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5G in India: Samsung to enable 5G in devices by mid-November through software update, iPhones to get it in December

Even though 5G is officially a go in India, users can’t use it unless OEMs like Samsung and Apple unlock it with an update.

5G in India: Samsung to enable 5G in devices by mid-November through software update, iPhones to get it in December
Even though 5G is officially a go in India, users can’t use it unless OEMs like Samsung and Apple unlock it with an update. (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Samsung and Apple have announced timelines for when their devices will start to support 5G in India so users will be able to use and experience 5G services rolled out by telecom players like Airtel and Reliance Jio.

Samsung, today, confirmed that it will enable 5G support in its 5G-ready Galaxy devices in India through a software update that’s set to arrive sometime in the middle of November. Apple, on the other hand, will push out the necessary update to enable 5G in iPhones (iPhone 12 and above) in December.

“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 spokesperson confirmed to financialexpress.com over email.

Samsung is quick to note that it has the widest portfolio of 5G devices in the country.

Apple, meanwhile, said “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,” adding that “5G will be enabled via a software update and will start rolling out to iPhone users in December.”

Apple notably kicked off its 5G portfolio with the launch of iPhone 12 in 2020. According to a recent Ookla survey, the iPhone 12 is said to be the most popular 5G smartphone in India though Samsung remains to be the top player with a 31 percent market share.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had officially launched 5G services in India on October 1 during India Mobile Congress 2022 event following which Airtel and Jio have started rolling out 5G in select cities. While Jio is running an invite-only trial across four cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Varanasi, Airtel is offering 5G in a broader sense with Airtel 5G Plus service availability across eight cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Siliguri, Nagpur and Varanasi.

But it turns out that even though 5G is officially a go in India, users can’t use it unless their OEM –original equipment manufacturer— like Samsung and Apple unlocks it with an update. Apple and Samsung’s reveal on 5G support for India users comes on the same day that executives from the company are supposed to meet with the Department of Telecom (DoT) and Ministry of electronics and information technology officials to discuss the use of 5G in the country on a wide scale, making the experience as seamless as possible, and finding measures to tackle issues, if any. Other smartphone brands and telcos like Airtel and Jio are also expected to be in attendance.

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First published on: 12-10-2022 at 14:20 IST