Pixel update brings VoLTE roaming support amid ongoing 3G shutdown

Pixel 3a XL
(Image credit: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google Pixel devices recently received the June 2022 Security Update with several bug fixes.
  • The update has enabled VoLTE roaming for older Pixel devices like the Pixel 3a and 3a XL.
  • The move is to address carrier shutdowns of 3G networks in the U.S later this year.

Google devices as old as the Pixel 3a and the 3a XL recently received June 2022 updates, bringing a few notable fixes. Now, we're learning that the new update for Pixel smartphones also brings support for VoLTE (Voice over LTE) roaming across several carriers in the U.S.

The new update lets U.S. and global Pixel owners roam within the states with VoLTE service, provided the carrier you're on supports it. The search giant further mentioned the new feature on a support page explaining the impact of the 3G cellular network shutting down (via 9to5Google).

Here's a list of Pixel devices that get the new update:

  • Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL
  • Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL
  • Pixel 4a
  • Pixel 4a (5G), Pixel 5
  • Pixel 5a (5G)
  • Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro

This update comes after the recent move from the carriers in the U.S. who are phasing out their 3G networks this year. It also means some of the devices that don't support VoLTE or VoLTE Roaming will be on the verge of losing voice calls, including even emergency calls to 911, including the first and second-generation Pixel devices.

9to5Google notes how this seemingly explains why the older Android phones like the Pixel 3a and the Pixel 3a XL received the latest June Android Security patch, although they're still expected to receive one more update. That said, if you're using an older device without VoLTE or VoLTE roaming service, it's high time you opt for any of the newer Android phones that supports them if you want to stay connected.

Here's what Google has to say about the impact of the 3G cellular network shutting down in the U.S.

"For U.S. customers, if you’re using an older device where VoLTE was not enabled for your carrier you will experience issues on your home network and we recommend you upgrade to a device that has VoLTE enabled for your carrier.  Devices without VoLTE roaming support will not be able to roam on other LTE US networks.  Contact your carrier for information about whether VoLTE or VoLTE roaming is supported for your device.

For international customers who are roaming in the U.S. and on a device without VoLTE roaming support, you will lose connectivity and/or voice calling capabilities while on affected carrier networks in the U.S.  Contact your carrier for information about whether VoLTE roaming is supported."

Vishnu Sarangapurkar
News Writer

Vishnu works as a freelance News Writer for Android Central. For the past four years, he's been writing about consumer technology, primarily involving smartphones, laptops, and every other gizmo connected to the Internet. When he is away from keyboard, you can see him going on a long drive or chilling on a couch binge-watching some crime series.