While Google and LG managed to impress everyone with their latest Nexus smartphone offering, the Nexus 4, many were disappointed when they found out LG was not providing Nexus 4 with LTE capability. The disappointment was particularly severe because no one expected Nexus 4 to come without LTE as its non Nexus twin brother, the LG Optimus G supports it. Never the less the smartphone sold out like hotcakes upon its launch, thanks to the competitive pricing and other great specifications.
Then, just a few days back when the teardown experts from iFixit gave the Nexus 4 their regular treatment, to their and everyone else’s surprise, they actually found an LTE chip inside. A dormant chip of course, but a chip nonetheless. A Qualcomm WTR1605L seven-band 4G LTE chip to be precise. It was speculated that Nexus 4 sports an LTE 4G chip as a cost saving measure. You see, the LG Optimus G and the Nexus 4 are the same in every way on the hardware side and most likely share the same production line. Hence, it is easier to simply build the units and activate the LTE chips only on the Optimus G smartphones.
The exciting part here was to find out whether or not these LTE chips could be activated in some way. Some were pessimistic about it as they said an LTE chip was of no use if there was no LTE radio to transmit the signals at 4G frequencies.
But it now seems 4G LTE on Nexus 4 could actually turn out to be a reality. At least that is what a couple of YouTube videos are showing. Here is the story. A few people from Canada who have Telus as their carrier have shown speeds matching 4G LTE on their Nexus 4 devices. This was achieved by simply typing in “*#*#4636#*”, which lets you access the network selection menu. Here, 4G LTE was selected and after running some speed tests the download and upload speeds were confirmed to be faster than than HSPA.
So, what’s the trick here? There’s no trick. However, it looks like this is possible only if the LTE network provided is Band 4, something Telus supports. But if you are on the Stateside, T-Mobile users might actually get to experience 4G speeds on their Nexus 4 smartphones as Band 4 LTE is soon to arrive.