Nexus 7 LTE support muddled: T-Mobile now single headliner [UPDATE]

Sep 17, 2013
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Today the folks at Verizon product support have tipped off a bit of an oddity with the previously multi-carrier Google Nexus 7 (2013). According to a Verizon Wireless Support twitter reply, the Nexus 7 is not part of their lineup and therefore cannot be activated. According to annoyed customer Jeff Jarvis, entering a Verizon store to activate the Nexus 7 results in the company showing no record of the device at all - again, suggesting that therefore, the tablet cannot be activated or work with Verizon 4G LTE. UPDATE: You'll now find an AT&T specific model in Google Play (added just this afternoon) as well as an LTE version with no specific carrier attached: Verizon is still MIA.

It was big news when the Nexus 7 LTE was announced due to its single SKU - one single version of the hardware, that is - able to work with T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon 4G LTE. Google suggested that this single device would shipping "in coming weeks", and indeed we are seeing the machine in users' hands here in September, LTE and all. But not with AT&T, and not with Verizon.

Google's Nexus 7 is shipped with a T-Mobile SIM card in its tray. This SIM card allows free T-Mobile data up to 2GB for the first month you use it - after the first 30 days, you can use the device as a Wi-fi-only tablet or begin to pay T-Mobile for their services.

UPDATE: We've now received word from several users suggesting they ARE able to activate a device with AT&T. Earlier reports may have been due to user error, or some local area AT&T outlets having trouble behind the scenes.

What it would seem is happening now is that AT&T is able to activate a device, T-Mobile is able to activate a device, but Verizon will not activate a device. On the other hand, device that've not been activated with T-Mobile or AT&T have seen success with LTE SIM cards that'd previously been activated on other devices.

In other words, if you've got a smartphone running Verizon's 4G LTE and you just bought a Nexus 7 (2013, that is) LTE, you should be able to take the SIM card out of the phone and have it work perfectly fine in the tablet. It could simply be that Verizon has not yet added the correct IMEI to their database.

We've sent word to each of the key parties involved in this situation and are awaiting comment - stay tuned!


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