Android 4.2.2 disables Nexus 4’s unofficial LTE support

Android 4.2.2 has reached Google and LG’s Nexus 4, but for those taking advantage of a hack allowing for limited LTE support the new software might not be so desirable. Included in the update is a refreshed baseband version that effectively kills the unofficial 4G connectivity.

The capability was initially uncovered after it was discovered that the Nexus 4 shared certain radio component with the LTE-capable LG Optimus G. Google and LG reiterated that there were no plans to enable 4G support with a future software release (and it was shown that the hardware compliment actually made that this impossible, anyway), but that didn’t stop many users from finding a workaround.

The removal of the functionality entirely is more than Google simply tamping down on the unofficial feature. It also stems from the fact that the Nexus 4 lacks the necessary regulatory approvals to function on 4G airwaves, creating a potentially precarious legal situation if the company were to allow unofficial LTE support to continue unchecked.

We will take this opportunity to once again wonder why LTE was not included in the first place, but ultimately have to accept Google’s explanation citing overall user experience and cost as major factors. We can only hope the Motorola team behind the X Phone, which could be the next big Google-branded device, is able to convince their parent company that 4G LTE is a worthwhile feature for a bleeding-edge smartphone.

[via Arstechnica]

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TAGS: 4G LTE , Android 4.2.2 , Jelly Bean , Nexus 4

  • Ryan Stewart

    I haven’t missed it. I’m matching speeds that my friend, on his Verizon GNex, gets on LTE consistently with HSPA+ on my N4 and getting it everywhere instead of in select locations. All while not having to constantly toggle it to save battery.

    And my old Sprint LTE service was no match. Not even close.

    • wickets

      not sure thats a fair comparison because the gnex radios SUCK, but your point overall is valid

      • Ryan Stewart

        I’ve seen some fast speeds achieved on LTE. consistent across multiple devices so I can’t say it’s on any particular phone. The issue right now is back haul. Nobody can support LTE to its theoretical max.

        Besides, once you get fast on a phone what do you need? I could do everything quickly with 6 down instead of the 18 I’m getting now. I don’t torrent or serve files from my phone. I can’t tell a responsiveness difference between the two compared to what I got coming from CDMA.

    • camelsnot

      you don’t need LTE for angry birds. Sprint? Really? Why not just compare horrible Tmobile speeds too. Yes, your point is pretty much invalid.

      • BulletTooth_Tony

        T-Mobile speeds are anything but horrible… faster than Verizon LTE in many cases. Your attempt at downplaying HSPA+ is pretty much invalid.

      • Ryan Stewart

        My speed tests show that T-Mobile bandwidth is higher than your IQ. At least judging by the illiteracy shown in your post.

      • Treyhunnid

        what about needing LTE to download it? ever d/l a angry birds update on 3g? you need some form of 4g

        • AndroidiMac

          You’re joking right?

          • Treyhunnid

            my gnex didn’t get any LTE til the late summer. was stuck on 3g all spring/mid summer. im very serious.

    • malcmilli

      I dont know, i would really appreciate i toggle on my nexus 4. I just came over from sprint (Evo LTE) with no LTE and so far in my only 2 days of testing the battery life doesn’t seem to be as good. Not saying its horrendous. But i’d always appreciate the ability to turn off high speeds and leave it on 2g/3g simply for notification purposes when im not using it.

      • Ryan Stewart

        Mine does that automatically. When the phone is idle it drops back to 3g and H is only displayed when I start using it again. And its a clean handoff compared to the minute of down time turning on a separate radio like in LTE.

  • Erstam

    Was it really a hack if it’s a setting in the phone menu?

    • BulletTooth_Tony

      sorta… it reset itself every reboot. Now it’ll be a hack for sure though once modders get their hands on the code.

  • camelsnot

    Congratz Google. Instead of helping, you’re hindering customers. Hopefully the whiners will quit blaming VZW for this. It’s all on Goog. I hope they aren’t gimping Nexus phones now in order to prop up their Moto X line. Conflict of interest?

    • BulletTooth_Tony

      What, precisely, does the Nexus 4’s dormant LTE functionality have to do with The Nexus 4, of course, being a phone that they couldn’t carry if they wanted to.

    • Unorthodox

      If you’ve been told repeatedly since the beginning that it’s an unsupported hardware deviance, and you still bought the phone only due to that, than all blame is on your own.

  • Drew M

    There’s a link on XDA to the .33 radio firmware that can be flashed on 4.2.2, which reportedly restores LTE:

  • Stacy Devino

    God bless telephony being 100% virtualized on Android.

    God bless Modem firmware being a main system partition.

    God bless the partition tables remaining the same.

    God bless Qualcomm for doing JACK in the Modem ROM to be unique identifiers.

    God bless a lack of forsight on all parties.

    God bless us Everyone.

    • Tiny Tim

      God Bless us, Everyone!

      Merry Christmas!

      • Chris

        LOL Tiny Tim… That’s honestly one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a long time!

  • jessez93

    I still haven’t received the update… :l

  • Timbo1

    Who cares about LTE HSPA+ is plenty fast here on T-Mobile 16.6 mb down is pretty damn good and don’t have to worry about that damn battery drain that I have had on every LTE phone I have owned and not to mention I have had much faster speeds than with LTE in my area.

  • maximillion82

    Can one download and flash the radio back to .33, would that enable LTE again?

  • Kc

  • irishrally

    Google is just covering their butt’s. Anyone that figured it out/wanted it before will again.

  • MrWicket

    while LTE is a “bleeding” edge technology HSPA+ has proven a worthy alternative the biggest difference being in upload speeds, LTE tends to have equal down/up speeds whereas HSPA+ is more like home ISPs where you’re up rate is much lower than your down, for example my home ISP is 30 down and 5 up so if you’re getting 15 down and 2 up you have nothing to complain about! Also let’s not forget, my fellow Americans especially, we up until more recently have been the only country offering LTE and that’s in limited markets (Verizon being the largest and we know how that turned out last time) and in true US carrier fashion all over the place in terms of frequencies. Google made the choice based on what would be best globally to be able to offer the same device for everyone at a unbeatable and awesome price!

  • Brian Dortch

    oh look a feature that wasnt supported is now gone, and now for whiners acting as if they bought this phone for LTE, even better most whiners will be on xda where flashing back the old radio turns it on agian