5G broadband is a step closer
And Apple has a license to begin testing its technology for it
Apple has received the go-ahead to test 5G broadband connectivity, the first step in a long journey towards the next generation of wireless comms. Granted by the FCC just a few months after the company applied for it, the license enables Apple to conduct trials with 5G millimeter wave technology on the 28GHz and 39GHz frequency bands.
The move comes shortly after the regulatory agency opened up the commercial sale of certain 5G bands, with mobile carriers such as AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile now making plans of their own to offer consumer-wide 5G within the next two years or so.
Apple isn’t alone in testing millimeter wave (mmWave) broadband; Google, Facebook, and most of the aforementioned carriers are also trialing it. Compared to existing 4G technology, mmWave transmits at higher frequencies and with a smaller wavelength, which means latency is reduced while transmission capacity is expanded. It’s not a magic bullet, as issues such as line of sight can still impact its performance, but it has the potential to be substantially faster than 4G.
However, the 5G standard has yet to be ratified, and is unlikely to be before 2020 – so, coupled with the fact that Apple sometimes takes its time before embracing new tech, expect it to be quite a while before a 5G iPhone emerges.