Some Pixel 6 Owners Are About To Get Faster 5G

It looks like some Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro owners will finally be able to make better use of their phones' 5G capabilities, as the devices have officially been cleared to work on Verizon's 5G C-band network. According to a tweet from Verizon PR manager George Koroneos, a planned software update for both Pixel models will enable 5G access on the carrier's Ultra Wideband network.

It's worth noting this announcement specifically applies to the carrier's Ultra Wideband network, not its 5G Nationwide service. While Ultra Wideband is, according to Verizon, the "highest performing" option of the two, coverage is still fairly limited compared to Verizon's 5G Nationwide and 4G LTE networks. Even if your Pixel 6 phone receives the software update to work with 5G Ultra Wideband, due to the network's limited availability in some areas, you might not be able to make use of it just yet. The arrival of C-Band support should help change that, however, as it is available in more places than its mmWave counterpart.

Koroneos says the software update should begin rolling out later today, March 21, 2022, for Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro owners.

Why 5G is a big deal

While 5G may not be an essential feature for the average smartphone user, it's steadily becoming the new standard with its own benefits over 4G LTE. Many new smartphones like the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 come with 5G connection capabilities right out of the box, so there's no need to upgrade in the future to make use of these networks.

That said, most carriers have been pushing 5G for a while now, and while it hasn't replaced 4G yet, it likely will — though this could take several years. Simply being prepared for this eventual change is its own reward. Beyond that, there's also the fact 5G is just plain faster than 4G — particularly the mmWave signal used for 5G Ultra Wideband, which is the speedier 5G option for the moment.

When it comes to Verizon, the carrier's 5G Ultra Wideband name covers both C-band and mmWave spectrum. Only certain carrier model Pixel 6 smartphones sold in the US support mmWave 5G, but C-band is a different matter. Both the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro models are getting Verizon C-band support with this change, meaning you'll enjoy speeds beyond 4G even if you have a non-Pro model that lacks support for mmWave networks.