updated 07:33 am EST, Fri November 23, 2012
Nexus 4 shown to work on Band 4 (AWS) LTE
A senior member on the XDA Developers forums has demonstrated that the Google Nexus 4 made by LG can offer at least limited support for LTE networks. Analysis of the hardware in the Nexus 4 reveals that it contains a baseband chip that can support some LTE networks. However, Google opted not to pursue full LTE capability in order to deliver a one-model handset that would work on any network around the globe, leaving it saddled with 3G HSPA by default.
The Nexus 4 contains hardware that supports LTE in limited form, thanks largely to its close harware relationship to LGs LTE-capable Optimus G. XDA Developers has shown that they Nexus 4 will run on LTE Band 4 (AWS) and deliver faster download speeds as a result. A user simply needs to punch in "*#*#4636#*#*" on their handset and switch the preferred network to LTE to activate the capability on supported networks, of which the Telus LTE network is one.
As Google wanted to keep things simple, and avoid having to make multiple handsets for individual markets it opted out offering LTE support on any of the Nexus 4 models, even though the hardware can support it on at least some networks. As a flagship device, it was an unusal decision on Google's part, but Google would have also had to work hard with carriers to offer widespread LTE support as Apple has been able to deliver on the iPhone 5.
Apple was able to work through this issue by building three versions of the iPhone 5, which includes one model specifically for the Chinese market. Given the price point of the device, coupled with the technical challenges of offering an 4G LTE device for all markets, it appears that a global 4G LTE Nexus Android flagship phone may still be a way off.