Tech giants Apple and Samsung vowed on Wednesday to upgrade software for their 5G-enabled phones in India by December.
The companies’ move comes after Indian authorities pressed the makers of mobile phones to adopt the high-speed network.
Apple India 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.
“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 October 1 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.
Ministry of electronics and IT officials held a meeting on Wednesday dedicated to 5G adoption, which executives from Apple, Samsung, Vivo and Xiaomi, and telecom operators Reliance, Airtel and Vodafone Idea attended.
The agenda includes “prioritising” the release of software upgrades for supporting the high-speed network, the notice for the closed-door meeting stated.
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.”
- Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard