If you were a Telstra customer who had a Google Pixel phone — you know the up to $1419 device with guaranteed updates from Google — it turns out no matter how many times you pounded on the check for update button you were never going to get it, as Telstra was having it blocked.

Just like with previous Google updates to other devices, Telstra took it upon themselves to block their customers receiving updates, and of course didn’t tell anyone about it. First the good news, it seems the artificial restriction on you getting the updated on the device you paid for has been lifted, both readers and members of the Ausdroid team are now seeing updates come through to their devices.

However, the bigger problem here is if this continues to be a trend. With the Pixel, Google was supposed to be delivering a first class Google-driven device experiences, however, this isn’t really first class.

Now, of course, it must be said that the phone-carrying-majority of the planet probably won’t know their update from their Instagram, however, just because most people aren’t paying attention doesn’t make it right. I’m sure Telstra would wax poetically about quality of service, or customer protection, and if this update made people’s phones not work on the Telstra network I’m sure we would ALL have something to say about that.

In the end, I think it’s Google’s responsibility to make sure that all of their carrier partners, especially ones with a market exclusive, are able to support a release from day one. Telstra technically can’t block those updates, it’s Google doing it on their behalf. If you’re going to charge me $1419 for my phone and tell me it’s the best experience at least deliver that.

As a counterpoint, it’s worth noting that the OTA updates were released just over a week ago, so while Pixel devices on Telstra did not receive the update at the same time as users on literally any other network, it didn’t take that long. This isn’t to say that the issue is a red herring; far from it. While it’s only a week’s delay this time, will it be a week or less next time, or two weeks, or a month?

One thing’s for certain, Telstra customers can fairly easily avoid the artificial delay in updates by downloading them directly from Google and installing them using a computer, or by keeping a dead SIM card from any other carrier nearby (go buy a $2 SIM from the supermarket) and throwing that in their phone. Either one will get the updates onto your phone on release day.

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Is anyone getting their calls dropping out 10 seconds into a call? I’ve traced it down to when I call people with VoLTE. Disabling the Enhanced 4G LTE Mode in Mobile Network settings makes the problem go away. Had this happen with a couple of Samsungs.


Only had one VoLTE drop out, and that’s when I was in such a poor signal area that, despite showing 4G coverage, the phone didn’t have any, and the call failed.

Any particular areas you’re having the issue?


Just at home with full 4G reception. Happens consistently with certain people (certain phones presumably). Always about 10 seconds into the call. 100% repeatable.


I just received and installed Android 7.1.1 today on my pixel XL and it’s awesome. I don’t understand why Telstra doing this to their customers.

Dean Rosolen

To be fair to Google, they do say that updates to Nexus/Pixel devices take about 2 weeks to reach everyone and that some devices may be later than others depending on where the device was purchased.

That said, Telstra does have some explaining to do.

David Jones

Has anyone who had already installed the update suffered what I had. My Pixel Xl wont connect to mobile data and It decided it needed to reinstall the update again, but it still not connecting to mobile data.

David Jones

About 3 hours later, I had a dead Pixel , just not one on my screen. Rather a dead Pixel XL. Not very happy now 🙁

Peter Kokodakis

So, the update bricked your Pixel phone? Wow!

Matt Postle

I have the same issue. Update installed fine, then a couple of weeks later, I restarted the phone and it took aaages to turn back on, after that, phone refuses to connect to mobile data, and the menu system has gone weird (home button not working, swipe down menu not working, connecting to mobile data but still says it’s not connected) Did a factory reset, works fine.. until a couple of weeks after applying the update again. Restart phone one morning, then everything went screwy


Ill give Telstra benefit of the doubt as they’ve had good reason to block Nexus updates in the past (its only been one from memory)


This is the problem of Telstra, not Google. Vodafone customers received it from day one.

Gregory Williams

As for as I’m aware Vodafone customers were never given the option of purchasing the Pixel?

Darren Ferguson

Nothing stopping you putting a Vodafone SIM in a pixel bought from Telstra, JB HiFi or the play store.

Gregory Williams

Of course not, but in that scenario Vodafone has nothing to do with the updates pushed to the phone.

Darren Ferguson

Telstra block updates to all pixels on their network no matter where they are purchased.

Gregory Williams

That’s certainly interesting and I wonder technically how they manage to do that. My point though was no other telco in Australia has a hand in the Pixel besides Telstra so saying “Vodafone customers received it from day one.” seems irrelevant.


Is this article talking about pixels sold through Telstra or any pixels just use Telstra as carrier? As far as I know, for Nexus age, my friend bought from Google and use Telstra just as carrier and always got delayed update because of Telstra. Vodafone no problem.


Pixels used on Telstra, regardless of where they were purchased.


Then it’s definitely Telstra’s problem and Vodafone is all good.


It’s also now available for the Nexus 5X too (and I’m guessing the 6P), so yay, finally.