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4.5G might become irrelevant faster than you think: Apple granted license to test 5G networks

You can add Apple to the long and growing list of companies conducting millimetre wave broadband trials as 5G broadband looms on the horizon.

According to DSL reports, the FCC just approved the company's application for an experimental license to test millimetre wave technology in two locations near the company's offices in California.

The application makes particular reference to using the 28 and 39 GHz bands, which the FCC approved for commercial use for 5G services last year.

An Apple spokesperson says, “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.”

Apple joins a growing roster of companies testing millimetre wave broadband including Starry, Google, Facebook, and most major cellular carriers. 

Because millimetre wave (mm-wave) transmits at higher frequencies and a smaller wavelength of between 30 GHz and 300 GHz, it's capable of reducing latency and notably expanding data transmission capacity.

There are, however, still line of sight issue with mm-wave that hardware vendors are working to minimize.

While companies are testing the hardware and software that will make up the standard eventually, the 5G standard still hasn't been completed, and any serious deployment of 5G technology isn't expected to occur until at least 2020.

That's notable as it is the estimated completion time of NZ’s 4.5G network.

That begs the question will we see continuous upgrades to our wireless network or be stuck with older technology for a few years?

What exactly an Apple millimetre wave offering would look like in commercial practice isn't spelt out in the application but it will be happening.

This technology could hold tremendous benefits, especially in remote communities, where wired communication solutions are very expensive to maintain.

New Zealand is one of the leading countries in the southern hemisphere in regards to internet speeds. 

The majority of the Kiwi population receiving internet speeds superior to that of Australia's.

This has led to a massive outcry from Australians, you can read the full article here.

Could the adoption of 5G be a tipping point for NZ’s wireless innovation, or will we continue to evolve with the technology?

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