Older Pixels are losing 5G Standalone connectivity after the March update

The Google Pixel series routinely ranks among the most effective telephones in the market, mainly thanks to the promise of timely software program updates. Whilst the firm’s program help track file is first rate, Pixel homeowners have routinely elevated complaints about insufficient assistance on the components side or characteristics that basically do not do the job as they ought to. A new Reddit article is now highlighting an challenge with older Pixels working on Qualcomm silicon — particularly, the Pixel 4a 5G, Pixel 5, and Pixel 5a — impacting the means they can obtain 5G.


As per self-explained wireless computing veteran Christopher Price tag writes on Reddit, individuals Pixels have apparently lost the means to link to 5G Standalone networks with the March 2023 protection update. As one particular person among the the a lot of affected in the reviews details out, getting rid of 5G SA connectivity is particularly annoying for Pixel consumers who went by the ordeal of upgrading their SIMs to help this enhanced accessibility.

To oversimplify the main ideas, 5G Standalone makes use of a focused radio access network — the base stations by means of to the cell site antennae — to hook up customers’ telephones to the 5G backhaul. This is an improvement on 5G Non-Standalone that made use of 4G LTE’s radio obtain network (alongside with its more mature delivery and control functions) to website link up to 5G world wide web.

One of the significant benefits 5G SA features is VoNR (Voice over New Radio) — it is really like VoLTE, but it should provide much better top quality phone calls with its newer protocols. Disabling 5G SA efficiently signifies that phones will not likely be in a position to use VoNR.

Price statements that T-Cell prohibited the Pixel 4a (5G), Pixel 5, and Pixel 5a from standalone entry to its Ultra Capacity spectrum. It is prompt that those people system owners who were linked to the carrier’s small-band 5G as a result of NSA usually means may perhaps be locked out of placing or getting phone calls if their product was identified as VoNR-able — presumably, there is an exception in which VoLTE is not permitted in this state of affairs.

Google may well have intentionally waited till just after a latest Pixel trade-in sale, which available wonderful fiscal incentives for individuals switching from an more mature Pixel to a far more modern design, before pulling guidance. Crucially, more recent Pixels operating Google’s Tensor chip are still ready to accessibility 5G SA.

So if you’ve got bought a Qualcomm-based 5G SA-enabled Pixel unit, never be much too stunned when you intermittently see the ! icon in position of the network bars. Moreover, it looks like LineageOS builds launched just after March 22 also function this maybe deliberate omission.

There aren’t a large amount of methods appropriate now barring downgrading the firmware, which has its possess troubles like probably requesting a SIM unlock from T-Mobile if you are in the US. Cost speculates that VoNR and 5G SA could maybe be enabled by participating in around with QPST (Qualcomm Item Assistance Applications) computer software, while this study course of motion is considerably from being advised.

Then there’s the stray (if misguided) hope that Google may possibly correct this with the up coming Pixel update, but as the Redditor rightly puts it, we’re not keeping our breath for that to pan out.