Saturday, January 28, 2023

Very soon Meeting will be held to push for the early adoption of 5G in India, top government officials will meet executives from telecom networks and handset makers

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NEW DELHI: Top government officials will meet executives from telecom networks and handset makers on Thursday to push for early adoption of 5G in India, a notice issued to companies showed.

Officials from the department of telecom (DoT) and the ministry of electronics and information technology (Meity) will meet nearly 30 executives from telecom services providers Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea, as well as smartphone makers such as Apple, Samsung, and Oppo.

The DoT notice said the government is seeking the involvement of telcos and phone makers to release firmware upgrades needed for 5G devices to connect to 5G networks. The meeting will also discuss telcos enabling handsets to be ready for 5G services on standalone (SA) and non-standalone (NSA) networks. The notice was issued to 20 organizations, including Indian and Chinese handset makers operating in India. Mint has seen a copy of the notice.

The stakeholders will also discuss solutions to prioritize the software upgrade for the early adoption of 5G in India. DoT secretary K. Rajaraman and Meity secretary Alkesh Sharma will attend the meeting.

Jio and Airtel launched 5G services in eight and four cities, respectively, this month, top metros of Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata. However, many 5G phone users cannot access these services since the phone makers are yet to release the necessary software upgrades. Some users with the latest iPhone 14 models costing over ₹1 lakh highlighted the issue on Twitter, pointing out that cheaper Android phones could latch on to 5G networks and use high-speed data.

An Airtel executive said Apple would have to issue a software upgrade to enable models below the iPhone 14 so that customers can use 5G when the carrier rolls out its services. He said the handset makers drove such upgrades. “ Apple is also doing final testing; we’re working with them,” the executive said.

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