Apple has permission to test 5G internet for future iPhones

Apple has officially been granted FCC approval for an experimental license to test 5G data technology — specifically in the short-range millimeter wave spectrum in the 28GHz and 39GHz bands, as reported by DSLReports. The FCC portioned off those chunks of spectrum last summer for companies to begin testing 5G technology, so it makes sense that Apple would want to start exploring 5G, especially given that it’s a major player in the world of mobile data due to the sheer weight of the iPhone in the market.

Apple applied for the experimental license earlier this year with the goal of “provid[ing] engineering data relevant to the operation of devices on wireless carriers’ future 5G networks.” In other words, to start preparing for the eventual 5G iPhone that will no doubt exist one day.

The fact that Apple is exploring the millimeter wave band for 5G tests is interesting though, given that recent 5G announcements from Sprint and T-Mobile have both shied away from the high-frequency bands that Apple is testing. T-Mobile will be focusing its 5G network (at least in part) on the longer-range and lower-frequency 600MHz spectrum, while Sprint will be looking to launch in the 2.5GHz band.

That said, as I am forced to constantly repeat, there still is no formal, agreed-upon 5G standard yet, and it’s possible and even likely that whatever we do end up with will combine both high-frequency millimeter wave bands and more traditional short-range low-frequency transmissions, along with a host of other new technologies that will improve data speed.


I would think, at this point, 5G could be a Frankenstein of network technologies that produce the maximum bandwidth/throughput. We need to quickly get into a world where physical lines are not needed for the average users (Nordic countries for example), which can help the environment and cut down costs for building.

Apple will be one of the first to test it and the last to actually include it in a phone.

While other companies will be the first to offer and charge extra for it on non-existent networks. Good for them!

That’s actually a good strategy

Nah! Other companies are already testing it from quite some time.

If it means avoiding scenarios like the HTC Thunderbolt then I’m ok with that.

5G is a solution to a non-existent problem. All while real problems remain unaddressed.

I wish companies would just focus on better LTE coverage and lowering costs to reduce prices. Building out a fancy new network would cost a ton and bring no real benefit. LTE is fast enough, but most coverage maps are a lie when your service is unusable the moment you walk into a building. This is true in my rural Pennsylvania hometown and in my Brooklyn apartment. Instead of making existing networks better, the asshats at the big 4 carriers will probably start a marketing war with each other about 5G, just convert their existing towers, and provide no new value to anyone. They’ll tout their lightning fast speed and leave out the fact that you only get those speeds when standing right next to the tower, and no real problems were actually solved.

I take you’re an expert in telecom and networks, right?

He doesn’t have to be…

5G is a bit different than LTE.. so yea, it’s not really as easy as just upgrading existing networks. It could very well solve the indoor coverage he’s mentioning.

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