back to article Apple asks FCC to let it run mm-wave tests - for backhaul?!

Apple has filed a request with the United States Federal Communications Commission FCC to run wireless tests in spectrum bands associated with 5G. Since Cupertino will want to hold onto its place in the smartphone market once networks appear, it's hardly jaw-dropping that the 28 GHz and 39 GHz bands interest the company. …

  1. jake Silver badge

    Cupertino to Milpitas?

    Seems to me there is a major airport between them ... methinks the fine folks in charge of Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport will have something to say about experimental radio traffic cutting through their airspace.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Cupertino to Milpitas?

      Not unless the bands are ones they use. The 28 GHz band is uplinks to Ka band satellites, so the airport doesn't care about that. Not sure what 39 GHz is, but that is far above any airport radar or guidance radio.

      If airports could just say no to any radio traffic at any frequency we wouldn't have cell phones or TV.

  2. JanCeuleers

    The 20-25 degree downtilt invalidates your theory that this is about backhaul. Even accounting for the 217' of elevation differential between Cupertino and Milpitas such an antenna downtilt results in the signal hitting the ground within a few hundred yards from the tower. Moreover for backhaul you'd want a much narrower beamwidth.

    Betteridge's law strikes again.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Apple's campus1 and campus2 are "on the flat", and are essentially at the same elevation as most of Milpitas. That is to say, about 6 feet (about 2 meters) above mean higher high tide.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Come to think of it ...

        ... Black Mountain has quite a bit of old radio gear perched on it. At an elevation of about 2,800 feet, and an easy drive (some would say pleasant) from Apple in Cupertino. Last time I was up there, there was plenty of space/power/security for anything that the wormy one might need.

        1. JanCeuleers

          Re: Come to think of it ...

          I took a look at that, using Google Maps and the distance/elevation calculator at, and I still don't think it flies.

          The straight-line distance between the Black Mountain and the Milpitas campus is 23km, which at 29GHz corresponds with about 2.8dB of attenuation due to atmospheric absorption (using the attenuation curve shown in the first reference to the EHF article on Wikipedia - note that the curve shown in the article itself corresponds with a much higher elevation - since this case is much nearer sea level curve A in the book applies).

          Anyway, 2.8dB seems great, until you take into account that mm waves severely suffer from rain fading, foliage blocking, scattering etc., each of which are impossible to engineer for and therefore render the link highly unreliable).

          The fact that at 10km the Cupertino campus is much closer to the Black Mountain doesn't change my opinion.

          All of this in addition to the fact that the subject of mm waves and 5G is about the air interface, not backhaul. The "for backhaul?!" quexclamation in the title is clickbait.

  3. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    I have a third question: does this mean that I can use the new iPhone with 5G to warm up burritos?

    1. Steve Todd

      Your home microwave

      Runs at a frequency much closer to WiFi. If you could use WiFi to nuke a burrito then yes.

  4. Dieter Haussmann

    I think both campuses' antenna will point to a third relay location.

  5. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    It's not like other waves. Most antennas need a half a meter for their waves. Big bulky waves wobbling through the air. That is about to change forever. Introducing iWave, an incredible system that can shrink a entire wave down to a mere 7.665 millimeters. [pause for applause] Starting in 2020, all Apple devices will be able to communicate with this incredible new technology. [video clip of attractive wealthy families communicating with Apple devices] There's more. We've integrated this with a highly secure polarization encoding to ensure that your communications aren't only secure, but virtually undetectable by other systems not using the Apple security chip. [more videos of wealthy attractive people]

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