U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted after visiting Apple’s Mac Pro computer assembly plant in Texas, asking Apple to help build the U.S. 5G network. “Apple has everything, including money, technology, vision and Cook!” mr Trump said. “However, it is mobile operators, not Apple, that are actually driving 5G networks in the US. Mobile operators are building 5G infrastructure.
In the United States, cellular networks are essentially two parts. First, you want to own the network itself, which is run by four companies: Verizon, AT?amp;T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. The four operators are responsible for erecting the antenna towers and ensuring adequate coverage at the appropriate speed. This requires a huge investment. Then there are the devices that users use on these networks, such as mobile phones and LTE hotspots. The products are produced by companies such as Apple, Samsung, Huawei and Google.
The launch of the 5G service in the U.S. depends almost entirely on the carriers, namely AT?amp;T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint. If Apple were to release a 5G iPhone tomorrow, it would not increase 5G coverage in the U.S., and Apple would have done nothing but ask carriers to do better to expand coverage.
In fact, Apple is a far cry from the entire networking process, and it doesn’t even have the ability to develop and produce its own 5G modems, instead relying on Intel and Qualcomm to provide modem chips and related components. Apple did, however, exert some influence on the process. Given the popularity of the iPhone, Apple’s 5G iPhone launch could indirectly spur operators to speed up their 5G coverage plans.