United States —
The FCC has granted approval to Apple for an experimental license which will enable the company to test 5G network technology. The approval specifically covers short-range millimeter wave spectrum in the 28 GHz and 39GHz bands. The FCC earmarked these chunks of spectrum last year so that companies could start testing 5G technology.
It was reported a few months back that Apple had applied for the experimental license to test 5G technology. The company is going to conduct tests with the aim of providing engineering data “relevant to the operation of devices on wireless carriers’ future 5G networks.”
The data will obviously help Apple as well. It goes without saying that the company is going to release a 5G iPhone at some point in the future. The data will help it prepare for that day.
It’s interesting to note that Apple is testing high-frequency bands because while carriers like T-Mobile and Sprint have recently made announcements related to their own 5G tests, none of them have decided to explore the millimeter wave band for 5G tests.
For its part, T-Mobile is going to focus its 5G network on the 600Mhz spectrum while Sprint will be working on the 2.5GHz band. It’s not surprising to see such split strategies for 5G testing given that there’s no 5G standard in place as yet.