Last Updated: November 6th, 2013

The first batch of Nexus 5 phones reached many early customers yesterday, but many of those taking advantage of the phone's compatibility with the Sprint network are having serious issues getting the device connected. According to several tips, this XDA thread, and this Google Groups thread, incompatible IMEI/MEID numbers on the phones are causing the activation process to fail, and giving major headaches all around.

Update: Sprint reached out to us with word that this is no longer an issue. Here's the company's official statement:

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.

So there you go – both versions of the Nexus 5 should work without an issue on Sprint now.

The core of the problem seems to be Sprint's authentication system. Like other CDMA/LTE providers, phones on Sprint's network must fall within a verifiable range of MEID identifying numbers. If they aren't verifiable, the device is rejected. The Nexus 5 is brand new, and according to some users, isn't yet in Sprint's system (the phone officially launches in Sprint stores on Friday, November 8th). Further complicating the problem is the fact that Sprint normally doesn't offer SIM cards without a device - all new phones are sold with a specific card, and until now the company has only issued extra SIM cards in cases of international roaming. Even some Sprint retail stores don't seem to carry individual SIMs. Customers who call Sprint customer service (1-888-211-4727) can get a SIM card mailed to them, or pick one up from a Sprint Corporate Store, but that might not be much help.


The 32GB model of the Nexus 5 in particular seems to be giving people trouble. While a few customers have reported getting the 16GB N5 to work with either a phone call verification or a swapped-out SIM card, the 32GB version is stumping Sprint representatives both on the phone and in retail stores. Some are guessing that the issue stems from the fact that Sprint won't be offering the 32GB model from its own stores, and thus hasn't entered a range of MEID numbers for the larger capacity. Something similar happened with Verizon customers who tried to activate the Nexus 7 2013 on new lines.

A Sprint representative in this official support thread is offering some clarification:

...The Nexus 5 requires a SIM/UICC card in order for us to activate it. The device is being sold through Google Play, but it does not include the card. Without this card, the device will not function correctly. In order to obtain a SIM/UICC card for the device, you can go into a Sprint Corporate Store and they can sell one to you at NO CHARGE. This way the device can be successfully activated.

...At this time, we are only supporting the 16GB Nexus 5. The system is/will not recognize the serial number for any device outside of that. I deeply do apologize for the inconvenience this has caused.www.sprint.com/newsroon is a great place to stay on top of updates, should there be any.


Another representative in the thread gave contradictory information:

I apologize for any confusion about locating a UICC/SIM/ICCID card for your Galaxy Nexus 5 purchased through Google Play. The Galaxy Nexus 5 16GB and 32GB is supported by Sprint. They do not come with a UICC/SIM/ICCID card and would need to pick one up from a Sprint Corporate retail store.

The Google Nexus 5 Play Store version will only have a IMEI code on it for activation. When activating online, leave off the last digit. If you receive an error message while trying to activate and have a UICC card, please send me a private message with your IMEI and PTN. Thanks for your patience


At least some of these issues should clear up on Friday, when Sprint is scheduled to start formally selling the Nexus 5 through its online and retail channels. Some customers are having success by simply swapping in a compatible SIM card from another Sprint LTE phone. If you've had trouble activating your Nexus 5 on Sprint, or even if you haven't, fill us in on your experience in the comment section.

Source: XDA, Google Groups - thanks to everyone who sent this in!

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • http://www.whatsinthemix.com/ Mychal Hix

    Seriously, Galaxy Nexus 5?

    • BaconEater

      I guess they can't...Hear you now

    • My1


    • yankeesusa

      Yes, seriously

    • JR

      What's a newsroon?

  • Pierce

    I feel so close! After 2 Calls to the Advanced Tech Team @ Sprint, 3 Chat sessions @ Sprint, 1 Call to Nexus Suppor @ Googlet, 1 In-store visit @ Sprint, and one more CURRENT call with Sprint....I can almost hear the voices at the end of my New 32GB Nexus 5!!!

    • Charles Sweeney

      That's just too much...But I do so love you early adopters..aka unpaid beta testers!

  • http://randomphantasmagoria.com/ Shawn

    CDMA2000 just needs to die already.

    • Aleksey_US

      Works awesome on AT&T prepaid in Chicago, just switched from Verizon yesterday.

  • http://www.whattheschmidt.com/ Dustin

    I have a question for the wonderful AP community. I just bought a Tmo pre-paid $30 SIM. Was going to activate it last night to prepare for my Nexus delivery today. It wanted the same EID number. Should I have any issues putting my N5 number in when activating this evening?

    • yankeesusa

      What do you mean by have the same eid?

      • http://www.whattheschmidt.com/ Dustin

        Sorry, super confusing post above. Just so excited!

        I guess I didn't know that Tmo prepaid wanted a EID number. I shouldn't have any issues just inputting the EID from the Nexus into Tmo's system for activation like what is happening with Sprint?

        • yankeesusa

          I have tmobile and all you need is a sim card and it should just work without doing anything else. Only other thing you can do is go on your tmobile account and make sure they know the phone you have is a nexus 5 in case its lost or stolen it is linked to your account. I still don't know what the eid is or what it has to do with. sorry. I'm new to gsm. I have 1 sprint account and 1 tmobile account for now.

        • marque2

          T-Mobile makes it easy on the web - no issues. In fact unless you choose the $30 data plan it is easy enough to go to the store.and have them do it for you. Only caviate the $30 data plan can only be activated once on a new phone - if you had another plan you can't switch back. $30 data plan is also only available online - though if the web page is down customer support will be happy to.set you up. Once you experience the ease of T-Mobile you will understand my frustration with Sprint

          • http://www.whattheschmidt.com/ Dustin

            Setup my Sim in minutes today. Dead simple setup.

  • lordmerovingian

    Sooo you folks just can't wait 3 or 4 more days and instead are willing to entertain so much grief and heart attack over a phone?? First World Problems, indeed.

    • jonathan3579

      I'm sorry but was there really a reason for you to be a dick?

      • lordmerovingian

        Seeing as i have one, it would only be natural, eh..

        • TejasEric

          No reason to be one just because you have one.

    • Eric Jones

      Waiting 3 or 4 days won't fix the problem if we don't contact customer service. Sprint won't be selling the 32GB model, and Friday won't fix anything. I was very polite and understanding with every customer service representative that I talked to yesterday. It's just a small mix up, that will get fixed soon.

      • lordmerovingian

        "It's just a small mix up, that will get fixed soon."

        Much more rational individual you are. Wish others will be like you rather than conjuring up silly things like their world is coming to an end just because of this snafu..

        • John Bailey

          Right?! Patience is a virtue...

    • yankeesusa

      yeah, people are going to wait 3 days without a phone that is needed for most things. I understand if you have a phone right now but if your replacing your phone because its damaged or doesn't work then No you can't wait 3 days. Plus what is it to you? Do you have sprint? If not then it really doesn't matter does it.

      • lordmerovingian

        A phone that the carrier is officially going to start carrying/supporting on Nov 8 is now the only thing standing between you and starvation and or "survival". Come on, use another argument. And your current phone just coincidentally choose not to work or be broken in the 3 days till everything can be resolved..whatever.
        Folks just can't wait to use/play with their new toy, that is all. Your world isn't coming to an end in 3 days if your 32GB N5 can't be activated till then.

        • Cherokee4Life

          It may be a First World Problem so what? The Nexus 5 is something they want. Something there were allowed to purchase and then doesn't work, what is wrong with getting upset over that? I don't understand why you are making a big deal out of these. Nobody ever said the world is coming to end if they can't get their phone to work. But in this First World that has a problem we are dependent on our phones for work, social and personal use; and to some people that is enough reason to get upset over... so why are you trying to be an ass?

          • John Bailey

            Wow.... people, you will not die from not having a phone, I promise. You didn't sign a contract with your 32GB Nexus 5, so you already had a phone, so keep using it for 3 more days. You'll be ok.

          • lordmerovingian

            Right..and you didn't have any other phone before the Nexus 5... All of a sudden you're left hanging and your whole life rests on these upcoming 3 days else you can't function any other way...

    • EH101

      Okay then go back to your third world bitch

      • lordmerovingian

        Le Sigh...

    • marque2

      It is more than just the UICC bungle and having Sprint reps tell me to go to T Mobile. Even if I wait until Friday I will have to pay the full contract price. No discount for bringing your own phone. So you pay for the phone and Sprint charges you $300 more again. They won't allow the phones on the no contract plans. That is pretty slimey if you ask me.

      • transpar3nt

        On top of that, I was told by several Sprint reps that I could in fact get a no-contract price of $60 for 1GB data and unlimited everything else, only to find out tonight that this deal was only valid for 3 specific phones, all of which are far outdated.

        So I was misled (not intentionally) into buying a phone that will cost me more than I can afford. So now I can either keep the 32GB model and use it full price with AT&T, or return it to Google, which, being in the "first world" totally blows. *throws tantrum*

        • marque2

          If you go with T-Mobile they have a pretty good plan for $60 - but if you fight a bit you can still get the $30 text and data plan. You need to call in and tell them you don't have an activation card. Don't fall for the Walmart thing. So Target has a TMobile plan called Bright spot. You pay $50 for unlimited everything and get 5% off for using the Target credit card and you get a target gift card for $25 every six months. Another good OK plan for the phone is Strait talk $45 a month for unlimited everything ( 2gig data max) it runs on At&t. Running on sprint is hard Virgin won't do it and I am not sure about Boost Mobile. Check some of the.online coverage sites - the ones that independently figure coverage to see if one of these other options is good for you. I have heard Sprint 4G is really in name only - no decent throughput.

  • Danny Davis

    Lol. Sprint... To another carrier

  • Eric Vaughan

    Sprint customer service is seriously the worst. Honest question, why does anyone go with Sprint these days?

    • Eric Jones

      Price and coverage. T-mobile is cheaper, but had much worse coverage in my area. Verizon and ATT have better coverage where I am, but are more expensive. Not that I have a Nexus 5, I'm going to test out T-mobile and see if it's better here than it used to be.

      • Eric Vaughan

        I guess it does depend on coverage for people. Sprint requires a 2 year activation. Even for phones that you already own. Only if you are already locked into a contract does bringing a new device like the Nexus 5 make any sense. The prices aren't the best when you consider what other prepaid plans are out there.

        • Eric Jones

          You don't have to have a new 2 year agreement just to add a new phone. I bought an HTC One from them full price, and didn't have to extend my contract at all.

          • Eric Vaughan

            That's because you already had an account with them. I had a Sprint Moto X, and wanted to activate it, but they refused to do so without me signing a 2 year contract. I spent 2.5 hours going back and forth with supervisors, being told "that's just how we do it"

          • Eric Jones

            Oh, yes, that's true. I forgot about that stupidity.

          • yankeesusa

            that is very stupid. You should just be able to bring a phone and go on month to month. No wonder sprint keeps loosing customers. Tmobile has gained 2 million in the last 2 quarters and so have att and verizon. I just don't know how sprint will continue unless they drastically speed up the lte rollout. I will hold on to my sprint account till end of year before I move over to my wifes tmobile account.

      • Simon Belmont

        I was on Sprint for three and a half years. I switched to T-Mobile almost six months ago and I haven't regretted it one bit. Faster speeds (even on HSPA), lower bills, and I can bring my own device without the CDMA hassle.

        I'd say give it a shot, man. Especially if you have a Nexus 5, you can test T-Mobile's prepaid out for a really cheap price and see how you like it.

        • Eric Jones

          I have a SIM card in the mail from T-mobile already. I'm hoping there is good enough coverage, because if there is I'm done with Sprint. They ran a promotion last week for Free Sim cards, and I ordered two. I'll earn back the ETF from Sprint in savings in only a few months, since I have just under a year left on my contract.

          • Simon Belmont

            Ha. I actually ordered two free SIM cards, too.

            I bought a couple nano SIM cards in case my wife or I ever get a phone that needs a nano SIM. Hope T-Mobile works out for you.

          • Eric Jones

            Thanks, that's what I did. One micro, one nano. I wasn't in a hurry last week, because I thought it would work on Sprint, so I used the cheapest/slowest shipping option possible. DOH! Should get here soon.

    • yankeesusa

      Price! Lowest around plus unlimited data and even though their data is extremely slow for some and slow for most calls usually have no issues and they actually have great call reception almost anywhere that verizon is at. The main reason people are leaving is slow data. I myself get great coverage from all 4 major companies and therefore still have my account with sprint and my wifes line is with tmobile.

    • johnforamerica

      One word: SERO

  • DrMassenburg

    The Sprint agent above "Blue" commented later in the theard saything that he was able to help a customer activate their White 32GB model. I was very active in the thread

  • Brett

    Just another reason to not use Sprint.

    • Charles Sweeney

      I wouldn't go that far. The only reason not to use Sprint, IMO, is the ENTIRE network is crappage.

      • Nate

        I get 30 megs download all over my area and never ever drop calls. Not sure whats wrong with the network

  • Wiley

    I was told by google support that I would need to wait until the nexus launched on sprints network, this morning I ordered a SIM card (the store into town "can't get them") now just waiting

  • Eric Jones

    After multiple calls with Sprint and the Play store, online chats, and an hour and a half in the store yesterday, I'm no closer to activating my 32GB N5. Someone else that was having the same problem yesterday told me his worked this morning. I have an appointment soon, and I'll hopefully be able to get a SIM card (they refused yesterday), and the IMEI has been added. I'll update when I know more.

    • Richard Williams

      Just posted Galaxy S4 sim works to activate Nexus 5 + IMEI - last digit

  • Willie D

    If Sprint can't or won't activate my device, a device they claim to support because it has a higher memory capacity, then I can't and won't be sticking around and this is grounds for not only fleeing without an ETF but also for false advertising.

    • Eric Jones

      You realize Sprint didn't advertise support for this right? Google did. Sprint won't cancel without a fee because of Google. Also, they are working on it, be patient.

      • yankeesusa

        He may have a point. If he bought a phone that supposedly works for sprint and they are selling it on their own site and they won't activate it then he may have a case or at least a good way of getting some type of credit.

        • Eric Jones

          Sprint isn't selling this phone on their site. They won't be carrying the 32GB one at all. It was purchased from Google Play.

          • yankeesusa

            Sorry, I was referring to them doing the preorder which means they support it. Also whether its 32gb or 16gb the phone is technically the same. But as long as they don't officially carry it I guess he has no case. Hopefully once they start selling it officially things will be fixed. If not sprint will have some explaining to do. But I think they will resolve the issue.

          • Abraham

            Sprint WILL carry the 32GB. They are simply not doing pre-orders for it. I just had a chat with them.


          • Eric Jones

            Good to know. I'm still having issues. They won't give me a sim card online, on the phone, or in the store. I'm usually pretty good at sweet talking my way, as long as I'm being reasonable, but I'm getting stonewalled everywhere.

    • John Bailey

      The phone isn't even official with Sprint yet, it won't be til the 8th. Besides, you didn't buy it from Sprint. You already had a contract with a phone, which you can still use for the next 3 days til they get the IMEI's added to their database and go official with the device.

  • Sammy

    How long is Sprint and Verizon going to keep using that dinosaur technology call CDMA...what a waste.

    • yankeesusa

      GSM is older. Plus cdma might have slower data but it is more secure and the calls are clearer, not to mention less dropped calls due to soft handoffs when it comes to switching between towers. but since most companies are switching to lte every company should be on the same page soon enough.

      • Simon Belmont

        It's funny because I always felt like GSM phones had better sounding and clearer voice calls. CDMA felt tinnier and I tried it on multiple phones.

        GSM may be older, but it's much faster, and it continues to be the standard that LTE is based on. It's also easier to bring your own device. CDMA isn't terrible, but it has limitations that can be irritating. Just my two cents.

        • yankeesusa

          I can see your valid points. GSM is definitely faster. Reason I moved my wife over to tmobile. And its also easier to bring a phone over and just pop in the sim card. But cdma is switching to lte so this will no longer be a factor. I guess I'm still thinking in the past back when evdo was released and gsm was still doing 2g and beginning their hspa network upgrade. One thing I hate about gsm but is a reason people like it is the ease of switching phones. If someone stole my phone they could not use it on sprint anymore but if they stole my wifes phone they could use it on another gsm network. Hopefully this changes soon with the worldwide meid blacklist.

          • marque2

            Did you say to T-Mobile "Take my wife - please" :P

          • Simon Belmont

            That's true about stolen GSM phones. All the more reason to be protective of them, I guess or use a phone tracker.

            It'll still be a while before LTE takes over from CDMA. I think VoLTE is just starting on Verizon, so it might be a year or two before we see a pure LTE phone.

      • Sammy

        I was thinking more of LTE and HSPA networks...CDMA just needs to go.

  • wiley coyote

    Sprint's activation site is now recognizing the IMEI number on my 32GB Nexus 5, however I currently don't have a SIM card

  • GreatNews

    I didn't know that its call "Galaxy Nexus 5" lol

    • yankeesusa

      That's funny. I just noticed that. That just shows you how burned into our heads the galaxy line is. lol

  • nofearofimaginarymen

    Talked to a Sprint rep on sat. and they said I would only need a sim card for lte. Ordered sim cards then. Tried to activate yesterday and got held up because they need the sim card number. Still have a N5. I use Google voice and have wifi access 95% of the time so I am not freaking out. And come June, I no longer have to deal with sprint.

  • blindexecutioner

    I have called 4 sprint stores and none of them have the sim cards for the phones and all of them insist Sprint uses CDMA and that the phones they sell come with the SIM cards. Good luck getting these activated. I am hoping I can call and have a card sent otherwise the phone is either getting sold or going back since I can clearly not get it activated at a store near me.

  • Willie D

    If Sprint only supports the 16GB model, and I purchased the 32GB model (because I simply need more space in my phone), under the impression both T-Mobile (whom I use as a backup when Sprint doesnt work) and Sprint (as I am locked into a long term contract) are said to work on the device, and I ask Sprint to activate the device, and Sprint says they cant..that instantly becomes false advertising on both Sprint and Google's parts. Sprint for claiming they are going to sell the phone, but not open and honest that only one model will work, when they said Play Store versions would. And on Google for even suggesting Sprint could activate them anyway. Not only would I keep the device for use on T-Mobile, but Id kindly request that Sprint let me out of my contract for their error and inability to use the device at all. Cant use the device, cant get service, Sprint defaults on the contract, simple. I dont charge them an ETF for their mistake, but I reap the benefits of not getting charged one myself.

    So, unless Sprint figures this out, activates my phone and does so painlessly and easily, I wont hesitate to become one of the many millions that already left this year for T-Mobile.

    • Charles Sweeney

      I wouldn't call 2.1 million MANY millions but I do get your point.

    • John Bailey

      Wait till Friday and those IMEI's should go active. Calm down, take a break, and don't have a KitKat.....lol

    • Wyatt Neal

      I'd be really impressed if it was in the "millions" level ... I want it to be badly in the millions but I can't see that happening ... maybe a few hundred thousands, but that's going to be my max bet.

  • Tim242

    All of Sprint's phones have embedded SIM's. So, this is a new thing for them.

    • Willie D

      Not true. Sprint has many devices with removable UICC cards, they are the HTC EVO 4G LTE, iPhone 5, iPhone 5S and Samsung Galaxy S4 from what I understand. UICC also is LIKE a SIM but it authenticates LTE and EVDO over the network.

      • Shawn Cheever

        Minor correction, the HTC One has a UICC, not the EVO 4G LTE.

  • Vanick Ng

    anyone here have an lte sim from a different device and just put their sim in it? Figured that would be easy enough. I have a HTC One with the LTE sim. Just waiting for it to come to my front door later today and after reading this, hopefully can get my nexus 5 up and running pretty smoothly?

    • dariusmoss

      yup. i used the sim card from my galaxy s4 and all is well. I used the automated system on the phone and it asked for the meid and iccid. all of which can be found in about phone.

      • Vanick Ng

        Automated system? Does that happen when you try a phme call? UPS is still being a poop and not giving me mine

  • jibust

    "sell one to you at NO CHARGE" interesting. I will keep this in mind next time I want to purchase something without buying it.

    • yankeesusa

      that is weird. Maybe they just mean they will sell it to you in the system and then credit you back so it is an even trade.

  • John Bailey

    I work at an indirect Sprint store, and they are going to send SIM cards to each Sprint store that has a repair center in it, so it's not just limited to corporate stores. So check the store locator on the Sprint.com website and it'll say whether or not it has a repair center. Also, to determine whether the store is corporate, it'll just say "Sprint Store" rather than "Sprint Store by S Wireless" for example. So again, that's corporate stores and any store that is a repair location, corporate or not, that you can get your SIM card from. Good luck folks!

  • Brett Besa

    Further proof that CDMA needs to die

    • Robb Nunya

      Umm... this has nothing to do with CDMA.

      • iJakeBoston

        I'm pretty sure it has everything to do with CDMA. SIM cards are a standard of the GSM protocol. They are used with a universal locking software that tells the device what information your carrier wants you to use and the software tells the device what SIM card is allowed to be used. This is why when unlocking a GSM device only a keygen or "unlocking code" is needed whereas CDMA does not use this locking mechanism and uses a MEID verification in your firmware. And for a CDMA device to be unlocked flashing the firmware is needed. LTE is a GSM protocol and includes standards for what's called handovers from legacy networks such as CDMA, which is how Sprint & Verizon are able to use LTE. Being a GSM protocol, LTE & LTE-A, include the SIM card standard to operate. And with Sprint building from a CDMA network to LTE upgrades their devices must be able to handle both network protocols. Because Verizon has nearly all it's markets completely switched over to LTE and IP based features instead of CDMA 4G like WiMax the majority of their devices are hot swappable with SIM cards whereas Sprints LTE is very much in its infant stage and is bound by the more complex and cumbersome CDMA standards such as entering in these MEIDs like the article points as the problem. GSM aides to be more user compassionate whereas CDMA is more carrier compassionate.

        • Robb Nunya

          Which has exactly nothing to do with Sprint dropping the ball and not having SIM cards available to sell on the day a very popular phone is rolled out.

  • brkshr

    Change carriers! I have never had a single good call from anyone on Sprint and half the calls end up dropped.

    • Robb Nunya

      Funny, I never drop calls on my Sprint phones. EVER.

  • Abraham

    "Some are guessing that the issue stems from the fact that Sprint won't be offering the 32GB model from its own stores, and thus hasn't entered a range of MEID numbers for the larger capacity."

    This is not accurate. I just finished chatting with Sprint and they stated that they WILL sell the 32 GB on contract, just simply no pre-orders.

    Image of my chat with them:

    • Abraham

      Also, according to the Sprint International rep, she said the phone will be 100% unlocked. She said there will be no locking of anything on their part. So in theory, it should really be exactly the same as the Play Store.

  • Sticking with TMO

    Also Nexus 5 will not wok with Sprint's Pay as You Go plan

  • dariusmoss

    I was able to activate mine through the automated system on the phone.. it was pretty easy. used the sim from my s4.

  • alicant310

    Look, here is the confusion. Most Sprint reps on the phone and stores DO NOT understand the concept of sim cards integrated into their new LTE activation server/ ABIS 55-44.Or simply Account authorization accounting server.

    Furthermore, they do not have access to update the sim card (i know that sounds silly).

    The fastest way to get this done is through a supervisor in the international department. The sim MUST tie to the device on the account. This is the only way for this to work.

  • afazel

    It looks like the 32GB white versions were in the database, but the 32GB black was not. A Sprint rep says this has been fixed now.

  • marque2

    Omg - even if you get the card it isn't worth it. Two of the customer services have said they won't let you join with one of the Sprint Smart phone no contract plans. You have to sign up with the 2 year service agreement. May as well have purchased from Sprint. Also no one knows what is going on my three contacts with customer support and two told me my 16gig phone won't work - Sprint only allows their own phones. After insisting with a third she said I had to go to a sprint store to get the card. At the store they told me they won't activate non sprint phones and told me to try T-Mobile. When I insisted the rep pretended to look up the phone on a computer and told me - Nope Nexus 5 is GSM only - you need to go to ATT or T-Mobile.

    That is when I started looking at the boards for help - and Sprint doesn't make that easy for non customers either. When I got the reports that I need to sign a two year contract - I gave up and went to T-Mobile.

    But talk.about night and day. Last year T-Mobile welcomed us Nexus 4 owners even creating new plans for us. Sprint has totally botched this not informing anyone of anything and forcing us into a contract. What is the point. They losing customers lime mad but act like they have too many. I give up on them.Going with T-Mobile again even though Sprint allegedly has better coverage in my area.

    • Sticking with TMO

      Its unfortunate. Just FYI. If you sign a 2yr agreement with Sprint, THERE WILL BE ETF fees even tough you did not get a subsidized phone.

      • marque2

        You are correct. I would get the Sprint Nexus 5 for Sprint since it will cost you $260 less over 2 years and see the unlocked phone on eBay.

        Or just go on over to.T-Mobile as the Sprint reps seem to be suggesting. At T-Mobile they great you better and have cheaper no contract plans.

    • Andromedo

      Telling that even Sprint employees are saying you'd be better off with T-Mobile.

  • Brad

    I went to the sprint store yesterday, but they couldn't activate it, and said they didn't have any sim for it. However, I was able to activate my 32 GB white nexus 5 this morning without any issues. I swapped the sim from a broken S4, and then activated online via chat with Sprint customer service. Went pretty smoothly.

    If you try to get a sim from a store, just ask for an S4 or an HTC One sim, as they are all the same. Apparently some stores are telling people that they don't have any sims for the nexus 5 yet, so don't even mention the nexus 5 when you ask for one.

    I'm happy so far. The LTE reception seemed better than my wife's HTC One. We were in the middle of the grocery about an hour ago, and I had LTE, but she didn't.

    • Eric Jones

      I just finally got one ordered from Sprint. The corporate store in person was ridiculous, and adamantly refused to give me one. They said they didn't have any sims at all, for any phones, at the only corporate store within an hours drive. If you are in Killeen, don't waste your time at the store. For anyone in the same issue, get them to order a SIM for one of the other phones like Brad says. They don't have the SKU for the black 32GB in their system, so they can't order a sim for it. They ordered one based on the 16GB for me. Unfortunately it's back ordered. They did offer to pay for next day shipping once it's in stock.

  • Richard Williams

    Galaxy S4 sim worked for my Nexus 5 Black 32gb. I just went into Sprint store and told them to try. iPhone sim won't work!

  • Guest


  • Will

    I just went to a Sprint store here in NYC and was able to activate my Black Nexus 5 32GB.

    I had to make a bit of a stink before one guy overheard and said he activated one earlier. He seemed to know the trick. I'm all set now, tho.

    • transpar3nt

      Any tip on what the "trick" was? I spoke to a Sprint Kiosk and Best Buy Mobile and they both thought the 32GB would never be made available on their service.

  • Jason Honingford

    Confirmed. TMobile and Sprint currently do not support my Nexus 32GB

    • Luis Barahona

      No bro I was in out in less than 30 min. T-mobile

  • Luis Barahona

    Hate to Bash Sprint but get it together, One reason I left to T-Mobile with a new nexus 5 so far meet or exceeds expectation. Oh yeah if you port phone expect problems with google ridiculous 2 step verification.

  • Thomas Cai Jinzhan

    Not really a problem with the phone but the CDMA band (and carrier) problem...In Singapore here, we have 3 major carriers, all using GSM, standardise LTE bands and all phone sold through carriers MUST be unlocked as it is mandatory in the Singapore law. I'm just wondering why US seems to be the only country with such a backward carrier system.....

  • Tony

    Got my 32GB nexus 5 activated last night. One call to customer service and 2 Sprint store visits later. The second Sprint store i went to had SIM cards in stock and i was up and running in a couple of minutes. Guess i got lucky.

  • J T Friel

    Sprint Corporate store in Alexandria VA activated my Nexus 5 (32gb) last night. They had five SIM cards available at the store.

  • Dustin Matlock

    The stores do not have the cards yet, and through phone support they are on backorder with no date given of when they might ship.

  • Dustin Matlock

    @JT Friel I called all stores within 20 miles. Out of about ten stores, two knew what a Nexus 5 was, and only one store could confirm that they will get the SIM cards within a week, so I just ordered one through customer care. Hopefully it will ship out soon.
    J T FrielJT FRiel
    J T Friel

  • Brett Craven

    I to have a Nexus 5 32Gb and now have it running on Sprint Network. After many false starts at two different Sprint stores and on line support I found a posting about international support.
    I got on the Sprint International Chat and requested a sim card. The total time on chat was less than 5 minutes.
    My sim card came in today. (took less than 24 hours to ship and arrive). I promptly installed it in to my Nexus.
    I then got on the Sprint website and started the provisioning process for my new Nexus 5. The system took my IMEI, guess it was valid. and completed the process. At the very last screen it prompted my to click the chat icon.
    Noe, I am on with Sprint support.
    After about 30 mins of IMEI requests I offered up my ICC ID from the sim card.
    BAM! that did the trick and my Nexus 5 came to life and is now connected to the Sprint network.
    Told the support rep to mark the case as the solution to the Nexus 5 32Gb problem.

    Result: Nexus 5 32Gb now running on Sprint network and network icon displaying LTE

  • Jerz66

    I got my Google Nexus 32GB White in today and got it activated at a local Sprint Store BUT everyone there kept telling me they couldn't activate it and two others were in before me and they were like "Is that the 32? It won't work".... so I had to get firm so I acted like I REALLY knew what I was talking about (thanks to this thread)... It took about thirty minutes but it was FINALLY confirmed activated.... hands down the best phone out there...

  • Siva

    i am having this issue with Tmobile. My 32gb Nexus 5 will not activate. IMEI not recognized in TMobile. Hope they fix it soon.

  • Willie D

    There are ways around this issue, but the main issue still lies ahead, Sprint does not provide LTE on the Nexus 5 in many areas, because they have not updated the network with CSFB. Meaning, the device and network force 3G EVDO (56k speed) on the device, over LTE, to ensure you can still use the device as it was not intended, a phone rather than a high end smartphone data device. Why get a smartphone to use as a phone? If that was the case, providers should provide voice only plans for these smartphones, instead of forcing us to use data plans, then not providing data in the case of Sprint.

  • Brandon Harris

    I actually have a Nexus 5.

    I bought it from Google Play, indicated that I was putting it on Sprint. I actually activated it on TING, which uses Sprint's network. Worked flawlessly.

    Dropped TING and opted to put it on my Sprint line.

    That was 3 months ago. They **STILL** pretending like they can't activate it.

  • Charles Schwartz

    This sounds very familiar. I received an HTC from Sprint, this phone has exact same issue. After hours on the phone with Sprint troubleshooting techs and 3 store visits still not working right. I just received a new SIM/ uicc in mail, it made no difference.. Google the problem and you'll see this has been going on with Sprint for a while, it's a huge problem and Sprint acts a s though it's some new problem...Whatever it's a shot system PERIOD!!!