The FCC has approved an application for Apple to begin testing its 5G technology, which means the company is joining a number of others already working towards bringing 5G to the masses. Sprint is looking to launch its 5G service in 2019, while T-Mobile is shooting for 2020. AT&T and Verizon are making moves towards 5G networks as well.
However, Apple is targeting millimeter-wave broadband at higher frequency and smaller wavelength bands than the spectra T-Mobile and Sprint are currently focusing their networks on. However, those companies and others have acquired plenty of millimeter-wave spectra of their own. Millimeter-wave technology allows for larger data transmission at faster delivery speeds, but these types of signals can't really go through objects all that well, so a direct line of sight is needed -- an added complication. While Apple is just getting started in this field, Facebook, Google, Samsung and Starry have been working on it for a while.
Apple's application doesn't provide any details on how its 5G service would work in practice, but it has been granted access to test its technology in two locations near its California offices until August, 2018.