It seems that several Google Pixel users in Germany are currently unable to activate their devices on the Vodafone and O2 5G Plus (5G SA) network, even though their devices are theoretically compatible. In this story, you will find what could be happening.

What are 5G Plus (5G SA) networks?

In case you were unaware, there are two kinds of 5G networks: SA (standalone) and NSA (non-standalone). Both operate differently. SA is a completely 5G network, whereas 5G NSA “reuses” the infrastructure of 4G LTE networks.

The initial years of 5G deployment were dominated by NSA networks, but later 5G SA ones began to be implemented. The latter is what allows you to take advantage of the full potential of 5G, offering some key advantages to enhance the user experience.

The main advantages of 5G SA networks are:

  • Lower energy consumption: by not having to use part of the 4G infrastructure, connected devices only have to use one type of connectivity. This reduces work on the modem, resulting in less effort and even heating.
  • Better performance: 5G SA networks allow for greater bandwidth, and even improved latency, which is quite useful for wireless networks in multiple use cases (like gaming).

Several Google Pixel users in Germany cannot activate Vodafone & O2 5G Plus (5G SA)

Vodafone and O2 are two of the carriers currently offering 5G SA service in Germany, but some Google Pixel users report being unable to activate their phones on this network. In the case of O2, SA networks have been available since mid-October in German territory. Also, both promote it with the commercial name of ‘5G Plus’ or ‘5G+’.


That said, theoretically, users can activate their phones on the 5G Plus network at no cost from multiple channels, including the ‘My O2 App’. Those who want to do so must only meet the following requirements:

  1. Have a 5G-enabled tariff
  2. Have a 5G-Plus-enabled SIM card
  3. Have a compatible smartphone

If you want to check if your device offers support for this type of connectivity, you can do so on the O2 carrier through this link. Meanwhile, although the Vodafone website is not very specific, you can contact a member of the support team to get your questions answered under the section devoted to 5G+.

There’s also another way to check if your device is compatible with 5G Plus or not. You just have to dial *#*#4636#*#* in the phone app and check if under ‘Network Type’ section it says ‘NR SA’ (compatible) or ‘NR NSA’ (not compatible).


If you have an older Google Pixel, you may not be able to activate it on the 5G SA network because the March 2023 update reportedly removed support for this type of connectivity on some models such as the Pixel 4a (5G), Pixel 5, and Pixel 5a. While there are users who say that this was resolved in the latest Android 13 patches, there are others for whom it still persists.


Lastly, regarding the latest Google Pixel 8 series (and other devices that theoretically offer hardware support for 5G SA), there are also people facing similar issues. In this case, some reports suggest that these devices are currently only compatible if they are running Android 14 QPR1 beta.

In fact, there is currently no Google Pixel included in the official list of devices with O2 5G+ support. Therefore, it will be necessary to wait for a future OS update.

Also, even a SIM replacement could be necessary to enjoy the best 5G connectivity, especially if you use an eSIM. This is because, according to the O2 5G+ support page, eSIMs currently do not support 5G SA connectivity (at least for now).



There are a couple of main reasons why you are unable to activate your Google Pixel phone on the Vodafone and O2 5G Plus (5G SA) in Germany. First, even if their hardware offers support, they will require an OS update to activate them, and currently only those running the Android 14 QPR1 beta version can do so.

The second reason is that the Android March 2023 update reportedly removed support for 5G SA networks on Qualcomm-based Pixels (like Pixel 4a 5G, Pixel 5, and Pixel 5a).

To top it off, the other reason that could prevent you from activating your phone on the 5G+ network is if you use an eSIM, which is currently not compatible on Vodafone and O2 carriers.

Jean Leon
1613 Posts

A tech enthusiast since ever. I like to always be up to date on the latest news in the industry and write about it. Twitter: @jean_ERdC

Next article View Article

Google Drive not letting users play videos, throws 'allowed playbacks has been exceeded' error

Google Drive users have been dealing with an issue for years where they get an 'allowed playbacks has been exceeded' error when trying to play videos. And Google has still...
Feb 20, 2024 2 Min Read