In another example of Verizon’s refusal to play by the rules set forth by the FCC as a condition of the operation of its LTE network, owners of the 2013 Nexus 7 with LTE support are vocally confirming that Verizon is refusing to activate new LTE SIM cards and service for the device, despite the hardware being compatible with Verizon’s network. As is the case when the company is caught doing something it’s not supposed to, it’s currently dancing around the issue, especially on Twitter:
Verizon PR is also currently refusing to answer any questions related to the issue, which might do more harm than good in the long run, as many new owners bought and are buying the 32GB LTE-compatible Nexus 7 specifically to take advantage of Verizon’s LTE network, which currently boasts more expansive coverage compared to the other compatible options in AT&T and T-Mobile.
Currently, Verizon is also in court fighting against the FCC regarding the net neutrality access rules that govern its LTE network in an attempt to free itself from the net neutrality requirements, with its argument hinging on the idea that it shouldn’t be held to those rules due to the FCC lacking the authority to issue such binding rules and that it should be given more freedom to operate its network as it sees fit.
This is also not completely new behavior for Verizon, as it has also refused to activate Google Wallet in its Galaxy Nexus variant while pushing its own Isis payment system in the past, but the outright refusal to activate new lines of service and LTE SIM cards for a tablet that being heavily marketed with its brand by a supposed partner is strange, if not incredibly frustrating for owners looking to activate LTE service on Verizon.
By couching it as an inventory issue when the marketing suggests otherwise, Verizon needs to address exactly what “support” its supposed to be providing for the tablet, before more customers face the above problem and in greater numbers.
Yes, one could buy an older Verizon-branded 4G LTE tablet, activate it and pull the SIM with no problems, but that process adds unnecessary steps and expense to a process that should be a simple matter of buying the tablet on the Play Store, taking it to a Verizon store to activate and walking out happy. However, as demonstrated time and again with Verizon, nothing is ever simple and easy if the company aims to make things as complicated as possible.
Update: Verizon representatives are now confirming that the Nexus 7 with LTE is still undergoing network certification testing and that a timeline isn’t available as to when the carrier will officially begin to activate the tablets on its network. Representatives are also stating that more information is expected in the future.
This is despite the fact that the device would have needed to undergo such testing prior to launch and since the device already meets basic compatibility requirements, calls Verizon’s own LTE device testing policies into question since the device is already available for sale and is actively carried in competitor T-Mobile’s retail locations with no activation issues, nor have users on AT&T reported such problems on AT&T until earlier today, which were chalked up to intermittent activation server issues that have since been resolved.
Update 2: Verizon representative Debi Lewis has issued an additional statement on the issue today, and has confirmed that the tablet entered carrier testing late last month, with the timeframe for certification completion being between 4-6 weeks from the date given, well after the initial launch of the device.