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Google's Pixel 6 Phones Now Work With Verizon's C-Band 5G Network

But the promised Pixel 5 update is not happening.

Eli Blumenthal Senior Editor
Eli Blumenthal is a senior editor at CNET with a particular focus on covering the latest in the ever-changing worlds of telecom, streaming and sports. He previously worked as a technology reporter at USA Today.
Expertise 5G, mobile networks, wireless carriers, phones, tablets, streaming devices, streaming platforms, mobile and console gaming,
Eli Blumenthal
2 min read

Google's Pixel 6, left, and 6 Pro, right, can now use Verizon's C-band 5G network. 

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Google's Pixel 6 and 6 Pro now are capable of connecting to Verizon's faster C-band 5G network. On Monday, the software giant announced that it is rolling out an update to enable support for the faster 5G connection on its Pixel 6 line of devices that connect to Verizon's network. 

The carrier's C-band network, what it calls "5G Ultra Wideband," currently covers over 100 million people with plans to cover 175 million by the end of 2022. Verizon says that the network can provide average download speeds of 300Mbps (with peaks of 1Gbps) to those with compatible devices and one of the carrier's pricier, recent unlimited data plans. 

Verizon spokesman George Koroneos tweeted out the news Monday afternoon, with Google later posting its own update on its Pixel Phone Help forums

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The Pixel 6 and 6 Pro have already been certified and capable of use with AT&T's C-band 5G network. 

In a more surprising twist, Google revealed in its post that the Pixel 5 will no longer be getting an update to make it compatible with C-Band networks in the United States. The phone does have the necessary hardware and supports using the spectrum internationally. Verizon even touted the phone as one of its first C-Band capable devices back in March 2021.

"At this time, we do not have any plans to support C-band operation in the U.S. on Pixel 4A (5G), Pixel 5, or Pixel 5A (5G)," Google wrote in the forum post. The company says that those phones will still be capable of connecting to low-band, midband and millimeter-wave 5G networks "based on your carrier, plan, and location."

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment on why it no longer plans to upgrade the Pixel 5 to support C-band. Verizon declined to comment.