Apple, Google, and Samsung have announced that they will provide a software update for 5G support on phones used in India. The move comes after a recent push in India for dominant tech firms to speed up their efforts.
India formally commenced 5G on October 1st. Reliance Jio and Airtel meanwhile have already started providing 5G services in a select few Indian cities. But many smartphones won’t connect to the network as of now.
Smartphone manufacturers disable network support unless they are available in a specific region. And activating the network on such devices requires the phone makers to push an OTA software update that renders devices compatible with the next-generation cellular network. The same case also happened with 4G devices in Nepal and is likely to happen with 5G. Smartphones may come with network compatibility, but only when it goes on air, the brands open up 5G network support via a software update.
On the matter, Apple said that it will roll out a software update in December 2022 that will enable 5G connectivity on its devices in India.
Apple to roll out software update for 5G in India in December
“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 are completed. 5G will be enabled via a software update and will start rolling out to iPhone users in December,” Apple said in a statement.
Similarly, another US-based tech firm Google announced its plan for software upgrades on its phones. But the company didn’t disclose details regarding the timeframe for the rollout.
“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,” a Google spokesperson said. Google has recently launched its latest Pixel lineups – Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro in India.
In addition, South Korean company Samsung is also working on software updates to enable local 5G airwaves on its devices in India.
“Samsung has pioneered 5G technology development since 2009 and took the leading role in standardizing 5G technology globally. In India, Samsung has the widest portfolio of 5G devices. We are working closely with our operator partners and are committed to rolling out OTA updates across all our 5G devices by mid-November 2022, enabling Indian consumers to experience 5G seamlessly,” a Samsung India spokesperson said in a statement.
Earlier in July, India held its first-ever 5G auction and sold off 51,236 MHz of 5G spectrum across 10 bands. Reliance and Airtel came out as the highest grabbers of the 5G airwaves with record spending.
Mukesh Ambani-led Jio says it will offer the most affordable 5G services in the world. It is also working on affordable Jio 5G phones to replicate a 4G-like revolution. Likewise, Airtel is also ambitious with the 5G race and says it will offer world-class mobile broadband service in the coming months.
While Apple, Samsung, and Google are working on 5G software patches, other handsets seem to already have compatibility. An Airtel page shows that some devices from Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, and realme support a 5G connection.