Apple has been granted a license to test next generation 5G wireless technology by the Federal Communications Commission or the FCC in the US. Apple applied for an experimental license in May 2017 to test the wireless technology on millimeter wave spectrum bands.
The application From Apple read, "Apple Inc. seeks to assess cellular link performance in the 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."
Millimeter wave bands provide a threshold of 10GB/s operating on higher bandwidth, however, they have a major limitation which is hindrance caused due to objects in its line of sight.
Apple also mentioned in the application that it safely conduct its experiment for a period of 12 months and will transmit from two fixed points located in Cupertino, California, and Milpitas.
Apple will be using the 28 and 39 GHz bands. The wavelengths were opened by FCC in 2016 for next generation 5G broadband. The 28 GHz band is used for Earth-to-space transmission which clearly gives a hint that Apple wants to explore its potential in the subject. Apple has also been hiring people with expertise in satellite transmission.
AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile are among the major U.S. cellular carriers who are already testing 5G networks to provide the technology in a couple of years. Interestingly enough Google and Facebook are also already testing the wave bands performance and applications. Apple joined in quite late actually.