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.

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