Smartphone manufacturers operating in India have assured the Government of India that they will start phasing out the production of 4G-only smartphones that cost over Rs 10,000, completely stop manufacturing them soon, and focus entirely on 5G capable devices.
Indian telcos have started rolling out 5G services across the country. They need to have a massive user base to ensure that the penetration of 5G connectivity in India takes place as rapidly as 4G connectivity has seen. As a result, the government of India has asked executives of smartphone manufacturers in India to shift their priorities from the midrange to the premium smartphone market and only release devices capable of supporting the 5G network.
Reportedly, smartphone manufacturing companies have been given three months to completely shift to 5G networks.
According to an ANI report, representatives of smartphone companies and telecom operators met top officials of the Department of Telecom and the Ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) to discuss the roadmap for the 5G rollout.
The report states that there are nearly 750 million mobile phone subscribers in India, of which 100 million users own 5G-ready phones and over 350 million on 3G or 4G phones. In an hour-long meeting, the government reportedly ordered smartphone companies to discontinue producing 3G-4G compatible phones priced over Rs 10,000 and gradually switch to 5G technology.
In the same meeting, the government noticed that several smartphone manufacturers had been selling devices capable of 5G connectivity. Still, users of those devices couldn’t connect to 5G networks, mainly because the machines had not been updated. The government has asked manufacturers to get ready with the necessary updates to enable 5G-capable devices to connect to the high-speed network as soon as possible.
It is said that this meeting prompted Samsung and Apple to make a public statement that they will be rolling out the required updates for all of their 5G capable devices by mid-November and December, respectively.