rating: 4 Votes
10 months ago
Any similarity with price will be just coincidence :D
Rating: 4 Votes
10 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.
Rating: 3 Votes
10 months ago
Hope it doesn't take as long as LTE did in the iPhone 5.
Rating: 3 Votes
10 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.


We haven't even started to tap the possibilities with fiber. Copper and coax might soon be at their limits, but fiber can be pushed so much further.

255Tbps: World’s fastest network could carry all of the internet’s traffic on a single fiber.

https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/192929-255tbps-worlds-fastest-network-could-carry-all-the-internet-traffic-single-fiber

Let's see 5G... or 6G... or 10G keep up. Long live fiber optics.
Rating: 2 Votes
10 months ago
There are several reasons for why cellular can't and shouldn't replace DSL/DOCSIS/Fiber to homes. First off, most wireless connections will work in half-duplex so you will loose half the bandwidth when you have traffic going each way on the same connection/frequency.

You also have a huge problem in terms of scaling and competition on wireless. 5G will utilise 200MHz width, meaning it will eat up a whole bunch of the spectrum in order to achieve high speeds and lower latency. What does this mean? Well, you can't have a bunch of competing 5G networks utilising 200MHz width in the same areas without having interference.

Compared to cable, where everyone is fully able and capable of putting addition cords in the ground (or through the air) and thus get themselves their own and fully working solution that can compete with whomever is already established in the area you can't have the same freedom with wireless as it relies on specific frequencies which have to be allowed and approved for use in the first place, and you simply can't have too many companies occupying the same space as that will cause interference and degradation.

And the more we push the speeds, the wider spectrum is being used so for every new technology that brings us improved speeds it keeps swallowing additional frequencies in order to aggregate the improved speeds and throughput. In other words, we get less space for multiple carriers to compete in the same areas without overlapping and causing interference.


One also have to remember the major drawback that exists with wireless connectivity. You have no control over overall network load, what throughput you will actually end up having at your specific location and that relies heavily on the signal strength you get, the current load on the network, the amount of active users etc.. And you can bet that no carrier will sell you a specific speed, they will only sell you a "up to XXX mbps" so even when you think you pay for that sweet 500 mbps, you have nothing to say when you suddenly drop down to 20 mbps when you need the speed the most etc... Latency is also much higher, making it less ideal for latency sensitive tasks like gaming, remote streaming etc..

Not to mention the fact that all carriers apply data caps on wireless connections. Most homes see downloads way above 100 GB per month. How much will this cost? And who wants to be in a situation where they have to be concerned about their data usage at home?
Rating: 2 Votes
10 months ago
I'm in Canada where our highest LTE plans are close to 10 GB with text and calling which is around $90 if you argue for hours and threaten to leave the carrier in question. I hope 5G takes off in the US... it could help us in the end. We'd kill our 6 GB plans in seconds with 5G as we don't have unlimited options on the larger carriers.

Meanwhile in Toronto, internet uses you :mad:
Rating: 2 Votes
10 months ago

We'd kill our 6 GB plans in seconds with 5G as we don't have unlimited options on the larger carriers.

If your data use habits don't change, then you wouldn't have to worry about going through your 6GB plans too quickly.

I agree with you about the carriers takin advantage though. Even at a discount, I feel like my families cellular plan is way too much money for what we get.

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.


I am not so sure about that, at least in the US.

Two big reasons why this wouldn't happen. One being that is these speeds are theoretical. Majority of users don't even come close to the fastest theoretical LTE speeds. In the US, average LTE speeds are a tiny fraction to the maximum theoretical.

Another reason being the current data caps that wireless carriers currently have would be way too low for even a light internet user at home.

Also, what this poster said:

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.

Rating: 1 Votes

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