Apple has filed a new FCC Application to test next-generation 5G wireless networks, revealing that the firm could be preparing a future iPhone for use with the technology.
According to a new FCC (US Federal Communications Commission) document uncovered by Business Insider, Apple has filed an application to test next-generation 5G wireless networks around its headquarters in Cupertino and in Milpitas.
Apple has applied for an experimental license to test a 5G network on millimeter wave spectrum bands; to break down some of that jargon, millimeter wave bands provide a higher bandwidth and speedy throughput (achieving speeds up to 10GB/s) but are more affected by line of sight issues – and might well be impeded by buildings or other structures in dense environments. Read: Apple’s CEO has been spotted testing a new, Watch-connected glucose monitor
Apple has filed to test the technology over a period of 12 months, and will use specific testing bands (28 and 39 Ghz) which the FCC stipulated would be used for 5G testing last year.
It remains a mystery why Apple would want to test 5G technology; presently, US mobile networks such as T-Mobile and AT&T are testing 5G networks for an eventual roll-out, though Apple naturally doesn’t provide a cellular network.
A strong possibility is that Apple is testing the new network standard for introduction aboard a future iPhone – the fruits of which might enable the company to prepare one of the first smartphones to leverage the new network technology.
Another possibility is that Apple is actually exploring marketing some form of network; the company recently hired employees with experience in Earth-to-space (satellite) transmissions – which shares the same 28Ghz band the company would use to test 5G networks. Read: Apple will reportedly discontinue the iPad Mini over waning sales figures
What are your thoughts? Would an iPhone that could leverage a 5G network ahead of other smartphones be of interest to you? Be sure to let us know your opinion in the comments below!
Follow Bryan Smith on Twitter: @bryansmithSA