Apple is testing tech to give the iPhone next-gen data speeds

Apple has been granted a license to test new ‘millimeter wave’ technology that could give iPhone and iPad devices next-generation 5G data speeds.

Business Insider brings word from an FCC filing in which Apple seeks permission to experiment with the new tech.

The request states: “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.”

According to the report, the firm is now able to test the data tech in two California locations, including its own Infinite Loop campus.

Related: What is 5G?

The application cites the 28GHz and 39GHz frequencies which have been assigned for commercial 5G use.

Interestingly, the 28GHz band has been assigned for earth-to-space communications, which ties into recent reports claiming Apple had hired Google’s top satellite executive.

Apple’s expansion into this area is interesting, given the onus is usually on the service providers to push the envelope when it comes to faster data speeds.

Smartphone manufacturers and their partners can, of course, create wireless chips with greater capabilities, but until the networks make those speeds available, that capacity goes unfulfilled.

From Apple’s statement, it appears it wants to be at the head of the table to capitalise on the “operation of devices on wireless carriers’ future 5G networks.”

Earlier this year, we learned Samsung is working with US carrier Verizon on 5G networks, with “multi-gigabit” speeds reached during initial tests.

Given Apple’s filing doesn’t indicate a partnership with a service provider, perhaps it has something in mind specifically for iPhone users? Watch this space… or maybe just watch space.

Are we currently limited by our 4G data speeds or is it currently sufficient for our streaming and downloading needs? Let us know in the comments below.

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