DoT and MeitY will meet with smartphone makers and carriers on Wednesday to discuss 5G services
Senior officials from the Ministry of Transportation and Information Technology have convened a joint meeting of smartphone companies, including Apple and Samsung, and telecom operators on issues related to ensuring seamless access to 5G services, a government official said on Tuesday.
Although over 100 million subscribers in India have 5G-enabled phones, many devices, including Apple, do not currently support the service.
“We will work together to ensure a smooth rollout of 5G, including seamless consumer connectivity,” a PTI official said.
A joint meeting of smartphone companies and telecom operators will be held on Wednesday at the Department of Communications (DoT) office.
The secretaries of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology will chair the meeting to discuss 5G issues.
The agenda of the meeting includes a discussion on how phones can start supporting 5G services on 5G networks in India.
Bharti Airtel is the only company to commercially launch 5G services, while Jio has started beta testing.
At the meeting, the authorities will discuss the intervention of phone manufacturers and carriers in issuing software updates for all 5G phones and prioritizing software updates for 5G rollout in India.
Apple is currently testing the iPhone with Airtel and Jio to work on software updates that will give consumers access to 5G services, according to an industry source who asked to remain anonymous.
Another source said that all of Samsung’s flagship smartphones and some 5G-enabled mid-range phones already support 5G services, and the company is working on rolling out updates for the rest of the smartphones.
According to an Ericsson report, the number of smartphone users owning a 5G phone has tripled in India over the past two years.
The study shows that more than 100 million users with 5G-enabled smartphones are willing to upgrade to a 5G subscription in 2023, with more than half of them willing to upgrade to a higher data plan within the next 12 months.
Bharti Airtel has launched 5G in eight cities in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Siliguri, Nagpur and Varanasi, while Jio has started beta testing in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Varanasi.
5G services will gradually cover the entire country over the next few years – Jio promises to do so by December 2023 and Bharti Airtel by March 2024.