Apple and Samsung clarify on 5G OTA update timelines for Indian users
5G services formally launched in India on October 1 and local operators such as Airtel and Reliance Jio have already started offering service trials to their customers. 5G is initially being made available in select major urban areas with nationwide coverage expected before end of 2023 and last-mile connectivity before end-2024. However, users of Apple and Samsung are currently left out for lack of official software support that enables 5G.
Both Airtel and Jio said that they are working with handset manufacturers to ensure all 5G smartphones sold in India have the necessary firmware support to experience the new connectivity standard. The Economic Times reports that top brass from Airtel and Apple will be meeting soon to determine a timeline for 5G support rollout.
iPhone users from the iPhone 12 onwards, including the iPhone 12 series, iPhone 13 series, iPhone 14 series, and iPhone SE (2022), can experience 5G, but official support is still not available in India. In a statement, Apple said,
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."
Users of Samsung Galaxy phones such as the Galaxy S22 series, Galaxy A33, Galaxy M33, Galaxy Z Flip 4, and Galaxy Z Fold4 support 5G already but older phones such as the Galaxy S21 series still await a software update. In a press release, Samsung said,
Samsung has pioneered 5G technology development since 2009 and took the leading role in standardizing 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."
Therefore, most Galaxy users will be able to experience 5G — if available in their telecom circles — by mid-November while Apple users will have to wait till December. Carrier-related updates are usually rolled out only after extensive testing to ensure that essential phone functionality does not get impacted, so some amount of delay is to be expected in these matters.
Meanwhile, reports are coming in of 5G speeds already hitting the 800 Mbps mark with Jio currently offering 1 Gbps unlimited data for free to its users as part of the ongoing trial run. Both Airtel and Jio have confirmed that subscribers can use their existing 4G SIM cards for 5G services.
Devices such as the OnePlus 10 Pro, OnePlus 10T, Realme 9i, Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, Vivo X50 Pro, and Nothing Phone (1) among others are currently listed as supporting Airtel 5G Plus. Jio True 5G is yet to publish an official list of supported devices.
For those not aware, Airtel 5G Plus uses a non-standalone 5G architecture and works on the 900 MHz (n8), 1800 MHz (n3), 2100 MHz (n1), 3300 MHz (n78), and 26 GHz (n258) bands while Jio True 5G is a standalone 5G network that supports 700 MHz (n28), 3300 MHz (n78), and 26 GHz (n258) bands.
Samsung Press Release