Google says it doesn’t plan to replace the software program for the Pixel 4a 5G, 5, or 5a to help C-band 5G in the US, regardless of additionally saying that the telephones have the vital {hardware} and that the performance will work in different international locations. Google hasn’t defined this resolution, which it introduced in a post on the Pixel support forums (h/t to Android Police for recognizing that put up). Google has up to date its newest Pixels in the US, the 6 and 6 Pro, with C-band via a software update, however not these older telephones.

The put up says that the earlier Pixel fashions “have C-band capable hardware and are enabled for operation in certain countries” however that the firm does “not have any plans to support C-band operation in the US” for these earlier Pixel fashions.

This information is, frankly, a bummer. When my colleague Chris Welch tested Verizon’s C-band network, it was notably quicker than 4G LTE and most of the different 5G companies the firm supplied. While C-band isn’t as quick as mmWave, it’s acquired extra vary, making it extra viable for extra clients. Verizon and (to a lesser extent) AT&T are spending billions to make C-band an enormous a part of their 5G networks — and these comparatively current telephones, seemingly arbitrarily, can’t use it in the US. It’s particularly upsetting for the Pixel 5, a flagship telephone that’s just one era old and which already has the FCC’s approval to use C-band.

(If you’re questioning about T-Mobile, its present 5G community doesn’t make the most of C-band, though it does have plans to introduce some late subsequent yr. The firm cherished pointing this out throughout the 5G debacle with the FAA, carriers, and airlines.)

Google didn’t instantly reply to an electronic mail from The Verge asking why it would help C-band in some international locations however not others. In its put up, the firm factors out that the telephones will nonetheless be capable of use no matter Sub-6 and mmWave 5G capabilities they’d at launch.

As all the time, this serves as a reminder to not purchase one thing based mostly on options it might or might get in a future software program replace. In our Pixel 5a review from 2021, we point out that the telephone’s lack of C-band could be a disadvantage in the future however that Google could add help for it if it needed. Unfortunately, it looks as if that future is true round the nook for purchasers with telephones that Google is supporting. But the firm doesn’t appear taken with together with US clients that don’t have the newest and best Pixels.

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