After a meeting was called by the Government on Wednesday, Apple and Samsung have said that they were working on 5G handsets and they would be launched once it has been validated by the operators.

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

Most smartphone manufacturers have said that they will update their existing products with over-the-air (OTA) programming to update them with software, configuration settings, and even updating encryption keys.

“We have asked the operators as well as phone makers to update with latest technologies so that 5G roll out can happen at the earliest,” an official privy to the meeting told businessline.

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5G services in India

On October 1, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced thelaunch of 5G services in the country. But, while millions of subscribers in India have 5G-ready smartphones, many devices by prominent brands are not supporting the service at present.

According to sources in the Department of Telecommunications, both the telecom services providers (TSPs) and handset manufacturers have promised the ‘smooth roll out of 5G and full-fledged services will be launched after the testing and validations are done’ over the next few weeks.

Airtel, which is the first TSP to launch 5G services in eight cities, has a few thousand subscribers already and will be adding more in the coming days.

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Similarly, Reliance Jio has said that it will start rolling out 5G services from Diwali this month.

OTA updates by phone makers

“Samsung has pioneered 5G technology development since 2009 and took the leading role in standardising 5G technology globally. In India, Samsung has the widest portfolio of 5G devices. 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 India spokesperson said.

Similarly, Madhav Sheth, CEO Realme India recently said, “With 5G being officially available now, we are looking forward to exploring the numerous opportunities it provides us and will be directing our efforts into making this technology even more accessible to users.”

He had said that 85 per cent of Realme devices already support SA and 100 per cent of the devices will have full SA support by October. “We are also rolling out OTA updates for our devices to ensure that all our users can make the most of 5G,” he added.

The high-level meeting that took around 30 minutes, was chaired by Alkesh Kumar Sharma, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and Sunil Kumar Singhal, Deputy Director General.

Representatives of TSPs, such as Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, and smartphone makers, such as Apple, Samsung, Lava, Oppo and Vivo, attended the meeting.