Verizon thwarting Nexus 7's LTE activations?

Angry Verizon customers attack Verizon for refusing to activate SIM cards for their LTE-ready Nexus 7 tablets.

Some Verizon customers who picked up the 4G LTE version of the Google Nexus 7 tablet may not be able to actually activate the device on Verizon's network, despite technical compatibility.

Disgruntled buyers taking to social-media outlets like Twitter and Google+ report that people who bought a Nexus 7 from a third-party source were not able to activate Verizon's LTE on their new tablets.

Tech blogger Jeff Jarvis tweeted that he waited days after contacting Verizon's customer service through social media and in-person visits to receive the Twitter response that "not all LTE tablets are created equal."

That's not a reply that sits well with frustrated customers, and it doesn't appear to be the full story.

According to Google+ user Jeff Messer, "people who got it working already had activated Verizon 4G micro SIMs they were able to pop in." Messer wrote that he couldn't make LTE work on his Nexus 7 since his tablet wasn't "authorized" in Verizon's database.

Jarvis takes it one step further, challenging the legality of Verizon's move by pointing to FCC regulations governing LTE access to all devices that use a certain spectrum of bands (700MHz) that Verizon acquired in an auction.

A Verizon spokesperson told CNET, "This is not yet a device that is Verizon 4G LTE certified. As you know, when devices are certified, we'll let folks know."

Until customers see a resolution one way or the other, they have chipped in with workarounds that have succeeded for them, solutions that also contradict the Verizon representative who responded to Jarvis' tweet.

One such suggestion, offered up by user Cameron Fenno, is to remove the working SIM card of a Verizon-purchased device like the iPad and add that to a shared plan for the monthly $10 activation fee. Then, swap that activated SIM into the Nexus 7.

"Worked perfectly for me earlier this evening," Fenno wrote. "Annoying as hell, but it's working."

Apparently it isn't just tablets that aren't created equally, but customer service philosophies as well.

Article updated at 3:28pm PT with Verizon's comment.

 

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