Apple gets approval for 5G trials in the US
28 July 2017 | James Pearce
The Federal Communications Commission has rubber-stamped an application from Apple to begin testing 5G technology in the US, using the 28GHz and 39GHz frequency bands.
Apple applied for the license a few months ago, and now the iPhone-maker has been given the thumbs up to test millimetre wave (mmWave) trials in two locations in California until August 2018.
According to DSLReports, the application says: “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 FCC has made a number of spectrum bands available for 5G trials, with carriers including AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint all looking to launch the service within the next few years.
What Apple plans to use 5G for remains unclear. It could just be testing the technologies against its own development plans for the iPhone, which would make sense – Apple will undoubtedly seek to positions its devices as one of the first, or best, to support 5G.
However, 5G is initially expected to be used for fixed wireless access services – Arqiva in the UK just launched one of Europe’s first tests alongside Apple rival Samsung – according to a number of people within the industry.