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Problems activating the Google Nexus 5 by LG on Sprint? Don’t worry – you’re not alone


If you’re having trouble activating your Google Nexus 5 by LG on Sprint, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Some Sprint users are reporting trouble activating the device on the Now Network, seemingly due to the fact that some Nexus 5 MEID numbers are incompatible with Sprint’s authentication system.

To make matters worse, Sprint customer service doesn’t seem to have much of a clue about what’s going on. Some reps are telling customers that Sprint will only support the 16GB Nexus, and not the 32GB Nexus. Others are saying that it should work and simply don’t know why it won’t. Still others are saying that Sprint won’t activate them until the carrier is officially selling them itself on November 8.

Before you get too angry, though, this does not seem to be intentional. Instead, it seems like a problem of these MEID numbers needing to be added to Sprint’s authentication systems, since we already know that the phone is fully compatible with the Sprint network. (And whichever rep said that the 32GB version won’t be supported needs to be slapped.)

In any case, are you having trouble getting your phone activated? Post your success (or unsuccess) stories below!

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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.

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10 thoughts on “Problems activating the Google Nexus 5 by LG on Sprint? Don’t worry – you’re not alone

  • I decided to pick this up but given the total crap network for the last 6 months I activated on T-Mobile to try it out. If I like it, I will cancel with Sprint. If I don’t, I will activate on Sprint.

    • Avatar of JRDemaskus

      I want to try T-Mob too.
      How easy was it? What did it cost? What type of plan?
      Gonna just take it to a store Thursday night, or Friday morning.

      • So I tried this out on T-Mobile. The activation and setup at the local T-Mobile store was simple.

        The audio was awesome, it even worked in my basement with no bars.

        The data however was horrible. I could only get HSPA+ and unlike I read about online, I barely was able to get 1Mb/s down, but I did get around 2Mb/s up. I only hit LTE once for a few minute and that was in the car.

        Everywhere I went, I took my Evo 4G LTE with me and ran side by side Ookla Speed Tests. On 3G, Sprint and T-Mobile were close, Sprint being faster down, T-Mobile faster up.

        What makes this weird is the day I activate on T-Mobile, Sprint activates 4G towers all over the place here in Massachusetts. Now I am getting between 6-8Mb/s down wherever I go versus the HSPA. So I went to Sprint and activated there, cancelling T-Mobile. More on that in my comment below.

  • Avatar of Simon Belmont

    Yeah. The 32GB model is definitely compatible. Folks just need to be patient and wait for the MEIDs to be added to Sprint’s system. It’s amazing how much misinformation CSRs can propagate, though.

    It’s a shame Sprint isn’t offering the 32GB at a subsidized price. My friend was thinking about one, but might just get the LG G2 instead because he didn’t feel like laying out $400 for the 32GB model from the Google Play Store.

  • This issue has now been solved, according to other reports.

  • Avatar of rdpetti

    It took me awhile on a chat session with Sprint but they finally got it to activate. For me it was the IMEI that wasn’t showing up in their system, but the MEID did.

  • Other than the subsidy and coyntract, what’s the difference in buying a Nexus 5 from Spring rather than Google Play? Is Sprint installing any bloat or limiting access to any features on their version (ie wifi tether)?

  • just got turned away this morning, no big deal, going back tomorrow to get it done.

  • OK, when I called the Sprint stores, they said they didn’t have SIMs for the Nexus 5 and I would have to wait until November 8th for the release.

    I then called Sprint and they offered to send me a CSIM (I guess those are for CDMA). However they were backordered for weeks as they were slammed with people calling for them for the Nexus 5. They ordered and said to still check with local stores. If I could get one to go for it.

    So I called back to the local Sprint corporate store and asked for a CSIM for international travel. They had a bunch. So I went over and worked with the store manager. The guy was very nice, reminded me of Kip from Napoleon Dynamite, and he tried everything to get it to work.

    We couldn’t activate from the POS system, or my account. However he was able to chat with the folks at Sprint Engineering from his POS system and they took my IMEI and added it to their system and activated the CSIM to it.

    We had to factory restore the phone, something about the T-Mobile activation didn’t let it activate. Once we did that it worked great. The audio quality blows away my Evo 4G LTE, I have LTE just about everywhere now, and the battery life is about the same as the Evo, I go about 17-20 hours without charging.

    VERY HAPPY. Also, Sprint’s service was great. Definitely kept me as a customer.


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