How to enable LTE on the Nexus 4

November 23, 2012
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Some enterprising folks in Canada discovered that, in spite of several reports that said the contrary, you can, in fact, use LTE on the Google Nexus 4.

We’ve shown you a video as a proof, and the thread on XDA-forums where the news first broke is full of people that managed to activate LTE on their Nexus 4. However, there are some caveats – it appears that only a specific LTE band is supported – Band 4 (also known as AWS). AWS includes spectrum in the 1710-1755 MHz band for uplink and 2110 to 2155 MHz for downlink.

AWS spectrum is currently used by several North American carriers:

  • Bell (Canada)
  • Rogers (Canada)
  • Telus (Canada)
  • AT&T (United States, in some markets)
  • T-Mobile (United States, no LTE)

With that said, note that the XDA users that managed to enable LTE on their Nexus 4 are from Canada. But AT&T’s network uses the same bands like Bell and Rogers, so it’s very possible that LTE can be used at least in some parts of the States as well (Brian Klug from AnandTech says that, to his knowledge, AT&T has not deployed LTE on Band 4 in any market yet). Moreover, T-Mobile will use AWS spectrum to deploy its LTE network in 2013.

Instructions

  1. Open the dialer.
  2. Type *#*#4636#*#* to enter the Testing menu
  3. In the Testing Menu, change the radio mode from GSM Only (it might be WCDMA Preferred also) to LTE.
  4. Some users reported that in order to enable LTE they needed to create a new APN.

In theory, the trick should work for some AT&T users as well, but we weren’t able to test this yet. AT&T uses different bands for different markets in the United States, so LTE might only work in some areas.

So, why did Google and LG denied that the Nexus 4 is LTE capable? As my colleague Stefan said, it might be a problem of PR – Google probably didn’t want to confuse customers by offering a phone that can work on LTE only in some parts of the world, or worse, in some parts of one country.

Comments

  • BDY

    I wish I have got one before it was sold out. But really the thing that held me back from getting one was LTE capability, I guess now I don’t have any, lol.

    • Justin W

      Careful with the LTE thing… It only works in some areas so you’ll be lucky if you can access it with this change.

  • Qbancelli

    Better yet, download the Phone Info App from Google play and save yourself having to dial that code every time.

  • http://maaalice.tumblr.com Alice

    i keep on getting “unfortunately, the process com.android.phone has stopped” when i try to select the radio band. help?

  • Mahek Satra

    galaxy nexus hspa+ should also work as LTE in that case

  • Zebelious

    # I already know Android Authority will eventually ban me from their site to prevent me from posting the comment below. I have no choice but to stand up, as a principle, against the censorshipment I experienced whilst I did nothing wrong. I apologise for any inconvenience this may cause you in advance.

    @ Stefan Constantinescu (Android Authority Author)

    You have removed two comments I made in the following links in response to your derogatory response. http://www.androidauthority.com/thanksgiving-2012-133310/

    “Someone sounds like an angry college freshman.”

    In my first comment I made it clear that in one sentence alone you made one accusation, for being angry, and drew one wrong conclusion about my status, for being a college freshman. I also asked you to enlight me about any nonfactual, lies, or incorrect information I provided in my three paragraph response to your article even though I made it clear my response wasn’t a disagreement one.

    You have also clearly insulted many readers by using ‘college freshman’ as an adjective in your derogatory comment.

    Being very curious about your comment I then clicked on your user name to find out more about you. It was then I found out about a comment you made on ‘progress’ discussion, something also related to your article in above link. I quoted your statement in the second response which as I wrote it originally found it “disturbing if not frightening”. In that discussion you made it clear you couldn’t care less about human rights and China’s politics. I could not find your comment for the purpose of this post because you simply removed it to save your face. You kept your original derogatory comment to me nonetheless.

    You have clearly misused your ‘Mod’ privilages for your personal crusade which I don’t take lightly especially with someone who disregard human rights and think in the name of progress any wrong doings are justified. This kind of mindset is inline with fascisim.

  • On a Clear Day

    Question.

    How hard is it to put a chip in a phone that is capable of handling the various bands out there that LTE is offered on? Would it really have been so terribly expensive to include one or that horridly confusing to someone with a moderate amount of intelligence to figure out? If so, they could just have it disabled by default and then make people go to a link to activate it on their own, or not as the case may be.

    • MasterMuffin

      They didn’t put it in the nexus 4 because of battery life