Apple and Google said on Wednesday they will roll out software updates to enable 5G support on their respective handsets in India, the world’s second-largest wireless market, just days after local bureaucrats began forcing phone makers to scale down their efforts. speed up.
Reliance Jio and Airtel, India’s two largest carriers, have started offering 5G services in select Indian cities in recent weeks, but many popular handsets in the country currently do not support local airwaves. These smartphones have hardware capabilities for 5G, but manufacturers must work with local carriers to release software updates to enable support for local airwaves.
To that end, Apple said today that it will release a software update in December to enable 5G on iPhones used in India. Apple first introduced 5G capabilities with the iPhone 12 in 2020.
“We are working with our carrier partners in India to provide iPhone users with the best 5G experience once network validation, quality and performance testing is complete. 5G will be enabled through a software update and will be rolled out to iPhone users in December,” an Apple spokesperson told londonbusinessblog.com.
Google has also promised a software update for its devices, though it hasn’t given a specific timeline for the rollout.
“Pixel 7, 7 Pro and Pixel 6a are 5G-enabled devices. We are actively working with the Indian carriers to enable the functionality at the earliest,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement. Google launched the Pixel 6a in India in July and the Pixel 7 series will go on sale soon.
In July, India sold the license at auction to 5G airwaves for a record $19 billion. Billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Jio has bought most of the spectrum and has pledged to spend only $25 billion on rolling out and broadening its 5G services. The South Asian nation, one of the last major markets to adopt 5G, has high hopes for its potential.
“5G is a knock on the doors of a new era in the country. It is the beginning of an infinite range of possibilities,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at an event last month.
Both Apple and Google devices have a small share of the Indian smartphone market share in terms of market share. While Apple only controls 4% of the local smartphone market, Google’s figures are unavailable due to relatively lower sales. According to analyst firm CounterpointThe total number of 5G-ready smartphones installed in India was 50 million in July.
Samsung, India’s second largest smartphone supplier, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. According to a support page By carrier Bharti Airtel, some headsets from Chinese manufacturers like Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, Realme and OnePlus already support 5G services.
Notably, Airtel has enabled its 5G services in eight cities and Reliance Jio has enabled them in four cities through an invite-only program. Both carriers aim to expand 5G coverage across the country in the coming years. Airtel’s chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal said the company aims to cover all parts of its eight launch cities by March 2023 and the entire country by 2023. Reliance Jio’s goals are quite ambitious as it plans to roll out its 5G services across the country by 2023.