It only seems like a short while since 4G was released to the masses, in fact, it has been six years since it first became available to customers here in the UK. Several companies have been trialing 5G for a few years now, and Apple is about to become the latest after it was awarded a license by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to experiment with 5G.
The company will conduct its tests at two different locations in the Silicon Valley area, one location is Milpitas and the other will be in Cupertino, near to the company’s HQ. The tests will conclude in under 12 months. Regarding the test sites, Apple’s application reads:
“Apple intends to transmit from two fixed points located at Apple-controlled facilities in Cupertino and Milpitas, CA. These transmissions will be consistent with the parameters and equipment identified in Apple’s accompanying Form 442, and will include the use of a horn antenna with a half-power beamwidth of 20 degrees in the E-plane and H-plane and a downtilt between 20 – 25 degrees. Apple anticipates that it will conduct its experiments for a period not to exceed 12 months.”
The application mentions the 28 and 39 GHz bands, both of the which the FCC approved for commercial use for 5G applications last year. The 28 GHz band, interestingly, is allocated for earth-to-space transmissions. The iPhone maker previously formed a new hardware team which it filled with people who have experience with spacecraft and satellite design, so maybe Apple’s next frontier is space.
The last important nugget of information is that the experiments will use technology manufactured by Rohde & Schwarz, A.H. Systems, and Analog Devices.