Google’s Nexus 4 uses Qualcomm SOC with dormant 4G capabilities
Google’s Nexus 4, despite being released as an HSPA+-only handset, does in fact use a chipset that supports global 4G networks — so what’s the deal with that?
Google decided to release its LG-built Nexus 4 handset without 4G-capabilities, confirming at launch that the aggressively priced handset would be an HSPA+-only affair the globe-over.
But a recent teardown by iFixit has revealed that the Nexus 4 does in fact use one of Qualcomm’s 4G-enabled chipsets, the Qualcomm WTR1605L SoC to be precise.
However without the relevant 4G LTE antennas or amplifier, neither of which was found inside the handset during teardown, connecting to ultra-fast mobile data networks is simply not possible.
So why include a 4G-enabled chipset in the first place?
The simplest explanation for this is that LG simply reused the LTE-ready chipset from its Optimus G handset inside the Nexus 4. The Optimus G supports LTE and costs around double the price of the Nexus 4.
Could pricing have played a part in Google’s decision?
Google’s Andy Rubin said noth including LTE inside the Nexus 4 was a ‘tactical issue,' adding that 4G networks aren’t prevalent enough to justify its inclusion inside the handset. Which does sound reasonable until you consider that both the Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus supported LTE.
Another theory – although somewhat less palatable – is that Google is saving the Nexus 4’s LTE capabilities for when it unveils its brand new wireless network service.
Now, that may sound slightly ridiculous but rumours about Google joining the likes of Verizon and Sprint as a network have really been heating up lately.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Google held talks with satellite television provider Dish Network regarding the possibility of a venture that would see the search-giant launch its own mobile network.
Dish has also confirmed that it is currently in the process of discussing the launch of a new mobile network using its spectrum with a number of potential partners.
This could get very interesting.