The US carriers are phasing out support for 3G cellular networks this year, and Google is explaining how it will affect Pixel users while simultaneously releasing an update for Voice over LTE (VoLTE) roaming.
Update 8/23: The Pixel 6a shipped with an April security patch, but Google immediately updated it to a June build. A GPS fix was subsequently made at the beginning of August after that.
Google made VoLTE roaming available for many international and American carriers with Android 13. With the June update, this support was added to all other first-party phones.
Carriers in the US announced that they would phase out their 3G networks starting in 2021. As a result, when the 3G networks are shut down, some handsets that do not support Voice over LTE (VoLTE) or VoLTE roaming may lose voice calling capabilities, including calls to 911, or connectivity.
Original 6/17: enabled VoLTE roaming on Pixel phones for several US and international carriers will be available starting in June 2022. As a result, many of Google’s devices, including the Pixel 3a through 6 Pro, can roam domestically with VoLTE if carriers support it, which is the crucial factor to verify on a case-by-case basis. The following is the complete update list:
Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, Pixel 3a, and Pixel 3a XL Photin 4a Pixel 5a, Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a (5G) (5G) Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. The Pixel 3a and 3a XL received an update that was still based on the May security patch and not the final one like all other phones at the beginning of this month. This update is probably the June security patch.
However, if you’re using an earlier Google smartphone, such as the 2016 Pixel, Pixel 2, or Pixel 3, Google warns that you may encounter problems with your home network and advises upgrading to a model with VoLTE support for your carrier.
Devices that don’t enable VoLTE roaming won’t be able to roam on other US LTE networks. For information on if VoLTE or VoLTE roaming is supported for your smartphone, speak with your carrier.
While using the affected carrier networks in the U.S., international roaming customers using devices that do not enable VoLTE roaming may experience a comparable loss of connectivity and/or voice calling capabilities.