Apple wants to test gigabit-capable 5G technology for iPhones

iPhone 7 with Apple logo

Apple is pursuing the faster, more stable 5G wireless connections of the future with an application to the FCC for testing millimeter wave, or mmWave, technology.

For those unfamiliar, mmWave is the undeveloped band of spectrum between 30Ghz and 300Ghz. It is extremely high frequency and allows for high-speed data rates up to 10Gbps, but has short wavelengths that stunt range, so future 5G networks will also need to make use of lower frequency bands that have longer range to provide comprehensive coverage.

Business Insider reported that the tech giant signed an application for the experimental license on May 23rd, which was made public by the FCC.

According to the application, Apple will test mmWave at two of its California faclities — in Cupertino and Milpitas — for a period “not to exceed 12 months.” The assessments, says Apple, “will provide engineering data relevant to the operation of devices on wireless carriers’ future 5G networks.”

The company also makes specific mention of the 28 and 39GHz bands, which the FCC approved for commercial use last year.

The 28Ghz band, according to the application, is allocated for earth-to-space transmissions, which may link to the news that Apple has formed a new hardware team comprised of spacecraft and satellite experts. The Bloomberg report espoused the idea that Apple may be pursuing broadband internet satellites.

This is Apple’s first public foray into 5G testing, though it did recently join a 5G development industry group.

Source: Business Insider