Nexus 5 official image Android Police

Many Nexus 5 customers have had difficulties getting their devices to activate on the Sprint network ahead of its Nov. 8 release on the carrier.

Following the Oct. 31 release of the Nexus 5 on the Google Play Store, Sprint confirmed that unlocked Nexus 5 handsets purchased directly from Google will also be powered by Sprint; however, many early adopters of the Nexus 5 have been unable to get their devices to start working even on Sprint.

Several customers have complained on Sprint’s community page, at the XDA Developer’s Forums, and at Google Groups, and the consensus indicates that there is, or was an issue with the compatibility of the Nexus 5 IMEI/MEID numbers needed to activate devices on Sprint. Notably, Google brand devices most easily run on GSM networks such as T-Mobile and AT&T; however, Nexus compatibility with CDMA networks such as Sprint has been steadily increasing. The Nexus 7 had a similar issue activating on Verizon when the network released the tablet last month.

Without a verifiable IMEI/MEID number, the Nexus 5 will not activate on the Sprint network. It appears the issue was largely on Sprint’s end, due to the fact that Nexus 5 has not yet officially released on the Sprint network and apparently was not in Sprint’s authentication system. Customers especially has issues with the 32GB Nexus 5, which will not be offered directly by Sprint, but will still be able to run on the Sprint network. However, the network has reached out to Android Police and says the issue is now resolved; customers show now be able to activate their Nexus 5 handsets.

Sprint supports activations of the 32GB version of the Google Nexus 5 being sold from the Google Playstore. There was an issue that affected the activation process for a small number of these devices. Our team’s identified and resolved the issue overnight.

Additionally, a Google employee says customers should now be able to activate their Nexus 5 handsets at a Sprint store or over the phone.

Issues also arose with the fact that Sprint devices require a SIM/UICC card in order to activate LTE on its network, and Nexus 5 handsets purchased at the Google Play Store do not include SIM cards. Getting a hold of a Nexus 5 SIM card appears to be a problem for many. Some recommendations have been to contact Sprint customer service (1-888-211-4727) to have a SIM card delivered, or to go to a Sprint Corporate Store; however, these appear to have been the most frustrating methods.

Customers report the best success with ordering a SIM card online through Sprint’s International Chat. Through all avenues the SIM card should be free, and payment would only be required for one-day shipping. Further assistance from Sprint’s chat room, may be required to activate the SIM card and phone, but the combination of Sprint’s internal fix and a SIM card seems to get the Nexus 5 working.

Some customers have also used old SIM cards from handsets such as the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One, or gotten a Galaxy S4 and HTC One SIM card from a Sprint retail store, and have gotten their Nexus 5 handsets working with their own savvy.

SIM cards for the Nexus 5 reportedly won’t be available at Sprint stores until its official release date on Friday, so if other methods do not work, customers can always wait until then, when retail representatives will be better equipped to activate Sprint Nexus 5 handsets.

Have you had any issues activating you Nexus 5 handset on the Sprint network? Let us know in the comments below.

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