In another online incarnation, I wrote last week about the dejection felt by the Android faithful following the realisation the Google Nexus 4 does not operate on LTE wavelength, limiting its capibilities. It seems I was wrong. Or perhaps premature is a better word. Say nothing.
Whilst in the UK a HSPA+ network has the capacity to be at least as fast as LTE, there can be no guarantees that battery life will not be affected. Following a similar issue with the iPhone 3, this should have been one of the key considerations in developing the LG Nexus 4 concept.
However, experts in Canada have been playing around with the Nexus 4 since its launch some ten days ago. In the aftermath of Anandtech at least proving that the much-awaited handset could theoretically support Band 4 (AWS), XDA Developers members are physically demonstrating that notion.
Legality of operating Nexus 4 on LTE
When asked why LTE connectivity hadn’t been included in the Nexus 4 in the first place, Andy Rubin simply referred to ‘tactical issues’. In truth, for LG to have knowingly incorporated the function in its handset may well have increased the value of the handset.
Running LTE on the Nexus 4 legitimately would also have provided the headache of more licensing for Google. Given the ability to run on LTE Band 4 demonstrated in Canada, this may be something Google has to face up to now, anyway.
Alternatively, Google may choose to deploy a patch to block the ability to connect. This decision will all depend upon reaction from the network enforcement agencies across the world, bodies like the FCC, and the pressure they apply on Google to do so.
How to get the Nexus 4 to connect to LTE
Access to the LTE network is found through the debugging menu, forcing the handset to pick up signals on Band 4. Whilst AT&T and Verizon LTE networks are incompatible, operating on Bands 17 and 13 respectively, T-Mobile customers stand the best chance of using the Nexus 4 on LTE.
Since the revelation from XDA Developers and subsequent footage from TekGadg demonstrating how to access LTE radio on the Nexus 4 on TELUS (as per the video above), Anandtech have gone back to their original research.
They are now in a position to declare, quite categorically, that Band 4 LTE seems to be fully supported by the OEM choice of power amplifiers and transceivers.
As the TekGadg video points out, Google has probably known this all along. Perhaps not having the carriers’ blessings, it has waited for the texperts to figure it all out. Not taken them long, has it?
And it’s not cost Google a dime. That’s just one of the reasons why Google will, one day, take over the world…you have been warned.