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Repair information for the Google Pixel 4a. Released on August 20th, 2020. Model number: GA02099-US.

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Where exactly is the WiFi/Data antenna?

I would like to turn my smartphone into a dumb phone, as it were. Are there any images/videos on this specific part, to see if it's as simple as disconnecting, or soldering to disable? I'm not sure if it's possible, but I'd like to know.

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Hi Jerrod,

One thing you need to be aware of if you're talking about removing the cellular data antenna is that you may disable your phone's ability to make phone calls. It all depends on what network you're on. For GSM networks like AT&T, the voice and data are carried on separate channels. However, on LTE networks, the voice is converted to data and carried over the network data channel. Same idea as Voice Over IP, or VoIP, only in this case it's VoLTE. So on things like Verizon, killing the cellular data will also kill your ability to even make a phone call.

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Thank you for your response. What then if I only wish to kill the WiFi antenna, and remove data from my mobile plan? Where then would I find the WiFi antenna?

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Hi @jerrodh

See Step.34 of the ifixit Google Pixel 4a Motherboard Replacement guide to find the location of one end of the WiFi/BT antenna. You will have to search for the other end of the cable, as it is not shown in the guide to make sure that it is totally disconnected

Note, disconnecting the antenna will not prevent WiFi/BT connection but will limit the effective range to <30cm, so the phone would have to be used nearly right on top of a WiFi router for it to connect.

Also turn off the WiFi setting

Removing the WiFi/BT IC from the systemboard may not be advisable as at least then it will be easy in the future if you need to restore the phone to full functionality by simply replacing the antenna.

Disconnecting this antenna will not affect the GSM signalling function in the phone.

You can turn off the data function by going to Settings > Network and Internet > data saver.

To ensure that no one else can turn the WiFi or the data saver on again etc, use a pin number that only you know to open the phone and also create/connect a Google account for the phone. The Google account means that the user ID and password would need to be known to access the phone if a factory restore was attempted in the case of the phone being stolen/lost or someone else simply trying to access it etc

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Jerrod H will be eternally grateful.
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