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Update: How to enable LTE on the Nexus 4 with Rogers, Telus or Bell (video)


On this, the most exhausting shopping day of the year, we have another reason to celebrate. Due to the inherent LTE-based lineage of the Nexus 4, it was discovered that the device is compatible with Canada’s LTE networks by making a few tweaks to the device settings.

First, a disclaimer: we cannot guarantee that your phone will work properly after performing these changes, and we hold no responsibility for you messing up your phone, your life, or kicking a dog.

Now the good stuff. Because the Nexus 4 supports Band IV on LTE — that’s AWS spectrum running on 1700/2100Mhz — it can be activated on any LTE network in Canada by making a few changes. Note that this can be activated on Fido, Virgin and Koodo, but they will need their own unique APN addresses as well.

We don’t yet know how this will affect battery life on the Nexus 4, but rest assured we will be re-running our battery tests and network speed tests across all three carriers in the days to come.

1) First, you’ll need to go into Settings/More/Mobile networks/Access Point Names
2) For Rogers ONLY, add new APN: lteinternet.apn. Leave all the other entries blank for now. You can come back later to re-fill all the appropriate boxes.
2a) For TELUS and Bell, you can use the same APN as was populated when you put the SIM card in.

3) Open up your phone dialer, enter *#*#4636#*#* (be sure to add that last * as I couldn’t demonstrate that on the GIF)
4) Tap on “Phone information”
5) Open “Set preferred network type:”
6) Select “LTE/GSM auto (PRL)

7) Profit!

Note that you also need a LTE-provisioned microSIM card from your carrier, with a compatible LTE plan. Some older/legacy plans will not provide LTE coverage. In that case you’ll need to call your carrier to switch over to a new plan and purchase a new microSIM.

Let us know how this works out for you!

Update: After playing around with the phone all day, there are a few important updates to make.

First, the phone reverts back to “WCDMA Preferred” in the Phone Information menu upon reboot. This means that you’re going to have to enable “LTE/GSM auto” every time you restart the phone. You can download an app to quickly jump into the menu, but it’s a stopgap measure at best. We’re sure some custom ROM maker is going to build LTE into the phone sooner rather than later, but for now be aware that you’ll have to perform the change every time you restart.

Second, it appears that Google Now does not work when connected to an LTE network. It doesn’t seem to be APN-related, either; it works when “LTE Only” is selected in the Phone Information menu. It appears that something about setting “LTE/GSM” disables the data connection to Google Now. We’re investigating this issue and caution you on using LTE on the Nexus 4 if you rely heavily on that service.

  • aliwhatsit

    SOLD!

    • JUST SAYING

      CAN I ACTIVATE APPLE MAP ON IT?? PLEASE HELP

      REGARDS
      BAAAAAA

    • Johnny

      You’re absolutely right! They’re all sold! I asked a google play rep and was told they should be back in stock within 2 weeks. I got to get one this time!

    • JUST SAYING

      APPLE WILL SUE THEM FOR THIS

      NO ONE WILL BUY THE IPHONE ANY MORE

      RIP APPLE

  • George

    No… effin’… way!!! :D

  • Matt

    I’m only surprised it took a week to find this one out!

  • john

    Why would google disable this feature???? That was one of the biggiest complaints people had about this amazing phone…

    • Tom

      Maybe they didn’t want to advertise and support and explain that something so important only works on a few carriers. Maybe they planned to include it but were unable to get Verizon to allow it and w/o Verizon not much point.

      Maybe their partners freaked when they heard about the price, and Google relented, so Optimus G and other phones selling at 2x the price still have a selling point.

    • S S

      Probably because it is not universal. LTE isn’t like GSM or UMTS, there are many many bands and not all are available on the Nexus 4. So marketing it at LTE would create great buzz, but it would have to come with a huge asterisk.

      I have an iPhone myself, but I think this is a Good Guy Google moment.

    • Mark

      Because they don’t want to support it. LTE was less than successful with the Gnex. It was buggy, had poor quality, drained power, and was carrier conrolled unlike the GSM variants.

      So google did not seek regulatory approval to make the N4 LTE enabled. The hardware was only there because the N4 is basically a Google branded Optimus G, so it was less costly to leave the chip on than redo an entire board.

      Still a bit naive of Google/LG to not know people would disassemble the N4 and hack this to working condition. Don’t get to excited, I’d expect a patch to disable this soon, at least for the unrooted stock folk.

    • deltatux

      It never got FCC certification as they never requested it. It was just by fluke that The Big 3 operates their LTE network on the AWS band because we have HSPA+ networks that operate on AWS band thanks to Mobilicity, WIND, Sasktel, MTS and Videotron. Also in the States, they’ve got T-Mobile running their DC-HSPA+ network on the AWS band as well.

      In the States since the 700 MHz spectrum was already licensed out, AT&T and other carriers chose to launch LTE in that band because it can punch through walls a lot better than AWS. It’s just that the Canadian government hasn’t done the same is why The Big 3 are using AWS instead.

  • Wildspin

    Ha-ha-ha … so far the best black friday deal! LoL

  • SHOGUN

    OH MY!!!!!!!! Are they back in stock yet??? I need 2 of them!!!

  • MrC39

    What’s next?…..A how to video for Rooting? Custom Rom/Kernel? LOL. Either way I am still wanting a Nexus phone either the Nexus 4 or the next Nexus (Sony?).

  • Negrix

    Take my money NOW !

  • Samuel Maskell

    Doesn’t work for me on bell. Do I need a different sim card?

    • lukeiphone

      You need an LTE sim card with LTE compatible plan. Go to a bell store and they will set you up.

    • kris

      lukeiphone there is no such thing as a LTE sim. LTE has to do with the phone hardware nothing to do with sim. The carriers just want your $ for a new sim. Im using my old minisim from htc desire that i cut to fit in my gs3. telus said i needed a v3 micro sim they are full of it. LTE works just fine with my old sim cut. just tested 35down 12up

  • General Gustov

    For the price, this is by far the best phone on the market :)

  • lukeiphone

    Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • deltatux

    Is there an APN for Fido since that only lists Rogers….

    • 45

      name: ltemobile.apn
      APN: ltemobile.apn
      user:
      password:

    • deltatux

      Do you need an “LTE SIM”?

  • John Lee

    I’m buying it.

  • Archie

    Is there anything special about the sim/account you’re using, or will it work if i just go to Bell and get a LTE micro-sim?

  • David

    Does it work on Fido?

  • crunch204

    Can we get clarification as to whether users need LTE Sims for this? It would make sense to have but can we be made sure?

    • 45

      Yes, of course you would need an LTE SIM card.

  • Hosein

    Mine works perfect on Fido LTE; so excited! :)

  • This Changes Everything

    Can I use a Bell microSIM card from my tablet which is on Bell’s flex data plan?

  • spanky

    Great post Daniel! Thanks. Now if I could only get my phone.

  • Xanth18

    Guys, seriously… the Nexus 4 doesn’t have regulatory go-ahead for this. Don’t expect it to last.

    LG will get blasted for not fixing this asap.

    • Matt

      Hopefully Google just pays up. I can see the phone being banned from being sold by the FCC come next week until things get worked out.

    • Dern

      LG can’t “fix” this. LG and Google can patch this all they want but come on, this is Android, you know there is going to be a work around to explout the LTE hardware. They would have to recall every device and roll out new devices without the LTE hardware to truly “fix” this.

    • Kyle

      Why would Google or LG need regulatory approval? By the CRTC? They’re not regulated.

  • It’s all about the Nexus!

    once again, it’s all about the Nexus!

  • some guy

    Ok so now I’m confused… If the Phone is able to use LTE, why on earth did they disable it?

    I’ve been saying from the get-go that it was most likely a cost cutting reason to not have LTE enabled (most likely by not including a necessary component) but if it is there and functional, then why wouldn’t they have it on in the first place?

    Seems kinda silly, but w/e.

    • Matt

      It was never disabled per say

    • some guy

      True, I’m just curious what the reasoning is now. :)
      Maybe there is a licensing fee or something that the FCC would reject if it was enabled out of the box.

      It just seems odd that it is included yet disabled via software.

  • Wait for it…

    I’m sure LG Canada is not all to happy. Who’s going to buy the LG Optimus G now?

  • Brad F

    they gonna come out with new firmware to shut it down, so you will never be able to update your phone ever again if u want the LTE to last

  • Steve

    Does this work with Koodo as well? I can’t remember if Koodo even has LTE but I have that sick 60 dollar summer plan they pushed out a while back. 6 GB data, etc.

    I don’t have a nexus 4 right now but I may get one soon.

    • Steve

      Herp Derp I didn’t see it in the article. Anyone know what the ID is for Koodo?

  • JUST SAYING

    OK WHAT IS THE IDEA OF BUYING THE NEXUS 4 FOR $350 AND THEN YOU HAVE TO GO TO BELL, ROGERS OR TELUS TO BUY $60-$70 LTE PLAN???

    • This Changes Everything

      You don’t have to go on the $60-$70 LTE plan. Just go on Bell’s tablet flex data plan $35/month for 5GB no contract.

    • This Changes Everything

      And use VoLTE (Skype/Google Talk) for calling.

    • JUST SAYING

      SO YOU ARE BUYING A 4.7″ TABLET NOT A SMARTPHONE?

    • Geoff

      Still works pretty great for people who are in the middle of their contracts and want something new!

    • some guy

      Or just have a regular Telus data plan. There’s no extra cost between HSPA and LTE. Aside from the obvious inflated rate plan prices…

    • Eh?

      Yes. If you want LTE then you need to be on a carrier that has LTE. Duh.

  • shrimpricebowl

    will this same trick work on the gnexus? cuz i hear they have an unactivated lte chip as well

  • Jordan

    The reason why it is not enabled by default is because it would add an extra $50 of licensing fees to actually use LTE. By not enabling it they bring down the cost of the phone. I wonder if they will get some backlash from this. Hopefully they don’t get sued…

  • holler back girl

    tried it…works great on n4 !

  • microchip01

    Yeeeahh!!! lack of LTE was the deal breaker for me with the Nexus 4.

  • Pike

    This will stop working in 3….2….1…..

  • Bob

    If they do patch this, is it something XDA can do a work around for? I’m not sure how this technomombojumbo really works…

  • MrMarvelous

    Wow!

  • abc123

    Great. Now there will be even MORE people pressing f5 when the nexus 4 comes back in stock!

  • Mikkey

    This news is good and bad.
    Good for current N4 owners.
    Bad – The word is out about this LTE work-around. Itwill be shut down very soon. (if not already)

  • til-bar

    WIN WIN WIN

    everyone has to re-review the phone now…

  • DocB

    Now all I need is a 32 GB version, and its the PERFECT phone. (Well, that and actually be able to get one :>)

  • Nelz

    They can’t block this. For people knowing how Android works, there is a bootloader, a radio firmware and OS firmware. OS and radio are independant, so if there is a patch for this, you would just have to reflash the old radio firmware to get back LTE.

  • Miknitro

    I was sure it twas BS, but have to eat my hat now.

    This almost makes this possibly phone of the year for 2013.
    If it had the rest of the lte bands, it’d a shoe in for it.

  • Justin

    Amazing… this has sold me. This is my next phone.

  • Jaga

    If they do patch it people just won’t update their devices lol!!!

  • johnnyboy5

    I’m on Rogers and tried this step by step. Weird though, as I when I go into the APN screen, there are no addresses at all and its completely blank. So I tried to add one as per the instructions above but it wouldn’t let me save it unless I entered both a MCC and MNC code. So I googled those for Rogers and entered them and it let me save, but then I go the APN screen and its still totally blank. Does anyone have any idea how to fix this? Much appreciated.

  • johnnyboy5

    Hi, can’t seem to get this to work. I’m on Rogers but the APN screen is empty, as in no existing names. So I tried to create a new one as per the instructions above but even though I seem to have gotten through the steps (also asked for MCC and MNC codes, so I googled those for Rogers and inserted)the APN screen is still blank and no address shows up. Does anyone know what gives with that?

    • Ken

      If you are creating the APN, don’t use Rogers and the APN name because that should exist already

  • Angel

    Damn now if they can get this working on mobilicity…

  • OMG BASEDGOD TYBG #taskforce

    Sweet Based God I want one even more.

  • Joey

    Isn’t that the 42mbps network that the nexus 4 supports?

  • Mike

    I wonder if the lack of power amplifer for LTE will affect how long the radio chips last? Assuming that you enable LTE and are within the LTE footprint, how taxing will it be on a part of the device that was not designed to be used. I can see now the failure rates caused by doing this.

    Don’t get me wrong if I had the phone I too would be doing the same but just trying to think about the “what if?”

  • labrat

    LTE is working perfect on Fido.

    My only problem is that Wifi Tethering is not working anymore and it appears to be related to the APN settings.

    Anybody have Tethering working on LTE, if so what are the APN settings.

    There’s a thread on Howard forums that states:
    “I figure out, u need to set fido tethering option to ltemobile.apn instead of isp.fido.apn” but this is not working for me, tried ltemobile, lteinternet as well as ltedata and bunch of combination…

  • mike

    Works perfectly on Rogers.

  • Ken

    The only ‘convenience’ is that if you restart your phone you would have to re-enable the LTE\GSM option, other wise it will be reverted back to WCDMA perferred.

  • Aiden

    This doesnt work on Bell only Telus and Rogers, please update

  • monsterduc1000

    I can only hope/pray/grovel that they come out with a 32, or even better 64gb version now =D

  • Phox

    Works on Koodo :)

  • skippypaccino

    And now we finally have the cherry on top. Now to the Google store!!! “SOLD OUT” son of a dragon

  • Carlo

    I’ve been dying to get this phone already… This news just makes me want it even more now. HURRY UP GOOGLE, GET MORE STOCK IN PLEASE!!!!

  • Jofa

    Anyone know if this works for the nexus 7?

    • til-bar

      why would it? it isn’t a magic spell that makes things LTE. It is a totally different radio in the Nexus 7. Makes as much sense as if I wanted to make my Palm PDA into an LTE hotspot.

  • Skumon

    androidSyrup

  • Hello

    For people who has lte working on their Nexus 4, how significant is the hit on the battery life ? Does it drain very quickly ? Also how is battery life in general as well ?

  • Is this Bb10?

    Due to Battery drain, I will keep lte off and only turn it on when I use Skype (for low ping times) or watch a video.

  • BreathLess

    Lol this is awesome.

    I assume the reasons for not including it out of the box would be from a licensing standpoint and marketing it would have made it look worse overall.

    Look how much bad press the iPad 3rd gen got when LTE worked only in certain countries on select carriers.

  • Rej Lafond

    Also works on MTS

  • Steven

    Oh for goodness sakes, there is NO such thing as a LTE Micro SIM or LTE SIM,there is Mini SIM cards and Micro SIM cards.. LTE is the technology, the radio in the phone is the hardware that knows what bands to look for the LTE signal on the network…

    • leobg

      @Steven, you are wrong. Older sims, including original iPhone micro-SIM are not provisioned for LTE and with such SIM you will never get LTE even in official LTE enabled phone on the carrier.

      You DO need LTE SIM to get on the LTE network!

  • asno

    This works on Rogers but the down side is you can experience weaker signals not sure why this is but can be greatly altered. Hopefully there is a fix in the future for this

  • Coop

    Say it will work on Fido too please…

  • Mike

    I am just wondering what id have to do to get it to work with the fido LTE, i know it uses rogers towers but i am unsure if the apn is different or not.

  • STY

    Funny how Robelus bashed AWS bands when used by the new entrants. But when they use it, it became marvelous.

  • contrasted

    Loool I’m on aokp for my phone and I have to do this anyways. Got *#*#4636#*#* memorized in my finger.

  • junior

    how come on the rogers network under the ‘WCDMA preferred” option i usually just see 3G? It says “UTMS” instead of “HSPA+”. How can i set it that it will not switch from UTMS 3G to permanently keeping it as HSPA+? would i have to change from “WCDMA preferred” to “LTE/GSM auto(PRL)”?

  • Vish

    It’s not enabled by default because of license fees to LTE patent holders (Samsung, Qualcomm etc). Google has a habit of not paying for licenses (think Java).

    Once Google does the right thing and actually licenses these patents, you’ll see it enabled in the ROM.

  • junior

    im not talking LTE, I mean’t more so for HSPA+. Unless UMTS 3G and HSPA+ is the same thing? because i’ll see HSPA+ for like a couple of seconds and then it switches back to 3G(UMTS).

  • Aaron

    Anyone know how to get this to work on Virgin Mobile?

  • Saad

    Google doesn’t even want my money… greatest phone in the world and I can’t even touch it… you would think an internet giant would at least be good at e-commerce :(

  • Treatz

    Don’t know if this has been covered but Google Now is working OK for me

    I’m on TELUS LTE

  • John Lee

    According to XDA postings, Google Now wouldn’t work because the phone cannot determine the location when switch to LTE (the LAC field under the same *#*#INFO#*#* menu became unknown).

  • nathalav

    lte doesn’t work with my laptop while tethering but does work with HSPA

  • Alan K’necht

    Thanks so simple. Question, on my Nexus 4 by the signal strength bars at the top of the phone, I don’t see the H, G4 etc. symbols.

    Any idea why.

    I’m on Bell if that makes a difference

    My speed is better than your Bell speed but about 1/2 of the one you demonstrated for Rogers.

  • Alan K’necht

    Thanks so simple.

    With Bell on LTE only I was able to get a much better speed. 37664kbps down and 20452kbps up.

    Got abotu 30% slower when set to LTE/GSM auto even if I’m showing a 4G signal

  • Fahad

    I can’t seem to activate LTE on my Nexus 4 on Virgin Mobile network. It just doesn’t seem to pick up. It doesn’t reset and sometimes just jump back to WCDMA preferred when I try to select LTE only. I don’t know what am I doing wrong.

    • Jordan Cournoyea

      You are most likely running Android 4.2.2. The above hack was for 4.2.1. The 4.2.2. update removed the ability to do this. You will need to flash the radio from 4.2.1 to do it.

    • kαnαv モㄩи₮ⅰ㎡∑

      Do you know a quick way to get to the *#*#4636#*#* menu after reboots? The “download” link in the article isn’t working so I don’t know what it was suppose to link to.

    • DrMcNasty

      I have the same issue. I am also 4.2.2 and it does the same jump back when I try to do that with Rogers. Really wish they didn’t do that in the patch.

  • Brown4eva

    I was always able to activate LTE mode with but a option given above yet since the 4.4.4 update the dialer has changed to a tiled option and when put in the *#*#4636#*#* in the new dialer it does nothing or says USD – connection problem or Invailid MMI code

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