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). 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.
VoLTE roaming on the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL has been enabled as part of a bigger picture. Recent June 2022 upgrades for Google hardware, including the Pixel 3a and 3a XL, brought a few noteworthy fixes. We have just learned that the latest update for Pixel smartphones includes support for VoLTE (Voice over LTE) roaming on a number of U.S. carriers.
“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.
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.
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.”