Just after it launched, we discussed how the Nexus 4 included undocumented support for LTE on Band 4 (AWS) which could be enabled simply by choosing the appropriate RAT (Radio Access Technology) under Phone Info (by dialing *#*#4636#*#* - INFO). Back then, I noted that it was highly unlikely this would stick around for very long without the proper FCC paperwork, and although it took a bit longer than I expected, today's 4.2.2 update does away with this unofficial support for LTE entirely. 

  
Post 4.2.2 OTA (left), 4.2.1 (right) on Nexus 4

The OTA update for the Nexus 4 includes both software changes to Android (4.2.2 build JDQ39) along with a new baseband software image in the form of a delta update (radio.img.p). I tested the Nexus 4 the same way as I did in the previous article, on an Anritsu MD8475A base station emulator, which enables me to test any configuration or band network, and setup a Band 4 LTE network to attach the Nexus 4 to.

Before the OTA update, with the appropriate "LTE Only" selection made in the aforementioned "Phone Info" menu for preferred network type, the Nexus 4 would quickly attach to Band 4 LTE. After applying the update, the handset no longer attaches at all. In addition, trying to select the "LTE Only" preferred network type now quickly changes back to "WCDMA Preferred," likewise choosing one of the other modes which include LTE results in a change back to "WCDMA Preferred" after exiting and coming back. Previously this setting would persist until a reboot took place. 

I'm not surprised that undocumented LTE on Band 4 was removed, I am surprised however that it took this long. This also settles any lingering questions about LG Electronics filing for a Class II permissive change for the Nexus 4 to enable LTE on the bands supported by the hardware. If having support for LTE on Band 4 on your Nexus 4 is important to you, I'd recommend holding off on updating with the OTA zip for now, no doubt people will also make their own update images without the radio update as well.

The Android 4.2.2 update includes a number of other small changes as noted by other users, including enhanced quick toggles that can be long pressed to toggle WiFi or Bluetooth. 

Source: Google (OTA .zip link)

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  • A5 - Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - link

    Would've been nice for it to stick around officially, but I guess that's what XDA is for. Reply
  • SnowCat00 - Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - link

    Looks like I will be looking at 3rd party updates, I don't want to miss out using Band 4 LTE on T-Mobile later in the year.

    SHAME on you Google & LG!
    Reply
  • A5 - Thursday, February 14, 2013 - link

    I think "shame" is an awfully strong word for removing an unofficial feature that was technically in violation of the law. Reply
  • Tetracycloide - Thursday, February 14, 2013 - link

    Violation of the law how? Reply
  • abaez - Thursday, February 14, 2013 - link

    You need FCC approval for LTE - this did not have FCC approval. Google had to take it out. Reply
  • shabby - Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - link

    Apparently if you flash the older .33 radio from 4.2.1 you'll get lte back http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2... Reply
  • Brian Klug - Thursday, February 14, 2013 - link

    Ahh, not too surprising, I'm glad someone kept an image around, plenty of people just won't update as well.

    -Brian
    Reply
  • xaueious - Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - link

    T-Mobile is expected to be launching LTE for AWS later this year. Do you think they can bring it back? Or is the Nexus 4 performing out-of-spec in LTE operation and can never get certified?

    I know people here who have been using LTE here in Canada with little to no issues.
    Reply
  • Brian Klug - Thursday, February 14, 2013 - link

    I think that's the real question right now. To be honest, I have to wonder whether there wasn't some back and forth about that originally being the plan, but then again why not file the change right now and deliver said device? If it had stuck around longer, I'd say that's likely, given the explicit removal, it seems less so.

    -Brian
    Reply
  • Paulman - Thursday, February 14, 2013 - link

    I still believe. I still believe.

    - signed, from Canada
    Reply

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