In a recent report, Apple is planning to test next-generation wireless internet technology near its California headquarters. The experimental application got signed today by the tech giant and was disclosed by the FCC.
Apple plans to conduct the tests at two separate locations in the Silicon Valley area, one in Milpitas and the other one is close to the company's HQ in Cupertino, for a year. Apple anticipates taking up to a year to complete testing, meaning we won't likely see the fruits of its 5G research in time for this year's iPhone, but more realistically around the time the iPhone 9 is in development.
The application doesn't give out exact details about the tests. However, it states that testing "will provide engineering data relevant to the operation of devices on wireless carriers' of future 5G networks." Also, one of the bands Apple plans on testing is the 28GHz. This might potentially be used for Earth-to-space communications and Apple recently hired a pair of former Google satellite execs for a rumored hardware team, that could be closely tied to a potential pair-up with Boeing to build satellite-based networks, like SpaceX.
AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile have all revealed plans to start testing faster versions of 4G and are likely to install 5G networks of their own between 2019 to 2020. On the chip side, Samsung, Qualcomm, and Intel have all also announced new hardware to support 5G speeds, while telecom standards organization 3GPP is working closely to release the first official 5G standards in the second half of 2017 However, Apple hasn't made any official announcements regarding satellite coverage or 5G connectivity. The company might reveal more details on June 5 when Apple's WWDC 2017 event kicks off.