Qualcomm Pixels losing 5G SA support

Pixel 4a (5G), 5, and 5a Lose 5G SA Support after March Update

Google Pixel phones have always been praised regarding the software front. They receive all the latest updates on time and are known to age very well because of this. But these updates are also known for being riddled with some bugs and issues sometimes, which worsen the user experience. On the same note, a Reddit user recently pointed out that some Google Pixel models based on Qualcomm processors have lost support for stand-alone 5G networks. These models are the Pixel 4a 5G, the Pixel 5, and the Pixel 5a.

Unlike Non-Stand Alone 5G, Stand Alone 5G uses a 5G radio access network (RAN) and New Radio (NR) core. Non Stand Alone 5G is based on a 5G radio network and a Long Term Evolution core, commonly known as 4G LTE.

While SA 5G, also referred to as ‘True 5G’, has a costlier implementation than NSA 5G, it does have a whole lot of advantages over it. SA 5G ensures improved latency, bandwidth, enhanced network speeds, high-reliability connections, etc. Another SA 5G perk is Voice over New Radio (VoNR). VoNR provides better quality calls than Voice over Long Term Evolution (VoLTE). Besides, SA 5G reduces power consumption since it does not operate alongside 4G LTE.

reddit 5g sa

Since the aforementioned Google Pixel devices have lost support for SA 5G connectivity post the latest March 2023 security update, they cannot enjoy the perks discussed above. This is rather frustrating for users who wanted True 5G without actually having to upgrade to a new phone. And while we are on this topic, it is essential to note that Google possibly waited for the recent trade-in deals to end before making this move, according to the Reddit post.

Also, there does not seem to be any reason why Google pulled this move. One speculation is that Google may want to encourage users of older models to upgrade to newer ones since Pixel devices based on Tensor chipsets can still use SA 5G connectivity just fine. Also, on a side note, the exact change has been made to the famous custom ROM, LineageOS.

Downgrading the software to an older security patch is the only possible solution. This is a hassle for people not used to playing with their phone’s software. For those who do not want to downgrade their software, the only way to access SA 5G connectivity is to upgrade to a newer model. Otherwise, they will have to settle with Non-Stand Alone 5G and lose access to the perks of Stand Alone 5G.

About Ansari Zaid

Ansari, a tech writer at DealNTech, is a tech enthusiast who is always up-to-date on the latest mobile news. He writes articles about mobile news and guides for DealNTech. In his free time, he enjoys playing mobile games and testing apps. Email: [email protected]. Follow him on Linkedin

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