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Customers complain Google Nexus One phone can't get Internet signal

Days after Google launched its new smartphone, Nexus One, some users were searching for a signal. Hundreds of customers complained on the Web sites of Google and partner T-Mobile, saying they were having difficulty getting a 3G Internet signal on their Nexus One phones.

Sold through Google’s Web site, the phone can attach to any GSM provider that allows it to run on its network. So far, T-Mobile has come on board to make the phone run on its network. Verizon will offer the phone on its CDMA network this spring.

Google calls the Nexus One a "super phone" that takes direct aim at Apple's iPhone, which runs exclusively on AT&T. In a new model, Google is selling the phone directly to customers as an unlocked device, which can attach to any network that allows it. The way the phone is sold and operated addresses a major customer complaint: being locked into phone service contracts with large penalties for switching carriers. But the new model also invites a new headache for Google: customer service.

Since Wednesday, one day after its launch, Nexus One customers around the nation reported trouble connecting to T-Mobile’s data network. This left them without access to all those 3-D graphics, navigation, video and other applications Google demonstrated early last week.

One customer complained on Google’s customer support online forum that her G1 phone (also made by Google) was working with 3G but not her Nexus, which kept switching to the mobile operators 2.5G, or EDGE, network.

One customer wrote on Friday: “I called T-Mobile to make sure that I didn't need to activate the phone or something to get 3G service. They said my account looked fine and that they couldn't give me any more support since I had a Nexus One, that I had to call HTC. So I called HTC and they said that your 3G service is a T-Mobile issue and they couldn't help me. The fact that my G1 works perfectly sitting right next to the Nexus though makes me think it really is a problem with the phone.

"I'm at the point where I'm about to send this thing back. It ruins the whole experience if I can't ever stay on 3G for more than a few seconds.”

Another user in Redmond, Wash., complained of similar problems Sunday.

“This is my first T-Mobile 3G device, but according to T-Mobile AND Root Wireless I should be fine here and downtown ... but the Nexus just can't deliver."

On T-Mobile’s and Google’s support forums, the companies wrote last Saturday, “Google and T-Mobile are investigating this issue and hope to have more information for you soon. We understand your concern and appreciate your patience.”

By Cecilia Kang  |  January 12, 2010; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  AT&T , Apple , Early Termination Fees , Google , Mobile , Verizon  
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It's been only a week...geeesh. @@

Posted by: Rocc00 | January 12, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

A minor issue, but the G1 is not "made by Google", just as the N1 is also not "made by Google".

I have generally been able to get 3G service except in my office building which I think has some coverage issues. Although a friend who has Verizon Android phone does get 3G here in the building.

Posted by: fedssocr | January 12, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

I have the Droid on Verizon and it is nothing short of unreal. No BS-its a flat out great experience. Its my first "app phone" as I used to have a Chocolate.

I'm sure google will get this straight but in the meantime Verizon + Droid=winner for me. Glad I didn't wait for the google phone.

Posted by: settleten | January 12, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

There is no such thing as "a 3G Internet signal."
3G refers to the 3rd generation of wireless data throughput on cellular radio frequencies, i.e. signals between the cellular phone company's towers and your mobile phone's radio.
Wi-Fi Internet signals are designated as 802.11a, b, g, n, etc.
Go ask Rob Pegoraro. He understands this!

Posted by: mehamner | January 13, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

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