It is during a routine teardown that folks at iFixit noticed that the Google Nexus 4 uses a QUALCOMM WTR1605L 4G LTE chip which supports up to seven bands. We can already see Nexus 4 users’ eyes lighting up at the idea of a community LTE driver or something like that. We never say never, but at the moment, nothing of that kind is on the horizon.Google’s Andy Rubin has already explained why Google did not want to build an LTE Nexus 4 (basically, a worldwide phone would require many different physical designs), and in any case seven bands is still fair from the 41 band (and growing) required to support worldwide LTE. At the very least, we estimate that Google would need three different modems to support a large chunk of the world’s LTE networks.
Of course, the chips use in the Nexus 4 have HSPA+ and legacy 3G fallback and those protocols work in the same bands worldwide (with T-Mobile USA being the exception, but it is supported by the Nexus 4 too). So, this makes the Google Nexus 4 even closer to the LG Optimus G than once thought. If you think of it, it makes sense as keeping the hardware closer reduces the development time of the software stack.
It remains to be seen if the 4G LTE “guts” of this phone will be put to use one day, but for those who desperately wanted LTE, there is now a small shred of hope. In the meantime, the Google Nexus 4 is sold out in most places.