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Apple pushes FCC to keep 'super-high' spectrum free for 5G & other future tech

Apple is pressuring the U.S. Federal Communication Commission to keep "super-high" radio frequencies —between 95 and 3,000 gigahertz — open to use for 5G cellular data and other possible purposes.

Apple iPhone X

The company made the recommendation in a response filed with the FCC. It suggests the Commission operate with "the goal of encouraging a range of innovative business and engineering approaches that market forces determine best utilize these frequencies," and avoid "restrictive regulations, band plans, or predictions about future uses of the bands that could dictate outcomes and limit innovation."

Apple is particularly worried about the prospect of being limited to "a few narrow unlicensed bands" without knowing how it might want them in the future. It's also appealing to a nationalist perspective, claiming that onerous restrictions could let other countries gain an edge.

The company is already testing 5G for iPhones and other devices. Partner carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile are meanwhile planning to launch limited coverage this year.

5G is widely considered vital to future technologies. 4G is typically fast enough for music, video, gaming, and Web browsing, but things like augmented reality, virtual reality, and self-driving vehicles require minimal lag while consuming vast amounts of bandwidth.