The government has sought weekly or bi-weekly status updates from telecom operators and smartphone makers on their 5G network rollouts and the number of devices on-boarding the network. With this, the government aims to track and speed up the uptake of 5G services in the country. 

According to sources, the directive was given during a meeting held jointly by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) on October 12, 2022. As per the directive, telecom operators are required to inform about the addition of 5G sites while smartphone makers have to provide a list of models supporting 5G. 

The agenda of the meeting included a discussion around enabling handsets to be ready for 5G services launched by telecom operators. It was also decided to release and prioritise software firmware over-the-air (FOTA) upgrades for all 5G handsets for the early adoption of 5G in India. 

In the meeting, mobile phone manufacturing companies assured the government that they would gradually discontinue the production of 4G phones priced Rs 10,000 and above and will shift to 5G technology. In separate statements, Apple informed that it would provide the software update to support 5G services in India in December 2022, while Samsung put the timeline at mid-November 2022. According to Xiaomi, 100 per cent of its 5G smartphone models currently support non-standalone (NSA) network in India, and it has already started rolling out the FOTA updates on select devices for seamless standalone (SA) support. Further, Google informed that it is actively working with the Indian carriers to enable the functionality at the earliest.