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Google Pixel 3/3XL issue stops some phones connecting to LTE

Some Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL owners find they can't connect to AT&T LTE networks after disconnecting from Wi-Fi.

Published onApril 11, 2019

Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL stood upright outdoors against brickwork.

Some Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL devices appear to be suffering from a problem related to internet connectivity. According to comments on Reddit and AT&T’s forums, Pixel 3 units sometimes fail to connect to 4G LTE despite being in areas with sufficient coverage.

Most of the comments point towards the same circumstances: when a person disconnects from Wi-Fi (or is disconnected after leaving home or work), their Pixel 3 or Pixel 3XL will fail to pick up a 4G LTE connection. The connectivity status bar will typically display an ‘X’ symbol until they take further action, such as changing networks (described below).

Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL problems and how to fix them

The bulk of the affected users are with AT&T.

The problem appears to be exclusive to Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL phones, and two people have mentioned the problem persisted even with a replacement Pixel 3. Another suggested it only occurs after being disconnected from some home Wi-Fi systems, not all.

Others in the Google Support forums have raised issues regarding the Pixel 3s and AT&T connectivity, though these may not be related to the specific problem outlined above.

What’s behind the issue?

Neither Google nor AT&T appear to have publicly acknowledged the issue described on Reddit, so we’re left to speculate what’s behind it.

Some AT&T forum-goers have posited that it relates to the device’s APN settings configuration (you can find the defaults here), while others have said making changes in Developer Options can cause it. Another (unlikely) lead points to AT&T’s LTE band 30 (2300MHz).

The Pixel 3s have the necessary hardware to support this band, but for whatever reason, they shipped without access to it. Google vowed to roll out band 30 support to them soon after their launch last year; however, this still isn’t listed in the supported LTE bands on the Google Pixel 3’s official page.

google pixel 3 back clearly white camera fingerprint sensor

There’s nothing that necessarily suggests the LTE issue is related to this frequency band: whether the Pixel 3s support band 30 or not, their connection to other bands shouldn’t be affected. But here’s a chance that a bug or another technical problem connected to band 30 has caused the disruption. It would explain why this issue seems to be exclusive to AT&T at any rate.

As a side note, Cricket also uses AT&T’s towers and support band 30 — it would be interesting to see if Pixel 3 owners with that carrier have experienced this problem (though I haven’t found any evidence of this online when researching this piece).

Possible solutions

For those who have experienced this issue, several working solutions have been suggested. Restarting the device, switching Airplane mode on and off, as well as switching from 4G LTE to 3G and back to LTE (in Settings > Network & Internet > Mobile network > Advanced > Preferred Network Type) all may fix it in the short term. One person also suggested that undoing any changes you may have made in Developer Options could solve it. We’re yet to see a long-term fix that has worked for everybody, though.

At this point, we can’t confirm if this is specific to Pixel 3 phones or AT&T, but we’ve reached out to representatives of the carrier and Google for more information. We will update this page should we hear back.

Let us know in the comments if you’ve experienced anything like this and what your situation is.

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