How to enable 4G on your BlackBerry 10 smartphone

By James Richardson on 9 Apr 2014 10:49 am EDT

As I'm sure you all know - 4G is available on all currently released BlackBerry 10 smartphones (barring the Z3 in Asia to be released later this month). However, for many folk around the world 4G is a relatively new technology and in many markets, including the UK, it's still in limited supply in terms of coverage. 

With BlackBerry's we've had the option to just use 2G or 3G for a long time and with BlackBerry 10 we now have the additional option of 4G. For you folk that don't live in a 4G area there really isn't a whole point in having your BlackBerry looking for a 4G signal. I'm not 100% sure if this impacts on battery life but as far as I'm concerned - unless you are in a 4G area there is no point in the BlackBerry looking for the super fast data speeds. 

With BlackBerry 10 we have four options in terms of what form of data connection the device is looking for. These are:

  • 4G & 3G
  • 4G & 3G & 2G
  • 3G & 2G
  • 3G

Depending on your location and network you may well want to alter the settings. For example: If you are on Three UK they don't have a 2G backup so you may as well not have it enabled. Their 3G coverage is pretty sweet and they are rolling out 4G slowly but surely. Like always - when carriers add new towns and cities to there 4G coverage maps we'll be sure to let you know, but in the meantime, if you want to tweak your settings just follow these simple steps:

  • Open Settings (pull down from top bezel)
  • Select Network and Connections
  • Select Mobile Network
  • Under 'Network Mode' you will have a drop down box with the four options. Just pick the one you want and you're done. 

From a personal perspective I don't live in a 4G area but I often travel into one so I always keep my BlackBerry searching for 4G, 3G & 2G just to ensure I've always got a signal. Once again, BlackBerry 10 gives us options and that I love. 

Reader comments

How to enable 4G on your BlackBerry 10 smartphone


I was missing those comments haha.
And just a heads up: Z10STL100-1 is NOT 4G capable. So not all BlackBerry 10s are..

Posted via CB10

The Z3 isn't either, although James concedes that.

My Q10 always has 4G enabled, as I'm in the U.S., and 99% of the time within range of a 4G tower.

I have mine on 4G + 3G, is the best setting as there is 3G pretty much everywhere in case 4G fails.

Posted via CB10

Neither do Verizon users... when I first got my Z10 at launch (very poor OS back then) and the battery was only lasting about 5 hours, I really wanted to be able to turn off the 4G. Even now I think being able to turn it off would improve the 8 hours that I get.

Yep. I really wish my Verizon Z30 had this option. When I'm at work, I'm on the edge of the 4g area so my 9930 3g data rates were better than my current z30 4g rates. It would be very beneficial to be able to force my Z30 to use the 3g network.

Posted via CB10

The problem with some carriers though you don't get the option to bump it down if you need too. I ONLY have LTE option and nothing else on my Q10. When I go to TN in the mountains I barely get 3G much less 4G and when I had my 9700 I'd bump it down to 2G. One update wiped out those options on my 9900 so I was relegated to fast battery drain. AT&T did this lovely thing.

Having a leaked, or other carrier OS doesn't make a difference.

Just logging onto the AT&T network (with an AT&T SIM) pushes something to the phone locking out any ability to alter the network type.

Posted via CB10

No options that I can see on verizon for my q10. But my battery life is fine and I'm in lte area most of the time. So I don't mind if it sticks on lte.

Posted via CB10

Verizon z10 here, how come if I elect to do only 3G and then the network completely seems to disable? It's as if my phone is telling me that since there is 4G available, that's the only thing I can select

Posted via CB10

I'm sure many of you won't believe this my the area around me most of the time is EDGE sometimes I see a 3G signal but it's not often.

Would I be possible for there to be an option to select "2G Only" just thinking it might save battery since my phone won't be looking for 3G or 4G :)

My Z30 has five options:

LTE & 4G/3G & 2G
LTE & 4G/3G
4G & 3G & 2G
4G & 3G

I leave mine set to 4G & 3G &2G, since the LTE radio is not necessary unless I were streaming.

yes LTE & 4G/3G is allright if youre seeing just 4G then do a speedtest download somerhing and youll see that its just marketing tricks, if your BlackBerry shows LTE youre on real 4G, trust me

I remember when I first got my Z10 it was labeled LTE & H+ & 3G & 2G. Or something like that. I'm pretty sure that when you see LTE and 4G as separate settings, one is actually LTE (4G), and the other is HSPA+ (which I believe is still technically 3G).

Posted via CB10

H+ is a superior 3G signal (3.5G if you like). I have my phones set to 3G only as the signal is always strong but there isn't 4G where I live.

Posted via CB10

So, with my phone set to 3G only, my signal will most of the time show H+, but in weaker areas it drops to 3G

Posted via CB10

Sprint Q10 on and I do not have that option available. Wish I did but it only lists network tech option no network mode. I want to tell it to ignore 4G since it so spotty where I live. My Verizon Q10 on also does not have that option available either but 4G where I live is great with vzw.

Posted via CB10

I don't have an option of 4G in my Z10... it's STL100-1... i am in India... please guide..

Posted via My Z10 - STL100-1

Even if you had 4G, it wouldn't help since BlackBerry doesn't support our 4G frequency. Currently, it's just the iPhone 5S/C and the upcoming LG devices which support Airtel's 4G band.

All I want is 2G only to save battery like on my bold 9900

The one and only Iphone wallpaper channel C001F26A0 no hate please I personally own a Q10 and 9900 :-)

What the use of going to this 4G if AT&T does not want to support Blackberry any more still waiting for the upgrade 10.2. From AT&T since Feb 9 and all they have to say is they still doing some test REALLY!!!! Sorry for Blackberry but since 2004 I'm switching for the Galaxy 5S.

Posted via CB10

Why can't you plug a USB cable into your PC and phone and double click on a file to upgrade it?

You don't HAVE to wait for AT&T and if it's an official autoloader from another carrier, it's not gonna mess your device up. It's not a leak.

Posted via CB10

Finally this gets cover... because on at&t it's disabled and they claim you can do so but it's not there

So... here's my question how do I get this option to work???

Posted via CB10

OK so I'm in the US and I have a Z30 STA 100-3 and under network technology I have three choices (Global) (LTE/CDMA) or (UMTS/ GSM) so can I use any network? Got it from verizon, but will it work on AT&T, from everything I read the answer is no, but then why the choice.
I leave it on Global

I am not sure if this is a setting disabled by my carrier (as my phone is in contract and locked to AT&T), but I don't see that on my Z10.

But, at the same time, my previous BlackBerry Torch 9800, which was also carrier locked to AT&T, used to give me option of choosing between 3G / 2G or both.

Posted via CB10

Yes - option disabled by AT&T. Mentioned a few times already in the comments above yours.

Posted via CB10

BTW, while we had the "2G"/"2G-3G" option on the legacy OS on AT&T, we did not have the option to have just "3G" that the rest of the world had.

So the locking out of certain options is not new with AT&T.

Posted via CB10

I'm glad I read this, I didn't know the two 4G options were available, I never scrolled up on the data connection options, thought 4G on Vodafone ireland doesn't seem to be in my area yet.
I actually have 5 options
4G & 3G
4G & 3G & 2G
3G & 2G

I usually use the 2G option because It's not too slow and the battery life is really good too.

Posted via CB10

STL 100-1 is still sold in some markets and doesn't have 4G.

Some carriers also disable this option, like Verizon... Not a huge issue here because I'm literally never outside of their 4g area here, but I would have loved the option in Seattle, where their coverage is garbage around SeaTac.

Posted via CB10

The Z10 stl- 100 doesn't have 4G. I also noticed mine doesn't have the "white balance" option in the Display settleds

Posted via CB10

Btw. for example with O2 Czech Republic you need new Universal SIM card to enable 4G.

Posted via CB10

Depending on the carrier the settings are different. For example on my Telus phone the 3g settings are listed as hspa/umts. The 4g settings is shown as lte.

Personally I do not enable lte. The speeds of 3g are plenty fast enough for me. 17.8 down and 2.5 up is more than enough. I don't need the 51.6 down and 18.7 meg up that 4g delivers on my phone. The impact on battery life out weighs the performance gain. I get 31 megs on my home dsl connection which is where I do my downloading.

Posted via CB10

Just in case anyone cares lol Three UK have 4G in Oxford city not sure how far it stretches but certainly in the centre.

Posted via CB10

ok this is going to confuse some people, but here in Curacao both of my network providers market there 3.5G as 4G my Z10 stl-1 shows 4G but thats just the provider trick to market there fake 4G hence even my Bold 9900 shows 4G soo if your network has reall 4G it should show as LTE on your blackberry 10 device

There are also LTE&4G&3G&2G and LTE&4G&3G available in Canada.

Posted via BlackBerry Q10

My Z30 on Verizon has 3 options under Network Technology: Global,
LTE/CDMA, and UMTS/GSM. When you select UMTS/GSM you get a sub menu of Network Mode with 3 options of 2G&3G, 3G, or 2G. There is a Network Selection option with automatic or manual.
off topic - since the OS update I don't have an option to add an attachment to this comment (a screen shot is worth a thousand words ;). File sharing is on and I turned it on and off a few times but no still no luck.

My bitchin' Z30 BlackBerry

All 4G LTE radios drain the battery fast. BlackBerry, android, whatever. The 4G radio need more power and haven't been optimized yet like 3G hspa+ radios have been which are quite efficient and still pretty fast. Unless you stream lots of data over the cell network where you need/want the extra speed, I would disable the 4g lte radio to make you battery last longer. I've told a few droid friends to do this and they said it made a big difference for them as well.

Hopefully Qualacom (or other radio manufacturer) develops a good efficient 4g radio soon so we can utilize the speed without draining battery so fast.

I leave my 4g off unless I'm out of wifi and need the speed to stream something which is rare.

Posted via Q10 on CB10

So darned annoying! Why does the Z10 not have all these functions? IT doesn't have FM now no 4G function. It's so irritating.

Posted via CB10

Wow the STL100-1 wasn't mentioned , why am I not surprised, we always have the shit with this variant and no one cares!

Posted via CB10

I have an unlocked Z10STL100-3 on Wind
Running leak:
Software version number doesn't matter. I have always only had 2 options:

When I first read the topic Subject I thought, really? This is worth talking about? Now I realize how lucky we are in Canada. We get OS releases sooner than everybody, it seems, and get all the available choices for network selection.
The stl 100 Z10 that was marketed in Europe is not LTE capable, never will be. STE chipset that only goes to hspa+ rates, max 21 mbps I believe.
For those that own VzW devices, when in your home network the mobile will only camp on either LTE or c2k. The "global" settings are when you are roaming... so you won't camp on 3g (wcdma) in the USA markets.
Can't believe how much American operators hand cuff their subscribers.

STILL BlackBerry by Choice... on my Z30.

Posted via CB10

When i use my Phone with 4G after this is in mode airplane the battery is a bullshit

Posted Vía Q10

I spoke to AT&T Manager today 4/8/2014 and he reply that AT&T will not support any upgrade 10.2 and so for the future any update at all. So is goodbye Blackberry on AT&T.

Posted via CB10

Bell Mobility on an unlocked Z10:

Posted via CB10

Having LTE on the z10 has significant effects battery life where as the z30 has the paratek antennas on in so they can find tune cellular signals very effectively and efficiently :p

Posted via CB10

We only have a small 4G area a few kms around the city square, so I said no to 4G going with a cheaper plan, and turned 4G off.

Only got intermittent signal and it was a battery drain, so if you don't or can't get 4G, turn it off and enjoy a better battery life. Keeps the phone from searching for towers that are not there or won't respond.

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

I have the Z30 STA100-2 but I don't have a 4G option in the drop down menu, is that dependant on what bands the SIM supports? We don't have 4G service just yet but its coming soon.

Posted via CB10

On wind, no 4G, only 3G (with 2G/3G roaming fallback), even though it says "4G", I guess it's just the way blackberry did it. Lol.

Still satisfied regardless and I have it on 2G and 3G and 4G (3G/4G=same thing).

Posted via CrackBerry 10 (CB10) application using my BlackBerry Q10.

How about 4g, voice only (makes no sense to me) which I often get instead of 4G data/voice and with 4g, data transfer is not working at all but Q10 would not select 3G automatically when 4G is not avaialble only 4g :(

Posted via CB10