Verizon, caught red-handed

Verizon has now on multiple occasions refused to connect my Google Nexus 7 LTE tablet, though the device was publicized widely as working on Verizon and though I know from other users that it will work on its network. On Twitter, its support spokesman said in response to my repeated inquiries over four days:

Verizon is thus clearly violating FCC regulations governing its acquisition of the spectrum that enables its LTE service, which require it to open to *all* devices. To quote from the regulations (my emphasis):

(b) Use of devices and applications. Licensees offering service on spectrum subject to this section shall not deny, limit, or restrict the ability of their customers to use the devices and applications of their choice on the licensee’s C Block network, except:
(1) Insofar as such use would not be compliant with published technical standards reasonably necessary for the management or protection of the licensee’s network, or
(2) As required to comply with statute or applicable government regulation.

Verizon also violates its promise not to violate that requirement. On May 7, 2008, Ars Technica quotes Verizon VP Jim Gerace saying on the company’s public policy blog:

“Verizon Wireless—and all the other participants in the recent 700 MHz spectrum auction—understood the FCC’s rules for using that spectrum in advance of the auction. Of course we’ll abide by those rules.”

I attempted to read the rest of Gerace’s blog post but Verizon has erased years of its posts there and the Wayback Machine does not have a cache from that date.

This promise came in response to a tough letter from Google at the time demanding that Verizon abide by the rule. Said Google: “The Commission must ensure that Verizon understands that this license obligation means what it says: Any Apps, Any Devices.”

And no wonder, for Google anticipated precisely this situation when it entered the spectrum auction Verizon won and insisted then on open access as an FCC condition of the sale: Google ended up marketing an unlocked device made to run on Verizon’s LTE network and now Verizon refuses to honor its promise to abide by the rules of its auction to do so.

On Twitter and Google+, many have asked why I bother, why I don’t just install the T-Mobile SIM and month’s free access that came with the Nexus 7 LTE. A few reasons: First, I am stuck with a shared-data plan on Verizon thanks to my locked (how could you, Google?!) Chromebook Pixel with LTE and my family’s Verizon iPads. Second, adding the Nexus 7 to my shared-data plan will cost me only $10 more a month, less than I’ll play if I support it solo on another carrier’s network. Third, this is a matter of principle. I will bring my Dell Hell experience to bear and fight for what is right.

Some also caution that on the Verizon network, my Nexus 7 will connect only if LTE is available; it will not be able to fail down to slower speeds as it could on other networks. True; that is how my Chromebook Pixel works and I am willing to live with the limitation for the price.

It has also been pointed out to me across social media that one can take a Verizon SIM from another LTE device, put it in the Nexus 7, and it will work. Only problems are, I don’t have such a SIM and if I did I’d need to use it in that other device. But this does prove — as others have done it — that the Nexus 7 *does* work on Verizon’s network.

So this is not a matter of anything Verizon cannot do. This is a matter of what Verizon will not do. And that is what makes this a violation of FCC regulations and Verizon’s assurances.

I have frequently asked Verizon for its help on Twitter and Google+ and in its store and via phone to Verizon Wireless via a representative in that store; you see the net of that above: a smart-assed refusal to take my money. I tried many avenues before writing this post.

I have twice asked Verizon Wireless’ director of PR for devices, Albert Aydin (@VZWalbert) for a company statement on why it refuses to connect the Nexus 7 and I have heard nothing. I do so as a journalist and also as a member of the public (I take the title “public relations” literally). I will email this post to him once more asking for the company’s statement.

I will also ask Google PR for its stand regarding Verizon’s violation of its assurances to the FCC and Google. Back in 2008, Verizon said: “As we work to put the spectrum we won to good use, if Google or anybody else has evidence that we aren’t playing by the rules, there are legitimate and expedited ways to address that.” Yes, like blogs, Twitter, Google+, Facebook, This Week in Google, Reddit, and angry customers everywhere.

: LATER: Verizon digs its hole deeper, with the @VZWSupport Twitter account sending me this:

To which I replied: “Cannot” is a lie. “Will not” is truthful — and the violation of the FCC regulations.

: LATER: Here is the *proof* that Verizon’s network *can* connect to the Nexus 7 but that Verizon *refuses* to do so, *violating* the FCC regulations. I took the SIM out of my Chromebook Pixel, put it in the Nexus 7 LTE, and it worked — note the “VERIZON WIRELESS” at the bottom of the screen and the bars at the top.


: LATER: Android Central got this from Verizon: “This is not yet a device that is Verizon 4G LTE certified. We’ll let folks know when its certified.”

Hmmm. This device was announced two months ago. They are just getting around to thinking about this now? Or they are succumbing to pressure and the requirements of the FCC’s regulations? I report, you decide.

Funny thing is, Verizon apparently responded to CNET and Android Central but not to me. All they tell me is that they won’t/can’t do it.

: THE NEXT DAY: Torod B. Neptune, VP of Corporate Communications for Verizon Wireless, just sent me this email: “I apologize for the delay in getting back to you. The Nexus 7 is not yet a Verizon 4G LTE certified device. As background, below is the link to information on our certification process, which you’ll find under the ‘Get Your Device Certified’ tab:” [The link doesn’t work; take out the www and it will]

I’m asking questions elsewhere to interpret this. The device already works on Verizon’s network. The issue is that Verizon won’t give me a sim and add it to my account. Again we come to the “can” vs. “will” conundrum. More later.

: LATER: I have just filed this complaint with the Enforcement Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission:

I am a Verizon Wireless customer registering a complaint regarding Verizon’s refusal to connect my Verizon 7 LTE tablet via its C Block LTE spectrum, in violation of:

* 47 CFR 27.16 – Network access requirements for Block C, paragraph (b), reading in part: “Licensees offering service on spectrum subject to this section shall not deny, limit, or restrict the ability of their customers to use the devices and applications of their choices on the licensee’s C Block network…”

* Also the FCC’s July 2012 consent decree with Verizon underlining the requirement for open access to the C Block network. Chairman Genachowski said at the time, “[C]ompliance with FCC obligations is not optional. The open device and application obligations were core conditions when Verizon purchased the C-block spectrum.”

Google announced its Nexus 7 LTE tablet earlier this year and promoted the fact that the device would operate on the LTE services of T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon Wireless. On that promise, I bought a Nexus 7 LTE from Google — waiting weeks for it to be offered in addition to wifi-only devices. I received it last Friday.

On Saturday, September 15, I went to the Verizon Wireless store on Route 206 in Bridgewater, NJ, and attempted to add the device to my shared data plan. I was told that it could not be added because Verizon had not yet added the IMEI numbers to its system. The clerk called Verizon himself and could not solve the problem at the time. I’d had a similar problem when I attempted to activate my Google Chromebook Pixel with LTE service sometime before and that was solved eventually by adding the SKU to the company’s system. So I thought this would be solved with help and I reached out to Verizon support on Twitter and Google+.

On Monday, September 17, I received this message in response from the official Verizon Wireless support Twitter account (my emphasis): “@jeffjarvis I’m excited you got your Nexus 7 but not all LTE tablets are created equal. It’s not part of our line up & can’t be activated^JH.” Later that day, I received another tweet from that account reading (my emphasis): “@jeffjarvis We apologize for any inconvenience; however, it can not be activated. Go to to view compatible tablets^LA.”

There Verizon is refusing to connect my tablet though it has been approved by the FCC and is compliant with standards such that it is also being offered and being activated on AT&T’s and T-Mobile’s LTE networks. Further, Verizon is instead attempting to require that I buy a tablet from them. This is a clear violation of the letter and intent of the openness requirement on Block C.

I later tested Verizon’s claim that the device could not be connected. I took the SIM from my Chromebook Pixel, placed it in the Nexus 7 LTE table, and it connected to the Verizon network just fine. So the issue is not that the device cannot be connected but that Verizon will not connect it.

Thus it is clear that Verizon is violating the terms of the Block C spectrum auction and of its consent decree with the Enforcement Bureau of the Commission.

I will also note that on May 7, 2008, the technology news service Ars Technica quoted Verizon Wireless vice president and spokesman Jim Gerace saying, in response to a Google complaint regarding Verizon’s compliance with Block C requirements: “Verizon Wireless — and all the other participants in the recent 700 MHz spectrum auction — understood the FCC’s rules for using that spectrum in advance of the auction. Of course we’ll abide by those rules.”

But Verizon Wireless is not doing so. I contacted public relations executives at Verizon Wireless via Twitter and email and on the third attempt received communication directing me to its certification process. Yet in a November 27, 2007 press release the company said that “Any device that meets the minimum technical standard will be activated on the network.” Clearly, the device meets the standards for it has been approved by the FCC; it works on T-Mobile’s and AT&T’s networks; and it demonstrated that it works on Verizon’s network.

This is a matter of Verizon subverting the Commission’s rules related to the requirement of openness on Block C. It is also a matter of consumer fraud.

I ask that you forward this complaint to the appropriate authorities at the Commission and I ask that you inform me of the progress of your investigation.

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  • William Astarita

    As a former employee I might advise you to visit a local store and have them activate it as a Samsung. I know it’s against the principle of it but why wait and spend more if you don’t have too.

    • it sounds like his need isn’t that dire. He wants the device to connect. He’s not dying without out. So this is an opportunity for him to push Verizon to do the right thing. Whereas if it was me I wouldn’t have another device and do anything i can to solve it.

  • Steve Russell

    Or can you put it in one of your iPads, activate it, then swap out the SIM?

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  • cody climer

    IF Verizon did allow your Nexus 7 which you bought from a third party on to their network it would mean they are simply an ISP. Yes you have multiple data only devices with them already, but those devices were bought either directly through Verizon or an authorized dealer (your chrome book pixel counts because it ONLY works with Verizon and Google worked out a specific deal for that product). By only letting authorized devices on their network no matter if they are data only devices or not, they are simply a telephone company. Think back to the days when “Ma Bell” Supplied the phone in your home.

    This isn’t condoning what they’re doing, just showing the rationale of the country’s largest telecommunications company. I’ve been working in the wireless business for 5 years, the last 2 with MVNOs and the thing I’ve learned is the big 4 carriers don’t want to be ‘dumb pipes.’ They will fight the 700mHz rules tooth and nail, and most likely the FCC will back down. If not it means they’ll have to look more closely at Verizon’s and AT&T’s business practices which will lead most likely to them being broken up… Again. Big Red and Big Blue have too much sway for that to happen.

    • Christopher Gaeth

      The can fight reality all they want but they have hit the part of the business cycle where that is exactly what they are, a commodity. They are dumb pipe and this contract lock in and device exclusivity is going to go the way of the dodo.

      • cody climer

        We can hope that the major carriers will have to abandon their monopoly, but I’m not sure we’ll actually get it. Verizon is attempting to overturn net neutrality, AT&T is selling off their hardware, carrier interoperability is decreasing. All of this is leading to a more calcified wireless industry. Without major intervention from federal regulators, we’re likely just seeing the beginning of our wireless woes.

        • iamgog

          > Without major intervention from federal regulators, we’re likely just seeing the beginning of our wireless woes.

          In the current political and regulatory climate (and as you’ve already stated) good luck with that. It doesn’t appear as if there are public servants calling the shots in the FCC; they’re industry insiders in a revolving door bureaucracy.

      • American Plutocracy

        DOn’t be so certain. if net neutrality is done away with then you will see private companies, in the name of profit, strangle consumers and all with the tacit approval of our elected representatives.

        Net neutrality is one of the most pressing issues of our day.

    • Cody, no matter: They agreed to the FCC’s conditions, clearly stated, for C Block and they are violating them.

      • cody climer

        I completely agree that they’re violating the C Block conditions. I’m hoping this brings Verizon’s Network violations to light.

        • an

          FCC: Please close Verizon down and release auction all its equipment. Wait: Please start with ATT, And then in 5 years, please do the same with Verizon, unless it changes its ways (and costs) in 5 years by 1/2.

      • Guest

        I feel like this is the perfect time to retain a lawyer. They are clearly violating their agreement and don’t have a leg to stand on. I bet you one nastygram from a lawyer and they will instantly capitulate. The trick will be ensuring they carry those practices over to everyone and don’t just active you personally to shut you up. :(

        • nerys

          they can afford to spend more on lawyers than you will likely make in your entire lifetime. if it comes to lawyers you have lost long before you even thought to start. its that simple.

          the hope is to get someone “bigger” to take up the cause.

      • thajack

        If they didn’t like the terms and conditions that they agreed to when they purchased the spectrum, then they shouldn’t have purchased it. If you violate the terms and conditions you agreed to in your contact with Verizon, they would tell you the same thing.

    • wtpayne

      Well, it certainly seems as if treating their customers like sh*t is an integral part of their business model.

  • Drifter

    Not defending in any way but think that VZW doesn’t want to see failed handoffs and dropped connections in areas where the device must fall back to 3G and is unable to (no CDMA on the Nexus). Guessing they don’t want their internal network performance numbers to be skewed by the “rogue device”.

    • iamgog

      Isn’t it at all possible to classify devices so that handoffs and fallbacks are not counted against peformance numbers when the devices aren’t capable of Ev-DO or 1X? The TAC in the IMEI should be sufficient. How hard is it to modify data collection rules?

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  • EC8CH

    They are already flat out violating the same lease obligations by blocking Google Wallet. Refusing to activate the Nexus 7 is just a continuation of Verizon acting like the rules don’t apply to them.

    • DragonTattooz

      Well, when you are fully compliant with the government in violating the constitution, you’ve pretty much established that you don’t give a shit about your customers.

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  • Kehnin Dyer

    i can’t wait for the next TWIG…

  • HolyFreakingCrap

    This doesnt surprise me one bit, Verizon is a scumbag company.

    • Mister Wirez

      +1 right

    • Truth.

      • Idon’t Know

        A scumbag company but with great coverage that I hate to give up. Also AT&T isn’t any better in most ways and worse coverage. T-Mobile and Sprint are not options due to poor coverage.

        • Steve Jobs

          Hey man, don’t you remember like 6 or 7 years ago, when literally EVERY SINGLE PHONE that Verizon offered came with that V-whatever red and white JAVA OS? They blocked nearly every feature behind a paywall, meanwhile att/cingular sold mostly phones with symbian… the leading and most open cell phone OS at the time…

        • Mansyn

          I stay with Verizon because I’m still grandfathered in with an unlimited data plan. Thanks to FoxFi I don’t need Time Warner until Verizon figures out how to screw me. Until then nothing gives me more satisfaction than pulling more than 10 g’s a month from them.

        • mere-iguana

          My friend has got the same deal, with unlimited data and a hotspot, it’s fun to watch the Verizon rep’s jaw drop when they look at the monthly data usage.

        • Mansyn

          The last time I was in a store the rep flat-out told me “enjoy it while it lasts”. I think she was actually disappointed that she couldn’t penalize me somehow.

        • Chris Bordeman

          I am grandfathered, too. I top 50GB a month EASY. Between us, we’re doing the Lord’s Work. ;)

        • Mansyn

          Good God! I salute you sir.

    • Sean Berry

      Exactly why I left them for T-Mobile. I don’t get near the coverage but what I do get is truly unlimited everything for a fair price. It’s about principal, Verizon is a crooked company and I refuse to support them in any way.

      • Phil

        T-Mobile is not much better. I also left verizon for t-mobile (because verizon had crippled phones even back in the razr days) and last year I left t-mobile for ting, when I got slapped with an heretofore unannounced nickle and dime fee for “tethering” when I already was paying through the nose for “unlimited” internet.

        Meanwhile the execs at both those companies are lounging around yachts with the golden parachutes at the ready. Disgusting…

        • Sean Berry

          Sorry to hear that Phil, I think once most companies go public many eithical business practices go out the window in lieu of shareholder profits. I’d love to see more control over wireless carriers operating practices from the FCC but they must be on the payroll since their involvement is pretty much nil. T-mobile hasn’t done anything shady thus far but at this point nothing surprises me anymore. Guess we’ll just wait, see and hope someone intervenes.

        • Phil

          Its a travesty that we consider it “nothing shady” when t-mobile and others produce false advertisements and promises about their unlimited internet service. Unlimited, with a data cap, and a transfer rate limit, and if you use it for x amount of hours, you are now at 56k modem speeds or less. And yet, this is the status quo for years now and nobody bats an eyes.

          Just like TWC advertising 50/5 mb up and down when the actual numbers (divide by 8) are more like 8/0.8, and 100 GB hard drives that are really 90 GB. This kind of “nothing shady” nonsense is everywhere and it makes me sick.

        • matt

          I can only speak to T-Mobile, but they do make it clear that you are getting a certain amount of high speed data and then you are getting a slower connection. I don’t know where you’re getting 56k speed, but that has never been the case for me. Most of the time I don’t even notice I’m being throttled. It might be kinda shitty, but it isn’t at all shady. Every thing is up front.

        • Phil

          I’m sorry but that was never made clear to me, and their posters have a big pink “UNLIMITED” sign blaring the falsehood to the masses (with no fine print on the poster, although I’m sure its there somewhere in the pages of contracts nobody ever reads)

          Its never up front, I was never aware of it until I had occasion to use it for more than a day on vacation. Suddenly, basic web 1.0 webpages were loading images one by one. I did a speed test and I clocked about 10 kbps.

          On top of that, last year they introduced (silently) the $15 fee to allow tethering (which before was fully functional with no fee) and the way I learned that is when I tried to use it again, every webpage would point to the fee requirement. Again – this was on top of the already-exorbitant $100/mo fee I was paying for “unlimited” internet.

          If anybody cares, I detailed all this (since I had no internet access at that time I wrote a blog in notepad lol)

        • ed c

          This is all outdated information as far as T-Mobile’s plans go. The unlimited data on the phone plans include at a minimum 2.5GB for tethering/hotspot. In fact they just upped it from 500mb included without increasing the cost. I definitely understand where you are coming from but tmo is doing a lot to change the industry “standards”.

        • Ryan Northrup

          Maybe this is different from when you signed on with T-Mobile, but their page for selecting a mobile plan ( ) states rather clearly – not even in fine print, but in nice, easily-readable letters – that “If you exceed your allotment of up to 500MB of high-speed data, your data speed will simply be slowed until your next billing cycle.” They make it rather clear that the “UNLIMITED” refers to the amount of data you are permitted to consume before you run into overage charges, and that unlimited high-speed is optionally available if consistent speed matters to you. That’s actually better than fair; as a Sprint user, I wasn’t expecting the data to be unlimited for the lower-price plans, and almost defaulted to the highest tier until I realized that every single plan lacks any overage charge whatsoever.

          As for tethering, that’s screwy. However, I have a feeling that there was probably a “no tethering” clause somewhere in your Terms of Service, which is par for the course among the larger carriers.

          On the topic of Ting, it looks interesting. The fact that it’s run by Tucows brings back many nostalgic memories of a young internet.

        • Sean Berry

          That’s exactly correct Ryan, I went with the unlimited high speed plan and it is still cheaper than Verizon for me. As for the tethering I honestly never paid it much attention, I’ve always had a rooted phone so it’s a moot point for a small minority of smartphone users.

        • Phil

          I haven’t had a single problem with Ting, looking forward to my second year with them.

          I pay anywhere from $30 to $50 per month (depending on that months usage) when compared to the basic unlimited internet plan I had with t-mobile which ran up to $100 a month after taxes, and various fees and whatnot.

          The biggest thing for me is trust. I can’t trust t-mobile or verizon not to fuck up anymore, and frankly I don’t have to deal with it.

        • Ryan Northrup

          Definitely sounds like a good deal.

          My only issue is that Ting doesn’t appear to offer any unlimited plan at all, which is a dealbreaker for me. For those that are fine with being charged after exceeding some amount, though, I imagine it would be a useful alternative to traditional Sprint service.

        • Chris Bordeman

          Verizon’s tethering fee is now $30 a month. :(

        • John

          If you use their unlimited data while on networks run by other providers, Verizon or otherwise, it’s not included under the unlimited data. Many areas “covered” by Sprint are borrowing service from Verizon towers but will still offer unlimited data in those areas.

        • BlueMoon

          50Mb/s is NOT the same as 50MB/s. Notice the “b” and “B”. One is bits, the other bytes. 8 bits to a byte. Hence the divide by 8 rule.

          Nothing shady about that, just uninformed consumers who have had 2 decades or more to figure that out. Not trying to say the cable company is a saint, it’s just that people respond favorably to big numbers when it comes to technology, and the cable companies know this.

        • JD

          T-Mobile can’t nickle and dime you for tethering if they can’t tell what you’re using. Spoof your user-agent. Done.

        • Phil

          Thanks for the tip. I could probably also root my phone and do any number of things. But at a certain point, I refuse to go through these hoops out of sheer principle.

          I’m on my 2nd year with ting and couldn’t be happier (hi george carlin!)

      • Andrew Pennebaker

        Except tethering. They double charge you to use the same bandwidth for tethering.

    • badphairy

      Sadly, they all are.

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  • Mister Wirez


    1 – Verizon wireless… the ” la cosa nostra” of carriers.

    2 – DESPISE / DISDAIN = VZW / Comcast

    3 – T-Mobile = The UN-carrier

    4 – VZW = The UN-Cool-Carrier

    5 – True Story. ©®

    • mayo

      Looks like we need to put that spectrum back on the auction block.

      • American Plutocracy


        • nerys

          and what? you think the next critter to pay out BILLIONS for that spectrum would do it “ANY” differently?

        • American Plutocracy

          So you propose no penalties for arguable illegality? How childish to promote an environment without repercussions.

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  • fred

    Your whole “publicized widely” bit conveniently/oddly/uncomfortably doesn’t link to any claims actually made by Verizon. Verizon’s network and responsibilities are Verizon’s. Not Google’s. This is weak.

    • Pizzicato Five Fan

      Did you read the article?

      • iamgog

        Perhaps Fred is a Verizon sockpuppet.

        But companies never have people go to Internet forums to anonymously challenge legitimate complaints about their business practices. Never..

  • Chris Cachor

    Bullshit, Fred. They’re violating FCC rules — this is a business decision and not a technical one on Verizon’s part. I would notify the FCC and lawyer up. Hit them in the bank account.

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    • How’d you find that? I saw only a few sample dates for the site on Wayback. Thanks!!

      • The Ars article linked directly (now broken) to the post; copy url -> -> latest snapshot…

  • Vote with your wallet!!

    1. Sell the Chromebook Pixel on eBay.
    2. Sell the iPads on eBay.
    3. Sell the Nexus 7 on eBay.
    4. Recognize that Google, Verizon, AT&T and Apple are an oligopoly so powerful that the FCC and FTC rarely have a case to intervene. The last time the Feds challenged them successfully was when they shut down AT&T’s attempt to buy T-Mobile.

    Force these bastards to compete – don’t buy their stuff!

    • Jeff Fields

      Uh, what does Apple have to do with abuse of public spectrum? Nothing, that’s what. Leave Apple out of it.

      • loz

        classic apple fan boy statement (don’t worry… I am the same)

      • paul

        Nah, Apple just like to gouge ebook customers and break anti-trade laws. That is MUCH BETTER. Thank God Apple is protecting its customers!

        • Mark S

          C’mon Jeff! – Why stick to the facts and the story (about Verizon) when Paul and Ed can use this forum as a chance to bash Apple. Fanboism at it’s finest. These guys can spin anything thing into an anti-apple rant.

        • Tim Borka

          Yeah. Fuck apple. They’re hanging themselves anyway. No need to even bother bashing them these days. It’s just cruel now.

      • Phil

        Someone conveniently forgot how the iphone was exclusive for years on a single shitty network.

        • Reverend Koosh

          didnt VW not want the iPhone when it came out because Apple wouldn’t let them lock it down and put all their BS bloatware on it?

        • Phil

          Even if that’s true, it wasn’t available on t-mobile either. Point is, Apple are just as money-grubbing-at-the-expense-of-customer-satisfaction as the rest of them, although their products are sleek and cool.

        • Nick Mason

          It’s totally true. VZW had first crack at the iPhone and passed it up because Apple flat out told them that they couldn’t fuck over their customers. Look it up, as it’s been well documented.

        • Nick Mason

          And as someone who worked in the mobile industry when VZW was at their shittiest, phone-nerfingest, I’m totally not surprised by this behavior. AT ALL. I would never switch to them as a carrier, under any circumstances, nor would I work for them directly or indirectly. No care or concern for the customer, only care for the shareholders. Fuck that.

      • Mansyn
  • American Plutocracy

    I’ll be watching TWIG for certain. I’m disappointed Leo will miss all the fun. While not 100% confident, I am fairly certain that the mechanism for Verizons defense are quite weak even under a ‘best case’ scenario based on the information provided thus far.

    If one were to consider the # of tablets so ‘afflicted’ and the length of time that transpires past what could be fairly argued is ‘reasonable’ I can foresee a class-action suit…anyone? it’s triple atty. fees:).

    Additionally, there is no reason the Attorneys General cannot get involved with this matter. Imagine a subpoena duces tecum for materials to assess ‘how many times have consumers been told this is not feasible’ etceteras. This is a much much larger issue than that of Jeff Jarvis’ plight & Google should step to the plate and swing some heavy bats.

  • Danglerack Cunningsnatch

    Keep up the good fight and don’t let these fuckers win!

  • dbuns

    Jarvis, you are such a google stooge. Can you please make sure you inform all your readers that you are a google shareholder before pulling another stunt like this?

    Devices must be certified by network operators to ensure that the users get an acceptable experience. Carriers care most about Churn. Churn is mostly driven by perceptions of negative network performance. Perceptions of negative network performance are offen a consequence of poor device performance. Poor device performance often comes up as a result of weird standards implementations that only get exposed in weird combinations of networking gear.

    Asus is not a major player in the mobile industry, and it is entirely fucking predictable that they would make stupid mistakes in their implementation.

    In conclusion, please stop mimicing an inverted oroboros. You are supposed to eat your own ass, not shove your head up it. Uninformed asshole “journalists” like yourselves think that since you know the command “dir” you are qualified to assess all tech issues. You have never gotten an oem device to ship in your life.

    • davemacdo

      “Stocks: I own Time Warner stock (drat the luck) as well as Sirius. I bought Google stock in 2008 (at $512). I also own Amazon, Microsoft, and Intel. Most of my holdings today are in mutual funds because I’m a lousy investor.”

      One click away on the About page.

      Also, carriers deal with “churn” by locking people into BS two-year contracts. VZW are the opaque jerks in this scenario, not the customer.

    • sid3windr

      “Devices must be certified by network operators to ensure that the users get an acceptable experience.”

      That’s hilarious. Welcome to the rest of the world, where people buy a phone or tablet in any store, or on any website, click in their SIM and off they go…

      • dbuns

        Do you find it hilarious that computers require electrons before they can display your internet? Would you be shocked to hear that there is no man in your refrigerator turning off the light when you close the door?

        “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

        Facts are frustrating things.

        • sid3windr

          Are you implying Google itself is not testing the Nexus before shipping it off, leaving all QA to Verizon? If so, have all other operators in the world been notified of this? Magic indeed.

    • iamgog

      So, in other words, Verizon’s refusal to support the Nexus 7 LTE is purely from a PR standpoint, making sure that people don’t have bad experiences with shoddy devices on their network?

      Sounds more like a customer service/technical support problem to me. Of course, we are talking about Verizon, a company that’s not well-reputed for customer service of technical support.

    • ChrisB

      @dbuns wrote: “Devices must be certified by network operators to ensure that the users get an acceptable experience.”

      You really don’t get the difference in priority between corporate vision and legal obligation, do you?

      No, that is not a valid reason that devices would need to be certified. What carriers must do is comply with their regulatory obligations. As Verizon acknowledged previously, they are obliged to connect any device that meets the “minimum technical standard.” That’s the excuse for the industry to work on such technical standards in the first place; otherwise they’d be illegal collusion in restraint of trade. Verizon’s perceptions about “acceptable experience,” their “care about churn,” or their desire for color schemes are their own, internal business problems, with no effect on their regulatory obligations.

      I’d recommend as much social media exposure as possible for their contempt of the law, and speaking directly with FCC and congressional staff concerned with telecoms regulation. There is every reason that Verizon should lose this spectrum, as they are developing a pattern of failing to meet their obligations. See the recent action to prevent them from backsliding on their obligations by double-charging for hotspot service.

      If it improves their bottom line, they absolutely will backslide for as long as they can get away with it. It’s a shame they were able to get away with subverting the auction in the first place, when it was intended to open competition. As long as they can price their bids with the underlying assumption that they will get away with oligopolistic behavior and being regulatory scofflaws, they’ll keep accelerating that behavior.

      Verizon needs to feel an action that makes them miss a few quarters. That will change behavior and culture.

  • Wazooon

    If you are not pissed off enough to cancel all your dealings with them regardless of the cost – you aren’t pissed enough or things are not bad enough. Try handing your tablet back to google. They should have a bit more brains.

  • Anonymous

    I just played with a friend’s new LTE nexus 7 on Verizon. He just out the sim from his iPad in without even thinkin of calling Verizon and had no problems.

  • UnlockMyDevice

    Insofar as such use would not be compliant with published technical
    standards reasonably necessary for the management or protection of the
    licensee’s network.

    “Protection of the licensee’s network.”

    Verizon could argue that a device not distributed by them could contain software that was not given the Verizon seal of approval and could be damaging to the network.

    Typical Verizon move and definitely not in the spirit of the regulation but the regulation should of added wording to the effect that the FCC certification that the device is made to the published technical standards makes it a device applicable device to be activated on the network.

    It being vague just leaves room for Verizon to be the scumbags they are.

    • comfreak

      Well, they should have avoided vague language, indeed! I leave it up to you to guess why the FCC used vague terms, rather than being clear. Let me give you a hint: joint consulting committees and lobbying.

      • iamgog

        *Psst: revolving door bureaucracy. Industry insiders dressed in regulator’s clothing.*

        • comfreak

          Thanks! forgot about that one ;-) Too obvious almost, hihi.

  • Pingback: Will the Nexus 7 LTE Be Available for Verizon? Verizon Wireless Clarifies Confusion.()

  • Antiverizon

    Verizon sucks…. Actuall

  • comfreak

    Funny how the FCC makes the regulatory choice to let network operators decide which devices they like on their network. Cartel office investigation anyone?

    Any device that adheres to the standards works on network that adheres to the standard. There might be some usual variance (this phone has bad reception in this situation, that network has bad reception in that area), but neither carrier nor phone maker can afford to really be incompatible. In an industry with so many disputes over the FRAND use of standard-relevant patents, I think it is pretty clear that standard means standard.

    Operators rule the devices on their networks purely for profit reasons. It’s very simple: as a network operator, you get to buy at a discount of scale. Then you sell at the recommended sales price and make the difference in profits. Further, you get to add your own value (read: bloatware) to make your customers more dependent on you through weird extra functions (read: restrictions). Further restrictions and further dependence leads to future profits. So far, so understandable. But also: so anti-customer. Trouble is that all US carriers seem to engage in similar practices. If the same happened here in Europe (say vodafone only allowed LG devices on their network) they’d have the EU’s joint cartels commissions after their corporate butts…

  • TiredOfShottyJournalism

    They are complying with the FCC. You’ve noted it yourself in your blog. Under the regulation item (1) they have every right to refuse to connect a device that hasn’t been certified in their labs to meet industry standards and may compromise their network. All providers have a certification process. Imagine if any device with a compatible SIM could register on their network. If any device were to impact the delivery of service subscribers would scream (including yourself). So a certification process is common sense.

    Furthermore you’re overlooking the competitive nature of the mobile market. Device manufacturers enter into contracts with service providers to help give providers a level of exclusivity to new devices as a competitive advantage to the provider. Often this can delay providing evaluation units to other providers that are in competition with the contracted ones until after they are launched. This may have resulted in Verizon not being provided evaluation units for certification in a timely manner which may have resulted in the certification delay.

    No, I don’t work for Verizon or Google nor do I have any other affiliations. I’m just a consumer with some knowledge of the process. A consumer that is disappointed that you would represent yourself as a journalist without doing sufficient (any) research into the process. Instead you chose to go on a social media tirade and act like a spoiled child before you sought to understand the process or accurately apply the FCC regulations to the situation. A journalist job is to use facts to tell a story… You are merely an author.

    • comfreak

      Sorry, but here’s a reality check for you:
      Monst European countries have better network coverage than the US, customers pay MUCH cheaper prices for network usage and have more device diversity; changing contracts is made easy with mobile number portability (at least in within your home country similar e.g. to a US area dialling code).

      To my knowledge, none of the providers in Europe restrict device usage on their network. They test devices that they sell through their own shops. But you can always bring your own device, contract, prepaid, no difference.

      There was a time when operators were testing more intensely and sold only fewer models than generally available, because they worked “better”. Still, at your own risk, you could always use any device you wanted and there was no sanctioning of devices that operators liked or banning of the others.

      At the beginning of the industry, (standards take time to develop) this was maybe necessary. Now, standards exist and work. Globally. Magazines test the respective phones, tablets whatnots on different networks and would reveal if there are any usage issues. Customers can gain knowledge on that before purchasing a ohone or signing a network contract. Did I mention how much cheaper they are in Europe?
      Your turn.

      • William

        Nothing in what you wrote has anything to do with whether they are in violation of FCC regulations. Whether the process is actually necessary is very different from whether it is an allowed process.

        • comfreak

          Whether or not they are in violation of the terms in FCC regulation is actually irrelevant. Even FCC-compliant behaviour can be in gross violation of what customers perceive as fair treatment. The courts get the fun to figure out whether they are in FCC’s rule violation, from my perspective they are already in breach of fair customer treatment. The question is on which grounds they do this.

          Thus, what I wrote has everything to do with their justification for their beheviour. They say that the justification is technical, I just pointed out that this cannot be a truthful justification.

          Maybe the connection now makes more sense to you…

      • mark212

        In the EU the certification is done the same way, with carriers certifying devices to work or not work. And they, like Verizon, are not required to provide a SIM for an uncertified device.

        A lot of it is up to the hardware manufacturers to provide early access to the devices so the carriers can run them through the tests and certify them as acceptable on their network. Seems that Samsung / Google didn’t do that here for Verizon.

        So far I haven’t heard one good reason for VZ to be deliberately blocking this particular model. They sell several models of Android and iOS tablets on their website, and the list of compatible devices is extensive. Why on earth would they bother blocking a Nexus 7?

        • NotTrueAtAll

          I’ve lived in the UK for long enough, and there is no shred of evidence that ANY UK network would refuse you a SIM card…

          I mean, you can pretty much buy SIMs here at an off licence for about 99p or less!

        • comfreak

          Sorry, but you seem to have a very poor knowledge of how mobile communications work in Europe. Many if not most providers have no knowledge of what device their customers are actually using, because they do not even ask. It is not relevant in any way for its functioning on the network. Nobody checks. You switch phones/tablets/laptops, just plug in your sim card into your new device – done. Nothing to activate, call anyone, go to any website. Just works. That easy. No contact with an opereator/provider required. You can even buy pre-activated sim cards in most supermarkets.

          In my last ten years of experience in and with the industry, I have not heard of any sim card activation failing on grounds of device usage. Of course you cannot use devices that have incompatible frequencies (up to you to check, and you’d be very stupid) or that distorts their network (up to phone makers to ensure). Even Apple who, e.g. deliver the iPhone 5 with DEactivated LTE to certain operators (no idea why) cannot prevent the usage of an iPhone 5 with LTE on that same network if the device was bought elsewhere. This goes so far that, in this case, O2 recommends their customers to just buy the phone directly at Apple and then plug in an O2 LTE sim card and it works just fine. Still it is Apple who refuse to deliver LTE activated iPhones 5 to O2. And they still expect O2 to these. Funny one that!

          Since there are abviously no technical reasons for such refusals to allow a device on a network, how about commercial ones? I give you four:

          a) VZW did not make any profit margin on the sale of Jeff’s device. Good enough reason to refuse it, maybe.

          b) VZW could not load their own bloatware on the device in advance which means they cannot force certain “services” on you, such as their own cloud or their specified contact app etc.

          c) Since these “services” bind you to VZW if you have them, they can not bind you to VZW if you don’t have them on your device. This means you might be willing to switch earlier and that makes them lose sales of minutes, data and texts. Hence, no bloatware, no activation.

          d) Since (re-)acquisition costs are the highest share of costs for the operators, they try to avoid them like the plague. And how do you avoid them best? By not losing the customers in the first place. And that means you need to bind them to you, e.g. by increasing your customers switching costs.
          And the one best way VZW do this is by selling you a device that only works on their own network, because they are the only ones who “certified” it. If you cannot use it elsewhere, you will remain a “loyal” customer for years if you like the device.

          There are probably more reasons, but I think these are enough to make my point.

    • Varuka Salt

      Would you accept these terms for your home or business internet service? I don’t have a pc in my house that would pass any “certification” because they’re all built by me. This “certification” argument is bullshit. It’s nothing more than cover for their real agenda, getting you to buy your hardware exclusively from them.

    • mark212

      You’re 100% right. This guy bought a brand-new piece of hardware without checking to see if it was certified on the network that he needed. Take it back to the retailer where you bought it and get a refund.

      This is absolutely NOT an FCC violation, and I should know because I’m a lawyer who sues companies for violating FCC regulations. I hate VZ with a passion, but save your rants for what really matters.

      (More to the point, he has no hope of “lawyering up” and suing VZ because they have mandatory arbitration and class action waivers in their standard contract. Upheld by the US Supreme Court in Concepcion v. ATT Mobility LLC (2011). He can bring a small claims action, and get a few hundred dollars, but that’s it.)

    • Michael Raymond

      You’ve changed the language quite a bit. What it actually said is: (1) Insofar as such use would not be compliant with published technical standards reasonably necessary for the management or protection of the licensee’s network

      i.e. They can only refuse if the device does not comply with “published technical standards” (which the Nexus 7 clearly does). If Verizon tests a device and finds it does not comply, they can refuse to support it. They do not get to deny it on the basis that they haven’t yet CONFIRMED that it meets the published standards that it claims to.

      Also: “reasonably necessary” is pretty telling language. That means even if Verizon CAN prove it doesn’t meet some standard, they THEN have to prove the standard in question is “reasonably necessary for the management or protection” of their network.

    • Sounds a lot like the nonsense AT&T/Bell used to use to make you buy your phones from them and only them,

  • josh

    Verizon is also lobbying congress to be able to charge websites to use their equipment to send you a page. So not only do they have the most expensive bill, they’re now attempting to double dip on the internet. Call your congressman the internet must to ruled a common carrier or you can start paying for wireless and pay to use the sites.

  • Pingback: LTE Nexus 7 available for AT&T and T-Mobile, not yet on Verizon | Noticias y Programas()

  • Shawn

    Easy work around for folks. Ask for a SIM card for your tablet. Activate SIM card in another LTE device. Can even use a floor model at the VZW store. Then insert SIM card into Nexus 7.

  • Mansgame

    Doesn’t Verizon work on CDMA? When did they start having LTE and Sim cards? Just move over to T-mobile. They do it right.

    • Chad Vincent

      They were the first US LTE deployment. Their LTE is the beginning of migration to SIM cards and away from using device ESN. (Their current devices use the SIM to connect to LTE, and the ESN for CDMA. Not sure why they didn’t start turning on SIM for CDMA…)

      I’m with you on moving to T-Mo, but like he said in the article (Or was it a comment?), he’s under contract still. He may also be in an area where T-Mo doesn’t have service.

  • BigRedMachine

    Big red is notoriously slow to support devices. They claim it is because they want to ensure the best customer experience possible. The best customer experience possible, IMO, is not monkeying around with people’s devices. Give us the stock OS and let us get updates direct from Google (similar to how Apple products work).

  • alehm

    Emboldened by throttling Netflix and Youtube and customers accepting it they have taken further steps at being an asshole of a company.

  • Texasryno

    I had a similar issue with AT&T when the Dell Streak beta program came out. We got beta phones that they activated but when the trial was over, wouldn’t allow back on their network. I filed an FCC complaint and got action pretty quick. The at&t complaint group said too bad, however since I’m a business customer with them, the corporate group called me as well and they decided it was a good idea to allow it back on. Just another avenue to pursue.

  • DragonTattooz

    I more year of Verizon, then I’m dumping you after 15 years. I know it doesn’t matter to you, you have made it abundantly clear that my business does not matter to you and you will do just fine without me, and I without you.

  • Igits

    For the love of god will you idiots stop using Verizon, I hear all these excuses like “Oh, I’m locked in.” No your not, let your contract run up and stop buying shit that extends it then move to T-Mobile.

    I too was “locked-in” at Verizon, trust me you can break out and its glorious when you do. Stop giving money to bad companies!

  • You know technology is a funny thing. It can appear to work just fine when you swapped SIMs but are you a field engineer who can verify it is working in the best way possible? That it’s not draining your battery too much? Or that it is not impacting other’s use of the network in anyway? I’m not one to defend corporations just for fun but they are made up of people who provide a service and if they guarantee a device will work by offering it in the market they have to be sure it will work the best it can hence their certification process. Otherwise they would be selling faulty products and will incur support costs and even more unhappy customers.

    Mr. Jarvis please don’t feel like you are making some sort of stand here for the people. You’re whining because you can’t get your tablet to work yet. That’s a first world problem if I’ve ever heard one. Get a life outside of your tablet.

    • mdylanbell

      Read the article. This rant makes no sense.

  • Val

    Can you tell them its a different device (that is a VZW certified device) and have them give you a SIM?

  • Mtowalker

    Sounds like it isn’t available yet. Poor listing, but that’s technology, seriously not a single thing here is that surprising. It’s not certified YET.

  • makapav

    Jeff Jarvis dude, you have a pending system update for your tablet! Grab that first, yo!

  • Will

    I didn’t even know this could happen. In the UK you can just put any SIM card from any network/carrier in any phone and it will work, as long as the phone itself isn’t locked on contract or whatever.

    • Guest

      Same here in Australia

    • Trevor Brass

      This is how we Yanks do capitalism methinks.

    • Henry

      The issue here is that they wont sell him the SIM card. Which violates the contract they signed when they won this bandwith

    • kuschku

      Same here in Germany

    • comfreak

      In fact, the operators mostly don’t even know what device you are using. But why would they. You just buy a pre-activated sim card at Tesco, plug in and it works. Why any provider would need to know a device for technical reasons appears fairly strange to me.
      Commercially, there are at least four: a) device sale profit, b) added value (read: bloatware), c) binding customers through extra services (read: bloatware), d) avoiding customer acquisition costs by biding customers through devices only “certified” on one network. You like your device-you stay on that network. Simple tactics with big effect. Morally, they are al wrong. Legally mostly too, at least in Europe (except bloatware for operator-traded phones). I like it European style ;-)

      • JD

        All of those reasons, plus they actually cite a weird paranoia about a “rogue device” somehow bringing down their network despite multiple technical barriers against this ever happening.

  • Cjwatkin15

    Refuse anything less than the standard.

  • Pingback: Verizon Wireless refuses to activate Nexus 7 LTE tablets | John Ryan Lee()

  • J_Marley

    I believe the actual problem is not the “law” here, but how the customer service reps are handling the request. After reading this article, I feel that the person writing it has taken a couple statements and FCC regulations (rarely are these actual laws) and made it into something that suits his purpose.

    Part of the problem here is that while the spectrum can be used by many devices, not all devices are created equal. There are different BANDS and firmware in most devices that prevent just any SIM from being put in a device and activated, not to mention the liability that Verizon (or other carriers) might have if after putting the SIM in the device stopped functioning properly. This is the reason it was stressed as a “non-certified” device. There are many companies that spend 6 months or more testing a device for reception, firmware and software compatibility with the network, and making sure it loads correctly in their systems before they release it to the public, and even then it’s not always perfect.

    Google may say, “Hey, we’ve taken a Verizon SIM and tested our device on their network and it works,” but it still comes back to Verizon if the service doesn’t work. How many of you out there have ever taken a cellphone into your carrier’s store or called them to complain about a slow phone or poor reception from a phone you bought from them? It becomes the responsibility of the wireless provider to try and become the fixer of the problem or mediator between you and the device manufacturer. Now imagine what would happen if you activated a random device and then said the same thing? Who is supposed to help you? Liability is the strongest reason why they aren’t offering to activate your device. They can’t guarantee it will work properly, and don’t want to run the risk of being sued.

    Again, to say that Verizon is violating a law is a stretch at most. To me, and having been working in this industry for the last 7 years (NOT EVER for Verizon) this seems like a case of a little knowledge becoming dangerous. The person writing the article needs to do a bitter research before making assumptions. And Verizon needs to train their reps better.

  • Doup

    Has anyone actually read the applicable RFC’s(Or the equivalent) for LTE? Has the Nexus 7 been certified by whatever RFC’s would apply? I know the cable world, and I’ve read RFC’s until my eyes bled. You should check out what applies for DOCSIS 1.0 vs 1.1 vs 2.x vs DOCSIS 3.x Bronze/Silver/Gold. You can buy whatever DOCSIS 3.x modem you want, but unless your ISP supports it, you are out of luck. Same thing goes for your Nexus.

    • IfIWereYou

      [shilling intensifies]

  • merman1983

    Can’t wait for TWiG. Jeff, you’ve been having so many issues getting the technology you want working the way they were intended/advertised. I wonder if this is an issue for any other devises or if it is in fact limited to the Google Nexus. Does VZW just “have it out” for Nexus devices – seems they were never happy the VZW Galaxy Nexus (my phone) and perhaps determined to never touch a Nexus again (which is why I’ll be switching at the end of my servitude/contract).

  • Pingback: Verizon Wireless refuses to activate Nexus 7 LTE tablets | FIXMYBRICK BLOG()

  • MSF’er

    If you break a contract with Verizon, you get fined. If they break a contract with anyone, they just say “Fuck You”.
    Great way to do business!

  • Ben

    Are you certain that Verizon has deployed LTE over 700MHz “C” block in your area? If not, as ridiculous as this sounds, they may be within their rights. Unjust, yes. Illegal, no.

  • Judas

    Let me make sure I understand this….You are going to complain about how bad Verizon is, and yet you’ll continue to support them and give them your money?? This makes no sense.

    If you are really that frustrated with their actions, you should be trying to get out of your contract and go somewhere else. As they say, vote with your wallet.

  • Jason Clarke

    just tell them you bought a different phone or tablet..

  • skellener

    Break ’em up!

  • TheRep

    As a support representative, seeing this kind of behavior:

    ‘Knock, knock, @VZWSupport, is anybody there? I’m trying to give you money. You’re making it hard. No, impossible.’

    Makes my blood absolutely boil. Rather than trying to work with Verizon directly, you take to social media outlets, bash them for all your followers to see, then when they address your issue, you do nothing to respond in a positive manner. The only thing people see is the negativity.

    I’m not defending Verizon Wireless. They’re my carrier and I’ve had my problems with them, but I will never respect someone that tantrums on social media for attention.

    • Henry

      If everyone deals with their problems privately then there’s no way to tell that there’s a larger problem at hand. He attempted to solve the problem privately and Verizon wouldn’t work. Here we have Verizon willfully violating a contract meant to protect consumers. This should be made public so that it can be dealt with. If Verizon loses customers as a result, good, they might learn they need to deal with the rules rather than making a quick buck. Breaking the law doesn’t deserve constructive feedback, there’s nothing right to praise, its just behavior that needs to change

    • hazy_v

      He says he tried and that this is a last ditch effort, don’t read less and assume more.

    • MancVandaL

      Awwe, their blood is boiling, ain’t that a shame? HOW DO YOU THINK HE’S FEELING? If you bother to read it (you can read right?) he clearly tells us this is the last ditch effort. How dare you have a go at him for letting others know what a scumbag move Verizon are making. He’s RIGHT to do so and the more people that do, the quicker they stop doing what they shouldn’t.

      • Phil

        Remember, he/she is a support representative. They think they’re actually helping by having you reboot your computer.

    • mark212

      I’m not bothered by the public complaining. I am bothered by the fact that he blindly bought a device without first checking to see if it would work on the one network that he requires.

      And now he accuses them of an FCC violation without having the first clue about how the regs actually work. SMH

      • mdylanbell

        Did you read the article? It does work, they are refusing to activate it, though. I also think he demonstrated very well that they are, in fact, in violation of FCC rules.

    • mdylanbell

      He tried other things first. Did you read?

    • Did you read the post, mate? I went to the Verizon store and spent — wasted more than a half-hour there.

  • Darren

    Virgin Mobile does a similar thing. They require people buy their phones at a full price. i.e. Galaxy & iPhone. However, they will not activate the same phones which are unlocked by other carriers. I think a large class action law suit will follow.

    • nick p

      It’s probably so you’re forced to give them your paycheck on the phone and can’t tell them to fuck off when they get sick of your bullshit without spending a arm and a leg to switch carriers, so you’re more likely to deal with it

  • res0nat0r (from

    the article is bullshit.

    “I just got a new Nexus 7, went into a Verizon Wireless store with it and asked for an LTE SIM. They briefly looked at my account and gave me a SIM card and I plugged it into the Nexus 7 and was on my way.

    This Jarvis guy is talking about how Verizon tried looking up his device’s ESN/MEID which is a CDMA thing. The Nexus 7 doesn’t have CDMA. This makes me think that both he and the reps he’s been working with didn’t understand how CDMA and LTE provisioning works.”

    Because the article is bullshit.

    “I just got a new Nexus 7, went into a Verizon Wireless store with it and asked for an LTE SIM. They briefly looked at my account and gave me a SIM card and I plugged it into the Nexus 7 and was on my way.

    This Jarvis guy is talking about how Verizon tried looking up his device’s ESN/MEID which is a CDMA thing. The Nexus 7 doesn’t have CDMA. This makes me think that both he and the reps he’s been working with didn’t understand how CDMA and LTE provisioning works.”
    res0nat0r (from

  • Trick ’em?

    Why don’t you leave that sim card in your tablet, come in with your pixel and sign up for internet again with the pixel? I like the idea of publicizing that they’re breaking the rules, but behind the scenes this (or any other bait and switch) would work nicely.

  • Randolph

    This post reeks of entitlement and really makes me think less of you as a person opposed to siding with you as a consumer. Check your privilege.

    • mdylanbell

      How so? Verizon is in violation of the rules. He’s just exposing it. He’s deciding to fight them for all the other people out there without as strong of a voice or industry contacts. Kudos, I say.

    • BenTheGuy

      The spectrum Verizon “owns” is a part of nature, and really shouldn’t be “owned” by a private corporation, but if it is, then they damn well better follow the law.

      Entitlement is the idea that you should get something whether or not you earned it. Expecting a large corporation to follow the law (and their own agreements) is not entitlement. If anyone is acting entitled, it’s Verizon.

  • 3xaparent

    LOL @ people who still do business with Verizon.

  • beauzero

    Go to the FCC and file a complaint directly. You will get a call from VZW to get you up and running very quickly.

  • User22

    Take your Chromebook Pixel in and get second SIM and call it a win.

  • Mike Pence

    Thanks for this. I was about to go with Verizon FIOS for my home service, and will now seek service elsewhere.

    • mdylanbell

      While FIOS has nothing to do with this article (he’s talking about LTE service), and your comment is basically meaningless drivel, you should probably avoid Verizon at all costs.

      • ocv808

        Your comment about his comment is pretty much meaningless drivel… as is mine :p

  • Rob Close

    I wonder how much money Verizon gets each time an iPad is sold for their network – versus how much they’d make upfront selling a Nexus 7 (or 10). I wouldn’t think there’d be much difference – and that they’d want all the tablets they could handle on their network – since everyone is paying the same right, right?

    I’m just wondering where the business logic lies in this decision – or if there is none, because it’s actually a technical problem, which Verizon doesn’t want to admit to. Maybe a security glitch, or health concern? Who knows!

  • oxipital

    I think they didn’t respond to you because you’re a fucking tool. Be a nuisance, get treated like a nuisance. If they’re in violation of FCC regs, contact the FCC or sue them or the FCC to act on the mattter.

  • Lolrax

    I’m sorry your precious porn machine won’t let you jerk off outside of your house fast enough.

  • bing bong

    question… why not buy another chrome book sim, and just leave that in your nexus 7?

  • Andrew Krug

    I’ve written a lot about the Block C spectrum that VZW won via the FCC auction years ago and the Open Access Provisions associated with it. Being unsure of the link rules here I won’t post to them but you can Google it. I worked with a higher profile writer over at XDA to initiate a complaint campaign over this very issue way back in the fall of 2011. You can submit a complaint to the FCC here,, which Verizon must respond to.

    Don’t hold your breath. The response they send everyone is they deny and keep things locked over concerns of network security and an equal customer experience. This has been debunked many times over by the fact they (VZW) has allowed (read: sold) two versions of the same devices to operate over their network. One locked and one unlocked. They also got a teenie tiny fine for not allowing other Wireless Tethering apps besides their application. With regards to Google Wallet, it isn’t that they don’t support it, you just have to side load it and it will work. The phones they sell support it.

    At any rate, for your specific issue, sadly – VZW does hold an ace up their sleeve. Part of the regulations dictate that any device that wants to operate over the VZW LTE (Block C) network, per the open access provisions, must be approved by VZW. They cannot deny anyone from creating a device that operates over this spectrum. But they can make you jump through hoops to allow it on their network. The provisions do not dictate anything else relating to this approval process, how it should be implemented and governed, the cost, etc. This pretty much puts the ball in VZWs court.

    In essence, the fact it works by using a sim card for another device does not mean it is an “approved” device. Sadly.

  • Sarahw

    Verizon lies a lot. They lied about our home service.
    So we ditched them and got a wireless home phone from another carrier.

  • Rygarr Treuthardt

    To long didn’t read. Crybaby.

  • lesserlesserwashington

    Class action lawsuit.

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  • samsmythe

    God, this is the whiniest most self-entitled story and comments section I have read in a while. Yeah, you are probably right. But you write as if getting your super hip new tablet on 4G is akin to freeing the slaves. I am sure not being able to twitter at the local Denny’s toilet really rustles your jimmies, but it is sad to see someone devote so much time to this cause rather than say almost anything else more important is sad.

    • BenTheGuy

      Yeah, why should we hold corporations accountable to the law? They “own” a major portion of the spectrum that nature gave to humanity, if they don’t want to abide by their agreements and the law, then they should be punished. Expecting a large corporation to follow the law is not selfish. The corporation is acting very selfish, however.

  • olddiva

    Who cares? Get a tablet that works. Google should be insuring that their tablets work on the various carrier networks and informing their consumers of any limitations. If I were Verizon I would not sell this tablet as Google, as usual, doesn’t assume any responsibility for the products they put out. They like to point fingers instead of providing a solution to the problem.

    • mdylanbell

      Did you read any of this article? The tablet works on Verizon, they are just refusing to activate it.

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  • David Abernathy

    I hope you get a lot of money in the lawsuit.

  • InvaderDoe

    Honestly, if you don’t live in the middle of bumf*** nowhere, t-mobile and it’s coverage are fine. I am a city slicker admittedly, and it takes a trip to the middle of nowhere to lose my coverage. Also they just rolled out expanded LTE function. AT&T is plain evil and this is why I’m so happy with Team Magenta. They really are the lesser of all evils.

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  • Jazzduck

    Are we so unable to pay attention to the history of the last 20 years that we actually believe giant telecom companies will abide by the law?

  • topgun966

    Verizon is pure evil plain and simple. They are a close tie with ATT but maybe slightly worse. I dumped them the second they changed something in the contract and ran for the hills. Will never go back.

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  • some of those people that work at Verizon’s stores are idiots, One told me that they could not connect my iphone 5 because it was unlocked, (yes I purchased it directly from apple, it came that way in the box) I paid a lot of money for it too, mostly because I do not like the idea of being trapped in a 2 year agreement where if the service does not live up to the millions of dollars spent on commercial television advertisements, then I can take my phone to another carrier. The funny thing was that the female at that Verizon location was not well informed nor well educated.

    I ended up going with Tmobile, seems like they have their acts together, in a much better way.

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  • Alu Zeros

    doesnt matter if your right or not unless you got money to support a lawyer that can out muster verizon’s lawyers, truth is you might as well be in china. capitalism, socialism, communism….all have one common thing d#%#$%bags with leverage due to money.

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  • MrMLK

    It seems like you folks are making a big deal out of what may be nothing. If Verizon hasn’t started activating the Nexus 7 in a month or so, we can all go back to talking about how terrible they are. But, given the the LTE Nexus 7 has just come out, perhaps they want to do a bit of internal testing before letting it loose on their network.

    The rule states: “(1) Insofar as such use would not be compliant with published technical standards reasonably necessary for the management or protection of the licensee’s network”. Perhaps they are doing a slightly more extensive test then just firing it up and seeing if it looks like it works.

  • LEAVE VERIZON! That’s your option. We must vote with our checkbooks. I had 3 smart devices with data plans which was almost a $300/month. As each of my numbers comes up for renewal, I have been leaving Verizon taking my numbers with me.. Only decreased revenue will capture their attention.

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  • Anon

    Nice work autist.

  • Andrew Pennebaker

    Lol, the United States is stupid that way. They don’t put up with this shit in Europe.

  • Methusalada

    Hi Jeff, I would dearly like to believe in what you are doing and attempting to achieve . Personally I don’t need convincing of the corruption of minds ,souls & money on this US south sea bubble. You are obviously a communicator ! Now get get real & lead , which I suspect is your main ability. Otherwise you shall be bogged down or up in so much bovine excreta , you shall be unable to gain breath !

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  • John

    I may or may not have worked for the company that rhymes with Horizon and I left because of their policies (that, and the policies of the call center I was working in, which were abusive at best.) I don’t have a lot to compare to, I don’t know other carriers as well as them, but it shocked me to see how unprofessional and unethical it was.

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  • bigunwhistle

    So why don’t you just stick your sim from your chromebook into your nexus and request a new sim for your chromebook?

    • Frank__Grimes

      Because – when they send you a new one they deactivate the old one.

  • Brad

    Jeff, you’ve been given the answer as to why Verizon cannot activate this device, “because the IMEI numbers have not yet been added to their system”, it means exactly that. As a former Sprint employee myself, we ran into this issue on occasion with for instance, a brand new in box device that had the Sprint Logo on it, was purchased from Brightpoint (Sprint’s warehouse), and was in our store with a receipt of purchase, i.e. it was completely legit and should have been able to be activated. However, despite all of that, since the IMEI/ESN (whichever is used by the carrier) is not in the system, the device cannot be activated. Period. It’s not some simple task where the rep you’re speaking to just “goes into the system” and adds it, as so many consumers think should be the case. The fact that it works with a SIM from another device placed into it it completely irrelevant. Of course it does! That SIM was activated with a VALID IMEI from a supported device. The reason for this is because the SIM is what is actually active in the network, BUT the other field that needs to be inputted when activating a device is the IMEI/ESN field. Now, explain to me this; If an IMEI is not in the system and you type it in to the field in the activation portal, and you get an error message like “This IMEI is not a valid IMEI”, how exactly do you expect them to activate it? Magic? They don’t support the device yet. This is not a case of “won’t”. This is a case of “can’t… yet”. You have it backwards.

    • bigjaydogg3

      That’s a CDMA network. This is LTE.

      The IMEI not being in the system is completely irrelevant. I can buy a European phone and put it on AT&T’s network. That IMEI isn’t in the database. It will work and without causing undue stress on the network.

  • Mike McDermott

    Thank you for writing this. Your research has provided me valuable information for my own battles with Verizon concerning activation of a device.

  • Ash

    First world problems, bro.

  • Sick Of Verizon

    Verizon is scumbag made into a corporation. Why I personally quit VZW and switched to MetroPCS….

  • VerizonYouAreDone

    Sounds like class action time to me. I’m through with Verizon after December. They want us to pay for their success but they do not reward customer loyalty at all.

  • oldsoldier

    I’d rather ride the sybian for a week straight (on full power) than give Verizon a single rupee.

  • Victor

    I think we need to raise hell about this. I think we all need to bug the FCC until they do something about it.

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  • Nathan

    Am I the only one that is interpreting the rules differently?

    “Insofar as such use would not be compliant with published technical standards reasonably necessary for the management or protection of the licensee’s network”

    If you read the above, nowhere does it say that there has to be technical limitations to connecting to their network, which you keep pointing out. A device just has to be incompatible with the way they manage or protect their network. This could mean any number of incompatibilities exist, most of which as a customer you would not have visibility to. Therefore, they could fairly easily prove they are in compliance with the rules.

    That’s just how I read it, if true then your whole argument goes out the window.

    • bigjaydogg3

      Normally, things like that are /supposed/ to place the burden of proof upon the company. Meaning, unless they have a way to prove the device causes issue (it won’t since GSM/LTE is a standard; either you meet the spec or you don’t) or you put it on your network.

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  • Illogical

    If all you need is a sim card then just sign up to buy the cheapest USB modem they offer for $20 and take the sim out of that after activating it. Sometimes they even have them for free. VZW isn’t like T-mobile, they don’t just give out individual SIM cards. Problem solved.

  • GreyFox7

    Troll boy… Not all models of the Nexus 7 support the same LTE bands. There are maybe 20 – 40 different bands LTE operates in. I have seen reference to band 39 although that table didn’t list who every number was assigned to. So you likely have a unit that doesn’t support the LTE bands Verison has. Where did you get this device … Somewhere in Asia?

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  • DustoMan

    Go get’em Jeff!

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  • Seventh Sense

    Of course, Verizon, like the U.S. Government, prefers to use terms that are somewhat nebulous. When Verizon announced they would activate any device that meets the “minimal technical standards,” they never described the actual specific standards toward which they were referencing. Most likely, it is there own internal standards.
    The key here appears to be the lack of clear explanation to an end user such as the author of this article. Would it surprise anyone if Verizon’s internal standards enabled them to incorporate mechanisms to make it easier for them to accumulate end-user data in response to an NSA request?

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  • doug

    Thanks Jeff! I am a big fan of your work and I wonder why some of the big tech sites have not done similar investigative journalism.

  • Chance MacAlister

    Give up Verizon and give Jeff what he wants! Outstanding!!!

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  • RnsWHwk

    I just recently went through this with my Nexus 7. I tried the legit way:
    1) Call VZW Tech 866-221-4096
    2) 1 for en, enter details, 6 for tablets
    3) Ask for an “Add Device Request”
    4) Request a Naked SIM be shipped
    5) Wait up to 7 days

    2 weeks later:

    1) Take the 9-digit root IMEI (IE: 990001134 for Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7)
    2) Add 5 random digits
    4) make sure to request a SIM

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  • Arianna Dobbins

    Good comments . BTW , if someone needs to fill out a IRS W-3C , my business encountered a fillable document here