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It may be a crazy day of Black Friday shopping around the country, but if can turn your attention away from door-buster deals for a minute, this just might interest you. It turns out those crafty boys from XDA Developers may have discovered a quick and easy way to activate LTE on the Nexus 4. As it turns out, the Nexus 4, which is by all accounts, an LTE-less device can actually run LTE on band 4, better known as AWS/1700/2100. The phone may lack a signal amplifier, but it can seemingly handle the connection on that one band.
This is great news for T-Mobile customers who will find the company’s LTE network running on those very bands sometime next year along Canadian carriers Bell, Rogers and Telus. AT&T does run 1700 in some areas, but it’s much less common than their current crop of 700MHz band 17 LTE market but the Nexus 4 appears to only run LTE on that one particular frequency.
Activating LTE appears to be performed through a rather easy set of steps, accessed by dialing *#*#4636#*#*. You’ll then tap on the preferred network option, selecting LTE or a mix of LTE, GSM and CDMA. The videos we’ve embedded below show that the device will attempt to connect to a LTE network, if one is available. Without any LTE markets to test on T-Mobile, I’ve been unable to set this up on my own and verify, but the two videos out of Canada below already do that for us.
If you’re on T-Mobile, the Nexus 4 just got a lot more attractive and perhaps a lot more future-proofed. Now you just have to find it in stock. AnandTech has the full technical breakdown evaluated through a series of tests below, so if you’re curious how all this works, it’s a worthwhile read.
AnandTech, XDA Developers