23
Nov
nexus4

What a wild ride the Nexus 4 has been on. First, there was an insane storm that caused Google to cancel the announcement event. Then they announced it anyway, and there was unspeakable rage at the lack of LTE. But, it sold out in like 28 minutes or some similar number, so maybe people weren't really that mad after all. Then it was backordered for lots of people, and they were all mad again. But someone took it apart and found an LTE chip inside, which made everyone go hmmmmm. And now it (unofficially) has LTE support.

Yeah, support for LTE. All from a simple software "hack." I'd actually just call it a "settings change," but hack makes people feel like they're doing something shifty, which makes it more fun. You can call it whatever you want.

There is, of course, a catch: it only works on the 1700/2100 bands, and thus, only on Rogers, Telus, and Bell is Canada. So, no, it doesn't work on AT&T in the US. I'll say it again for clarity, and for the guy who will just skim through this article and might miss it the first time: it has been tested, and doesn't work on AT&T in the US.

But, for those in Canada, this is good. Proof time!

There are other videos out there showing the same thing, but this one's definitely the best.

So, how do you do it? It's pretty simple, actually:

  • Head into the dialer and enter *#*#4636#*#* to open the phone's "Info" menu (or just install this app)
  • Change preferred network type from "WCDMA preferred" to "LTE only"
  • Leave this menu and head into Settings > Mobile Networks > Access Point Names, and change your APN settings. Here's an example of what to change it to for Rogers. More APN settings can be found scattered throughout this thread.
  • ???
  • Profit

Of course, there are a few things to be aware of here: first off, if you change the mode to "LTE only" as suggested above, you won't have data service in an area that doesn't have LTE. Also, this will most definitely have a negative impact on battery life, though we can't say how hard that hit will be.

Still, if you love the Nexus 4 and just need LTE speeds, your wish has been granted. So long as you live in Canada and are on the right network.

[XDA, TechCrunch, Reddit; Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • http://twitter.com/navjotbatra Navjot

    I've heard that it will support the T-Mobile LTE that is being rolled out next year. Is that true?

    • Jeffrey Matthews

      Yes. They use the 2100 band.

      • lbrfabio

        I wonder if Google did this on purpose...
        Of all the LTE band, it's functional the one T-Mobile will support in the future

        • http://twitter.com/ElooieIV Edward Lewis

          Its more than just that.. Band 4 (the one the N4 can use) is the one the government auctioned off a while ago with the explicit instructions that it be open to any device that can connect to it. Anyone remember who was the driving force behind that provision? Google. I read somewhere else that the T-mobile Note 2 also has a dormant LTE chip that works on Band 4 as well. I wouldnt be surprised to see a patch go out to the N4s and T-mobile Note 2s once T mobiles LTE network goes live. Also worth noting.. Metro PCS uses Band 4 also for its LTE. So it looks like the Metro PCS areas will be the first to support the N4. It really looks like T-mobile is going for the "Bring any and all your devices to our network."

        • Cherokee4Life

          I guarantee it, look what Sprint did and started to offer LTE phones before they had LTE. major let down and bad pr. This way you buying a 3G phone and happen to get LTE. Major PLus

  • Kris

    And even more battery complaints from Canadian Nexus 4 owners!

    • Hosein

      I activated LTE on my Nexus 4 this morning (~ 3 hrs ago) and the battery seems not to be affected at all! Just amazing!

      • Y314K

        Probably because it's only using one antenna to get HSPA + LTE instead of having UMTS/HSPA and LTE antennas separately... It's only dipping into the battery once... Hopefully there will be some roaming in a car and walking vids of HSPA & LTE handoff's to see how it performs...

  • mike

    In the entire world, this will only work in Canada? What do you mean by 1700/2100 bands? Are these exclusively used in Canada?

    • Philippe

      Not exclusive to Canada. Carriers use different frequencies to transmit data. T-Mobile uses the same bands but doesn't have LTE.

  • Brenden

    TmoNews is reporting that the LG Nexus 4 will work on T-Mobile's LTE Network once it is available in 2013.

  • giuseppe diego

    someone has an idea for when you return it in stock again?

    • Blake Forehand

      All you have to do is turn it back to WCDMA

  • Paito Anderson

    Canada gets something first!!

    • BryanMacKenzie

      back in the day we got the x10 first too. Sony used to love Canada.

  • http://www.facebook.com/glenn.foot Glenn Foot

    UK is using 2100 band so maybe LTE nexus 4 in the UK!

  • Hilman_ca

    Good stuff, I look forward to testing this out on the TELUS network as soon as Google gets around to shipping my N4 lol. If it sucks the battery down I'll go back to the HSPA+ DC network which has reportedly had speeds of 22-25 Mbps in Canada on the N4, either way is a win :)

  • Rodrigost23

    Not even my home internet is so fast! Mobile network in Brazil is just awful, it would never get to 10Mbps...

  • Alex

    If you go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_LTE_networks

    You can see the LTE frequency bands in the world.

    • Sorian

      Looks like Cricket and MetroPCS might support this band of LTE, Nice find!

      • GazaIan

        And T-Mobile will be merging with MetroPCS and take over their LTE network, while the only carrier the Nexus 4 is being sold on is T-Mobile... Looks like this worked out pretty damn well, Nexus 4 owners using T-Mobile have something to look forward to.

    • imran

      Thank you

  • http://www.bradley.zxq.net/gallery Brad Biederman

    Living in Canada has its benefits for once!

    • ElfirBFG

      :/ My OHIP card says that LTE isn't our only benefit.

  • jau

    Whats with Cricket or MetroPCS?

  • http://twitter.com/ao9news andy o

    Change preferred network type from "WCDMA preferred" to "LTE only"

    From the video, you can just change it to LTE preferred.

  • Jonathan Wong

    Oh wow... I have no idea why Google wouldn't market the LTE support when many other devices do. Hopefully, Google'll enable it with an update in the future.

    • http://twitter.com/navjotbatra Navjot

      they probably didn't want to pay for licensing

      • http://twitter.com/ElooieIV Edward Lewis

        Nah, my guess is the fee is included in the price of the chip. I would guess they didnt market it because.. T-mobile (and areas of ATT) that the Band uses arnt really live here in the States. I read somewhere that ATT uses a little bit of its AWS in chicago so you might get a connection there.. otherwise this is completely going to be focused on the T-Mobile LTE ...whenever that goes live... Also the Dish/Google Network.

  • Drake

    Love the south park ??? Profit reference in this post!

  • Matt

    I'm on Telus, just tested it out in Mississauga and I'm getting 42 mbps down and 25 mbps up! Amazing!

  • Luis Augusto Fretes Cuevas

    Mexico also uses AWS. Japan and Hong Kong too, and so will T-Mobile and AT&T. There's probably more countries

  • infogulch

    Hey, the video says it *does* work with Canadian bands, but it doesn't say anything about any of the other bands. The lte chip that they found is quad band. Has anyone actually TRIED this on AT&T?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

      You have got to be kidding me...

      • infogulch

        Oh, nevermind. :P

        Hey that wasn't there the first time I read the article. xD

    • migo

      No, the LTE chip is 7-band. The reason it works with AWS is because the antenna is already tuned to those frequencies. No explanation as to whether LTE on PCS or IMT as PCS isn't used for LTE by a non-CDMA network, and IMT is only used for LTE in Japan, the Phillipines and Nice Korea.

  • Freak4Dell

    Does it work with AT&T? :p

    It might actually work with T-Mobile when they roll out LTE next year.

    • http://twitter.com/ElooieIV Edward Lewis

      It will work.. and Metro PCS who they just bought already uses that band for its LTE.

  • JG

    A few points

    1.) If T-Mobile is the official launch partner of the Nexus 4, is there any reason it wasn't mentioned in the main article like AT&T? Even a quick reference "The Nexus 4's LTE chip functions on the 1700/2100 band. AT&T doesn't use these frequencies, but T-Mobile's upcoming LTE network will."

    2.) Is there a reason there is no LTE Preferred option that would allow the N4 to function on LTE when its available, or drop to 3G where it isn't, without having to go into settings every time you want to switch between the two? Isn't that how most other phones function?

    3.) Is the lack of 4G really that big of a deal? I mean yeah, I want the fastest possible phone... But doesn't a HSPA+42 radio get LTE like speeds? Plus, presumably, while using less battery power.... And considering 3G is a lot more ubiquitous than 4G.... I'm seeing a phone that'll get me high speeds, without having to venture the 2+ hrs to get to a 4G network and last most of the day....

    • GazaIan

      2) There is an LTE Preferred option.
      3) For some it is, but I can see why. LTE is holy crap blazing fast, especially Verizon's LTE. Once you get used to it, it's hard to switch back. HSPA can definitely compete with these speeds but you have to be pretty lucky to be in an area with good speeds. Even here in NYC the HSDPA speeds aren't all that amazing.

      • JG

        Cool, thanks for the heads up.... If I do get an N4 I'll keep that in mind. I was assuming there wasn't an LTE Preferred option since the article said to "Change preferred network type from "WCDMA preferred" to "LTE only"" and mentioned that while on LTE there would be no way to get to data without a 4G network.... I'd assume if there was a LTE Preferred option they would have mentioned it... At least to say "Hey it doesn't work, only LTE Only will"

  • Jameshkd

    so glad i am living in canada, so getting the Nexus 4 now

  • http://profiles.google.com/kehnin Kehnin Dyer

    i swear that google is going to have a cell service on those frequencies in america and they wanted to be all "SURPRISE! IT IS LTE!" when they actually do it.

  • migo

    Actually, it does work on AT&T, just in a few regions as Band IV isn't used by AT&T for LTE in most places.

  • Shane Valentine

    Wait, how come it says AT&T uses 700, 1700, and 2100 LTE bands here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AT%26T_Mobility

    • Freak4Dell

      Because they do, but they primarily use 700. They're using AWS in areas where they don't have a good amount of 700 to use. I believe their plan is to eventually use AWS to provide more capacity in populated areas, too, but for the most part, they're just doing 700 right now to start with.

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