4G Chip Found Lurking Inside the Nexus 4 [Update: It Works!]

Ermagerd Ferr Gerr

Nov 23 Update: It appears that the modem does indeed work on band 4 (1700 MHz / 2100 MHz)! Instructions on how to enable the functionality can be found here! Essentially, you need to enter *#*#4636#*#* into the dialer, select Phone Information, and set Preferred Network Type to one of the LTE options. Depending on your carrier, you may also need to modify your APN settings. Work is now being done to try and enable bands 1 and 2.

Original article published Nov 20: If there’s one thing that caused some people to criticize the recently released Nexus 4 it’s the lack of 4G radio. Well, some are also criticizing the non-removable battery and lack of expandable storage, but we’ll tackle those another day. With many carriers in various countries beginning to roll out or adding to their already existing high speed networks, LTE is quickly becoming a must-have for mobile devices in the minds of many.

It was therefore quite a surprise that earlier this week those relentless butchers of gadgetry (I mean that in the nicest possible way, of course) over at ifixit.com uncovered a dormant world band 4G chip, the Qualcomm WTR1605L OVV PKK486R1, tucked away inside of the latest Nexus Phone.

Exactly why this particular chip is present in the device is unclear, and is the subject of much conjecture. The most likely reason is that the Nexus shares components with the Optimus G, which is 4G capable.  Although the Qualcomm chip is present, that does not necessarily mean that LTE could ever be enabled on the device, as other components (which don’t appear to be present) would still be required—namely an LTE-capable antenna and power amplifier. It’s highly likely these would also have been uncovered during the tear down, so don’t get your hopes up too much.

If you’d like to join in on the speculation/discussion then head on over to the discussion thread.


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