Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics are among companies who will upgrade software for their 5G-enabled phones in India by December as authorities press mobile phone manufacturers to adopt the high-speed network.
Apple said it would push software upgrades to recent models, including the iPhone 14, 13, 12 and iPhone SE, which, industry sources say, do not yet support the network.
“We are working with our carrier partners in India to bring the best 5G experience to iPhone users as soon as network validation and testing for quality and performance is completed,” Apple said in a statement on Wednesday.
“5G will be enabled via a software update and will start rolling out to iPhone users in December.”
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched 5G services on 1 October amid much fanfare, with leading telecom operator Reliance Jio saying it would make the service available in four cities, while rival Bharti Airtel targeted eight cities.
A Samsung India spokesperson said the company would roll out updates across all its 5G devices by mid-November.
Xiaomi India President Muralikrishnan B said their smartphones support Airtel 5G at present and by the end of this month most devices will start receiving updates for Jio 5G network support.
Meanwhile, Oppo India Vice President Tasleem Arif said the company will roll out 5G software upgrade on all compatible devices, which already support Airtel 5G, at the earliest.
The statements came after ministry of communications and ministry of electronics and IT officials held a meeting on Wednesday dedicated to 5G adoption, attended by executives from Apple, Samsung, Vivo and Xiaomi Corp, and telecom operators Reliance, Airtel and Vodafone Idea.
While telecom players and smartphone makers have been holding discussions with each other, ironing out compatibility issues between the specific 5G technology of telecom companies in India and phone software is taking time, one of the industry sources said.
A Google spokesperson said on Wednesday: “Pixel 7, 7 Pro and Pixel 6a are 5G capable devices. We are actively working with the Indian carriers to enable functionality at the earliest.”