For India’s 5G network, companies will release software updates

By the middle of November, Indian users of Samsung’s 5G handsets will be able to access 5G services thanks to over-the-air (OTA) updates, according to the Korean mobile manufacturer.

Samsung’s remark comes shortly after Apple said that it would release software updates for iPhones in India in December to support 5G services. In addition, Google has vowed to release a software update for its products as soon as possible.

Apple is currently testing the 5G-capable iPhones, which include the iPhone 12, iPhone 13, and iPhone 14 series as well as the iPhone SE (3rd Generation), on the carriers that have launched 5G services in India. The company plans to release the update in December once it is confident that the end user will have a positive experience using 5G networks.

The only two telcos to turn on their fifth-generation networks in a few select cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, and Varanasi, are Airtel and Reliance Jio. Apple is testing 5G support on these networks.

Though Vodafone Idea has yet to declare a 5G launch date, Apple will need to conduct additional testing with the 5G network of the third-ranked operators when it is switched on.

 Vodafone Idea had previously stated that it would soon launch 5G services on its network.

Users should expect greater call quality, video streaming, download and upload speeds, and most crucially, improved reliability on 5G networks with iPhones 12 and higher, which boast a 5G modem.

On Wednesday, representatives from Apple, other smartphone makers, chipset manufacturers, and industry associations will meet with representatives from the Department of Telecommunications and the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology to discuss the importance of software updates for 5G services.

The government requested intervention from smartphone manufacturers and telecom operators to roll out support for 5G services in a memo that invited 30 people to the meeting. This was done to ensure that 5G networks were quickly adopted in India.

This week also plans a high-level meeting between Apple and Bharti Airtel executives to go over the reasons for the delay and a schedule for when the updates will be released.

While the majority of Chinese smartphone manufacturers have enabled support for 5G services days after Airtel announced that its 5G services have gone live in eight Indian cities, the network is currently only supported by nine Samsung handsets, none of the Apple iPhones, and a number of OnePlus devices that have not yet received an update.

OnePlus has not yet given a deadline.

For both Chinese and international smartphone models, Reliance Jio’s standalone 5G network would require a separate software update, which many handsets have not yet received.