Government to push Apple and Samsung for 5G software updates in phones

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The Department of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and Department of Telecommunications (DoT) will meet with major smartphone manufacturers like Apple, Samsung and Google to urge them to roll out software updates to their phones to take support 5G in the country.

The meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, comes as telecom operators Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio are launching 5G services in several cities, but fear that several 5G-enabled smartphones may not be ready for the recently launched broadband service.

Senior MeitY and DoT officials will ask smartphone markets to enable their handsets to support 5G, both on standalone (SA) and non-standalone (NSA) architecture, and release updates over-the-air software and firmware to support the high-speed network. , according to a meeting agenda seen by The Indian Express. Smartphone makers will be pressured to prioritize these updates for early adoption of 5G in the country.

Under SA, which Reliance Jio opted for, the 5G network can operate with dedicated equipment and run alongside the existing 4G network, while in NSA, which is deployed by Airtel, operators can maximize the use of their existing network infrastructure. with relatively low investment.

Currently, a number of 5G-enabled smartphones sold in the country do not support data speeds. For example, several smartphones made by leading manufacturers such as Apple, Samsung, Google and OnePlus currently do not support Airtel 5G, according to the telco’s website. In the case of Apple, the manufacturer has yet to update its software to support Airtel’s 5G for all iPhones that support the technology, i.e. iPhone 12 series. to the latest iPhone 14 series. The website also showed that while some of Samsung’s entry-level smartphones have been updated to support Airtel 5G, several of its mid-tier to flagship phones such as the S20 fan edition and Galaxy Z fold 2 currently do not support network.

Queries sent to Apple, Samsung and Google went unanswered until publication.

5G services were officially launched in the country by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 1, where he hailed 5G as “a knock at the gates of a new era” and the “beginning of an endless sky of opportunity”. “. The prime minister had also said that 5G technology would revamp the entire architecture of the internet.

For consumers, 5G will deliver superior internet speed and low latency. At its peak, internet speeds on 5G could reach 10 Gbps, compared to 100 Mbps on 4G. Similarly, the latency under 4G is between 10 and 100 ms (millisecond), while it should be less than 1 ms on 5G. Latency is the time it takes for a device to send data packets and get a response.

Among the three major telecom operators, Bharti Airtel has rolled out its 5G services in eight cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi and Bangalore and said the rest of the country will get it by March 2024. Reliance Jio is expected to launch the 5G in the metro. cities by Diwali this year, and in the rest of the country by 2023-end. Vodafone Idea has yet to announce a timeline.

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