An application has been filed by Apple to test a next-level wireless technology – commonly referred to as 5G – which has the potential to radically raise the bandwidth and speed of cellular connections. The application for the experimental license was disclosed in May 2017 by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.
“Apple Inc. seeks to assess cellular link performance in direct path and multipath environments between base station transmitters and receivers using this spectrum. These assessments will provide engineering data relevant to the operation of devices on wireless carriers’ future 5G networks,” the application read.
Testing will be performed in two California locations: in Milpitas along Yosemite Drive; and on Mariana Avenue at Apple’s original headquarters, adjacent to 1 Infinite Loop, where Apple currently makes its home.
The 28 GHz band and the 39 GHz bands are specifically mentioned in the application. These are the same frequency bands that were approved by the FCC for commercial use of 5G applications in 2016. Apple’s testing uses technology built by Analog Devices, A.H. Systems and Rohde & Schwarz. Mark Neumann, a regulatory engineer, is the primary contact.
As it becomes more readily available, millimeter wave technology has an advantage of over current technologies because it shortens the time it takes for data to transfer. This will allow device access to more reliable bandwidth over cell networks than is currently available. And it has the potential to increase network speed and bandwidth. This will make accessing the internet on mobile devices much faster than with current wireless technologies.
The 28 GHz band is capable of transmitting between earth and space. An interesting development made even more compelling by Apples recent recruitment of ex-Google satellite executives for an unknown project.