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Apple, Samsung to Boost Phone Software for India 5G Rollout

Apple and Samsung have vowed to upgrade software for their 5G-enabled phones in India over coming months, despite some compatibility issues.


Apple and Samsung have agreed to upgrade their phones for 5G in India by December, they said on Wednesday
India launched its 5G rollout on October 1. Mobile phones are seen at a store in India in this Reuters image, October 12, 2022.

 

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.

 

 

Compatibility Issues

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

 

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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years and has a family in Bangkok.

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