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Business News/ Industry / Telecom/  DoT, Meity to meet telcos, smartphone makers to speed up 5G adoption in India
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DoT, Meity to meet telcos, smartphone makers to speed up 5G adoption in India

Stakeholders will also engage in solutions to prioritise software upgrade for an early adoption of 5G in India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 1 Oct launched 5G services in India. (File Photo: Reuters)Premium
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 1 Oct launched 5G services in India. (File Photo: Reuters)

NEW DELHI: Top officials from the department of telecom and ministry of electronics and information technology will meet nearly 30 executives from telecom services providers Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea and smartphone makers such as Apple, Samsung, Oppo, Vivo, among others, on Thursday, for prioritising early adoption of 5G among Indian users.

In a meeting notice to these executives issued by DoT, that was seen by Mint, the government is seeking involvement of smartphone makers to release their firmware upgrades that are needed for 5G devices to latch on to such networks.

The notice issued to 20 firms, including Indian and Chinese handset makers operating in India, said that discussions on telcos enabling handsets to be ready for 5G services on both standalone, or SA, and non-standalone, or NSA, networks simultaneously would take place.

“The intervention of handset manufacturers and telecom service providers to release software FOTA upgrades for all 5G handsets," the notice stated.

Stakeholders will also engage in solutions to prioritise software upgrade for an early adoption of 5G in India. DoT secretary K Rajaraman and Meity secretary Alkesh Sharma will attend the meeting.

The meeting assumes significance since the government has announced launch of 5G services in India and telecom services providers Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel have launched 5G services in eight and four cities, respectively. Yet, smartphone users owning 5G ready phones are unable to use these services in these cities which include top metros of Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.

Some of the users using the latest iPhone 14 models, costing 1 lakh upwards, took to Twitter to point out the issue with some even pointing out that lower costing Android phones were able to latch on to 5G networks and use high speed data.

A senior Airtel executive said that Apple would have to issue a software upgrade to enable models lower than the iPhone 14 so that customers can use 5G as and when the carrier rolls out its services. He added that software upgrades of such kinds were driven by the handset makers. “Apple is also doing their final testing, we’re working with them as well," the executive added.

Experts expect a swift uptake of 5G services with a good chunk of Indian users already having 5G enabled devices. According to latest research by Ookla 51% of survey respondents already had smartphones supporting 5G. “While only one in ten survey respondents had an iPhone, Apple smartphones tend to be more 5G capable. In fact, according to Speedtest Intelligence data, the iPhone 12 5G is the most popular 5G-capable device in the Indian market," the report stated.

The survey found that top smartphone vendors in the market are Samsung (31%), followed by Xiaomi (23%), Realme and Vivo. The report said that Jio saw the largest increase in 5G-capable devices (67.4%), followed by Airtel (61.6%), and Vi India (56%).

Ookla’s earlier consumer survey also noted that 89% of Indian smartphone users were ready to upgrade to 5G. Operators have an existing addressable base of devices that they can target from the start, and over the past year the number of 5G-capable devices has been on the rise, the report had said.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gulveen Aulakh
Gulveen Aulakh is Senior Assistant Editor at Mint, serving dual roles covering the disinvestment landscape out of New Delhi, and the telecom & IT sectors as part of the corporate bureau. She had been tracking several government ministries for the last ten years in her previous stint at The Economic Times. An IIM Calcutta alumnus, Gulveen is fluent in French, a keen learner of new languages and avid foodie.
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Updated: 11 Oct 2022, 05:22 PM IST
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