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EE to Apple Watch Series 3 LTE Purchasers: It's Not You, It's Us

EE to Apple Watch Series 3 LTE Purchasers: It's Not You, It's Us

October 2, 2017

If you live in the United Kingdom and are having trouble activating your Apple Watch Series 3 LTE service, British carrier EE (via 9to5Mac)has an important message for you. It’s not you, it’s us. Plenty of UK owners of the latest Apple Watch, the one with a cellular chip inside, are having trouble activating their new wrist communicators.

Apple Watch Series 3 LTE

If you’re a UK customer trying to get your Apple Watch Series 3 LTE service working, you might not be as happy as this proud owner.

A Massive Apple Watch Series 3 LTE Activation Problem

Currently, EE is the only cellular carrier in the UK that supports the Apple Watch Series 3 LTE chipset. This, in and of itself, is terrible enough. What’s worse, though, is that the Brtiish carrier has quite literally imploded while trying to activate the new wearable devices. The company’s support thread complaining about the issue is, at the time of this writing, 51 pages long.

If you go into the Apple Watch app on your iPhone devices and select “Mobile Data,” you can check the status of getting your Apple Watch connected to the cellular network. If you see that EE has already activated your Apple Watch, or you see the word “Activating,” you’re in good shape. Wait an hour or two, and everything should work fine.

On the other hand, if you see one of these four error messages, you’re going to need to contact EE to get the problem resolved.

  • Activation failed
  • Error code 019
  • Error code 007
  • This account is not ready to use with Apple Watch

The good news is once you contact EE, the problem with your Apple Watch LTE service can be resolved without a return to Apple or a trip to the Genius Bar. However, the solution is painful and requires a considerable length of time.

A Painful Process to Fix the Problem

If you have to contact EE, here’s what you should do and expect. You’ll contact the carrier, and ask them to remove and reassociate a new eSIM on your account. Then, you’ll need to follow these steps:

  • Unpair your Appple Watch from your iPhone.
  • Turn off the Apple Watch and leave it powered off for at least three hours.
  • Disable Wi-FI on your iPhone.
  • Pair your Apple Watch to your iPhone and set it up as a new device (do not restore from backup).
  • Select “Add Data Plan” when prompted.

Bear in mind, too, that EE seems to have a limited number of staff members handling callbacks for this issue. Some customers have been told there are only six EE employees working their way through hundreds of identical calls.

No Word on Why It’s Happening

Thus far, neither Apple nor EE have stated why the problem is happening with Apple Watch Series 3 LTE activation. All we know is that the issue is quite widespread, and EE clearly does not have enough personnel working to resolve it. Maybe it’s not such a good thing to put all of your cellular eggs in one basket, Apple.