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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  • eiriklf - Thursday, February 14, 2013 - link

    Has anyone tried to see if the thermal throttling has been fixed? I tried to reproduce it by running all the tests in GLBenchmark and saw no signs of throttling.
  • Chillin1248 - Thursday, February 14, 2013 - link

    I sent an email yesterday to Anand tips about the same issue. I also just recently ran the GLBenchmark and received the same results as their "freezer" run with no sign of throttling in sight.
  • Guspaz - Thursday, February 14, 2013 - link

    How wonderful, now all of the Canadians who imported the Nexus 4 to use on Canadian LTE networks can have their phones downgraded to obsolescence overnight! This can surely do nothing but improve customer satisfaction.
  • piroroadkill - Friday, February 15, 2013 - link

    They were using it an unsupported manner, permission for which was not sought after. It does exactly what the specs say it can. This is not bad, in any way. Anyone who wants the functionality can use an old radio image.
  • Alexvrb - Sunday, February 17, 2013 - link

    I agree that it was not supported, and anyone relying on an unsupported Band was taking a foolish risk, However, I will argue that it IS a bad thing for those who were using and relying on the LTE capability. So "not bad in any way" just sounds kind of asinine. The support was in there from the beginning, even in an unofficial capacity. If they didn't want users enabling it, they should have blocked it from the very start! Don't try to tell me they didn't know, this is a piss poor showing on Google's part. Now these folks have a Nexus and they still have to rely on third party support again.

    Of course, I've said from the start, no official LTE and no memory card? No thanks LG and Google. I don't care how cheap it is. I told HTC to shove it with their 8X too.
  • blueboy11 - Friday, February 15, 2013 - link

    If you don't tale the damned FCC and violations involved, in all of this garbage, why not? Are they really on the losing battle if we are treated to LTE on this phone or is this just a piss poor job on Google's part to bow down to other's greedy needs? Come on Goggle! Use your legal leverage for once for Christ's sakes!!!
  • Alexvrb - Sunday, February 17, 2013 - link

    "Goggle" isn't your friend. They aren't anyone's friend. They are an advertising company, they care about you about as much as Facebook cares about its users. I agree that this was crappy of Google, but not just because they removed it. They should have made sure it was not accessible in the first place! To give and then take away is crap. They could have at least made a statement early on saying that the feature was unsupported and would be removed in a future update, to warn users from purchasing the device with the intention of using this Band.

    Anyway, they were in violation of FCC rules and they knew it. They don't really have any legal recourse. The FCC exists for a reason, and trust me, you don't want a "Wild West Radio" scenario - a market flooded with unregulated devices is a BAD IDEA. So whether or not understand WHY the FCC needs to regulate, test, certify, etc., is irrelevant.

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