Google has begun notifying customers of its MVNO cell service Google Fi, that it will no longer activate phones without VoLTE after January 2021. Phones already activated on the search giant’s MVNO service will continue to function in the meantime, however, support for them will be dropped entirely in the near future.
The news comes after T-Mobile made a similar announcement regarding dropping support for phones without VoLTE, and as one of the backbones of Google’s MVNO service, it’s no surprise the same is true for Fi customers.
Many recent phones should not be affected by this change, but there are some older phones that would switch to 3G when making phone calls. Unfortunately, as T-Mobile looks to the future and begins to expand its 5G offerings, it will be forced to discontinue the 3G spectrum to repurpose it for 5G.
Google is offering Fi customers who are affected by this change a $100 credit towards the purchase of a new device from Google Fi. To be eligible, you must be a current Google Fi subscriber with a non-VoLTE device active on the network as of December 3, 2020, and after purchasing the device you must activate it by December 31, 2020. Lastly, you will need to have received the email from Google about the change and offering you the credit.
There is still no official word on when support for non-VoLTE phones will be dropped on T-Mobile and subsequently Google Fi’s networks. However, now that there is a deadline for activating those phones with the two carriers, it can only mean the date is drawing near.