Nexus 5 Forum

Support What symbol shows for 4G coverage?

What symbol should show on the Nexus 5 when there is European 4G coverage?
Someone from Google Support jus told me an "H" - he said it stood for "Hi-Speed" - but I though it stood for HSPA?


#1 jamesb6789, Nov 28, 2013
I believe it should show LTE above the signal bars.
#2 MartinS, Nov 28, 2013
Hmm I don't think that's right either. H is HSDPA. I doubt they'd use "H".
#3 Omar Days, Nov 28, 2013
I have only ever seen LTE and H for my coverage.... I'm assuming the H means hspa+ as I'm an currently in that type of coverage area on att but I don't know for sure
#4 Covert_Death, Nov 28, 2013
They don't, I've seen pictures with the device showing "LTE" in the notification bar.

Check the Availability and Connectivity section in the review:

Nexus 5 Review | Droid Life

Around 1/3 of the way down.
#5 MartinS, Nov 28, 2013
Originally Posted by Omar Days View Post
Hmm I don't think that's right either. H is HSDPA. I doubt they'd use "H".

I have seen the " H " on my Nexus 5 as well as LTE
#6 mk_ultra19, Nov 28, 2013
Thanks everyone for your advice. I contacted Google again but received two contradictory replies to the same email:

Email Number 1
"How to check if a device is on LTE or not:

1. Signal strength indicator: When the device is not connected to Wi-Fi, the signal bars at the top of the screen will indicate the network type.

LTE: Indicates an LTE connection
H: Indicates HSPA or HSPA+ connection
3G: Indicates a 3G connection
E: Indicates an EDGE connection
2. Settings: On the device, open Settings. Navigate to About phone > Status > Mobile network type

If the device works fine on other network types (H or 3G) but not on LTE, please contact your network operator for support. If customer is in an LTE area like New York City and tries to connect in Maine, it may not work if Maine doesn't have LTE with Verizon."

Email Number 2
"Thanks for getting back to me about your inquiry about 4G availability on your Nexus 5 in Madrid, Spain. On your Nexus 5 device the service strength indicator symbol will pop up as "H" when you are receiving a 4G signal. As discussed earlier the 'H" stands for (High Speed Packet Access), so this symbol will be your indicator. Your carrier Movistar is also a good source of information and any updates on their Network coverage and availability."

Seems like a bit of a contradiction to me..

The problem is I should have 4G but "only" get the "H" symbol and I am in a supposed 4G area, with a 4G contract and a 4G card (and a 4G phone!). Speeds are faster than 3G but well under 10mb/s. Without knowing for sure what to look for on the phone I don't quite know what to say to the carrier (assuming this is their fault!).

The carriers in my country of residence (Spain) only claim to offer 4G rather than 4G LTE, to complicate matters.

#7 jamesb6789, Nov 29, 2013
Both answers are more or less correct. The second one leaves off the LTE information. The problem is that carriers use 4G ambiguously to refer to both (or either) LTE or HSPS/HSPA+. Your phone, however, will show LTE only for true LTE. So it may be that what your carrier calls 4G is only HSPA+, or it could be that carrier needs to make sure your account is provisioned for LTE on that phone. You will need to check with your carrier for that.

I had to jump through a few hoops to get LTE with my prepaid Gophone account. They provisioned the account, gave me a new SIM and even identified that I had a tower ner me, but I was still getting H. Finally, they collected some information off my phone and had their next tier techs analyze ut and 24 hours later my LTE symbol appeared.
#8 Hook, Nov 29, 2013
Settings/Mobile network - ensure Network mode is "4G (preferred)"

Movistar, like all other major European carrier networks, utilises LTE for their 4G service.

Not in Europe. Over here HSPA+ is universally identified as 3G
#9 Slug, Nov 29, 2013
My nexus 5 on straight talk with ATT 4g micro sim USA shows"LTE" when connected to the high speed network or "H" when AAT doesn't have the 4g network available.
#10 MSCOFF, Nov 29, 2013
Thanks everyone. OK, I had to call the carrier about five times and eventually someone activated 4G on their side. Why would someone pay for a 4G service and not want this activated? No idea.

Anyway, the symbol displayed in the phone here is "4G" and the phone clocked around 35mb/s in central Madrid, several times faster than my broadband connection..
#11 jamesb6789, Dec 1, 2013
4G SIM cards should be fully provisioned for the service on activation. This just means that the network dropped the ball on this occasion. I've seen it happen occasionally here in the UK - mistakes happen with automated systems.

Glad you eventually got it sorted..... that's a very nice throughput you're seeing. :)
#12 Slug, Dec 2, 2013