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LTE and the Galaxy Nexus


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Mods, not sure if this is the right place, feel free to move it if you like.

 

I have a Galaxy Nexus and I live and work in the Kansas City area. I found that at my office I could rarely connect to LTE, but I could sometimes catch it. With the help of some others, we managed to find a way to force LTE-only operation on the Galaxy Nexus.

 

I'm rooted, custom recovery, and running an EOS Jelly Bean nightly ROM. We managed to find this menu using steps that I will outline below:

http://phota.me/t9Vh.jpg

I installed Nova Launcher from the market (free). Press and hold on a blank spot on your homescreen. When the menu comes up, select Shortcuts -> Activities then scroll all the way to the bottom and select com.android.hiddenmenu. Finally select LTE Mode and a new icon will appear on your home screen. Tap that icon to get the menu above. If you select the upper left option it will tell you that LTE is selected and that you need to reboot. Upon rebooting, your Galaxy Nexus will *not* use any of the CDMA or EvDO radios and will only connect to LTE. You will not be able to make or receive phone calls or send or receive text messages.

 

What I found after setting this LTE-only mode is that I am better able to connect to LTE. Before my phone would almost always insist on connecting to the "tower" that's across the street from me that only has eHRPD and will now connect to the somewhat distant LTE tower. The connection is fairly weak, but I'm able to get fairly consistent 2Mbit speeds which are a huge improvement to the typical 0.2Mbit speeds I get on 3G.

 

This LTE-only setting may not be very useful for day-to-day use, but it's allowed us to confirm a few things. First off, the Galaxy Nexus will insist on using a stronger 3G signal over a weaker 4G signal. Also, I do get a weak, but reasonably reliable LTE connection at my desk. Thirdly the netmonitor app in the play store is unable to tell which LTE tower I'm using. In fact, when I'm connected to LTE, netmonitor will show which voice/SMS tower I'm using and that tower is almost always different from my LTE tower. Finally, the "bars" that you see in the notification area is usually an indicator of the signal level of your voice/SMS signal and not your LTE signal strength.

 

I think that these findings are a bit disconcerting. The findings do indicate that, at least in the case of the Galaxy Nexus, the phone does not prioritize LTE as much as we might like. It also might explain why Sprint's coverage seems incredibly small. We have no control over which towers our devices connect to, and if your phone prefers a tower that doesn't have LTE, then you may not get LTE even though there is some LTE coverage. Further, it may indicate that connecting to and staying connected to Sprint's LTE service will be difficult and random until all or most towers in an area have received LTE upgrades.

 

Hopefully this will help others with understanding LTE.

 

Special thanks to autoprime and ddrew for finding this hidden LTE only option.

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Mods, not sure if this is the right place, feel free to move it if you like.

 

I have a Galaxy Nexus and I live and work in the Kansas City area. I found that at my office I could rarely connect to LTE, but I could sometimes catch it. With the help of some others, we managed to find a way to force LTE-only operation on the Galaxy Nexus.

 

I'm rooted, custom recovery, and running an EOS Jelly Bean nightly ROM. We managed to find this menu using steps that I will outline below:

http://phota.me/t9Vh.jpg

I installed Nova Launcher from the market (free). Press and hold on a blank spot on your homescreen. When the menu comes up, select Shortcuts -> Activities then scroll all the way to the bottom and select com.android.hiddenmenu. Finally select LTE Mode and a new icon will appear on your home screen. Tap that icon to get the menu above. If you select the upper left option it will tell you that LTE is selected and that you need to reboot. Upon rebooting, your Galaxy Nexus will *not* use any of the CDMA or EvDO radios and will only connect to LTE. You will not be able to make or receive phone calls or send or receive text messages.

 

What I found after setting this LTE-only mode is that I am better able to connect to LTE. Before my phone would almost always insist on connecting to the "tower" that's across the street from me that only has eHRPD and will now connect to the somewhat distant LTE tower. The connection is fairly weak, but I'm able to get fairly consistent 2Mbit speeds which are a huge improvement to the typical 0.2Mbit speeds I get on 3G.

 

This LTE-only setting may not be very useful for day-to-day use, but it's allowed us to confirm a few things. First off, the Galaxy Nexus will insist on using a stronger 3G signal over a weaker 4G signal. Also, I do get a weak, but reasonably reliable LTE connection at my desk. Thirdly the netmonitor app in the play store is unable to tell which LTE tower I'm using. In fact, when I'm connected to LTE, netmonitor will show which voice/SMS tower I'm using and that tower is almost always different from my LTE tower. Finally, the "bars" that you see in the notification area is usually an indicator of the signal level of your voice/SMS signal and not your LTE signal strength.

 

Hopefully this will help others with understanding LTE.

 

Thanks. Excellent tip. I just added an article to The Wall discussing forcing LTE only mode. Your shortcuts are even better.

 

Robert

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I'm curious, the image shows Enable LTE Mode, Enable CDMA Mode and Enable GLOBAL Mode. I assume Global mode is for both or is that for something else?

 

TS

 

Here's what i learned

 

LTE Mode = LTE Only (no CDMA "cellular" meaning no phone calls or texting)

CDMA Mode = CDMA Only (1x data & cellular service)

Global Mode = Everything (Cellular, LTE if enabled, CDMA+EVDO based on config)

 

P.S. -oh dees_troy after all i do for you, you can't spell my namez right :td:

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LTE Mode = LTE Only (no CDMA "cellular" meaning no phone calls or texting)

CDMA Mode = CDMA Only (1x data & cellular service)

Global Mode = Everything (Cellular, LTE if enabled, CDMA+EVDO based on config)

 

​In experimenting w/ above settings on my Sprint Gnex, I found that CDMA mode still allows LTE connection, and after preliminary research on net, it seems Global mode searches for networks available in other countries and could possibly be an unnecessary battery drain for US-only consumers. YMMV.

 

Still anxiously awaiting someone to crack LTE threshold settings.

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