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Thread: LycaMobile on T-Mobile Phones

  1. #1
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    LycaMobile on T-Mobile Phones

    Hello,

    I've been a Sprint customer for years, so I know a little bit about CDMA. I don't know or understand much about GSM.

    When my employer switched from T-Mobile to Verizon they said I could have my old Motorola V195, T-Mobile flip phone. I took it home and forgot about it for about three years. When I found out about LycaMobile I thought that would be the way to go for the kids.

    I had to have the phone unlocked, so I contacted T-Mobile and after getting passed around for awhile I was able to get someone to take the information and ten hours later they emailed me a "Subsidy Password" and I was able to get the LycaMobile service going. T-Mobile's signal is strong here and since LycaMobile is an MVNO who uses T-Mobile, the phone works great. $10 for 500 minutes is hard to beat.

    That was one kid down. Three more to go. I went to the thrift stores and found a couple of Motorola V188s and a V300. Called T-Mobile about the V300 and got a rude awakening. If I didn't know the old phone number or former owner of the phone I was out of luck. This phone cost 99 cents. So I started looking around on the Internet and found unlock services for around $25 and up for these phones. (I found one for $7 and tried them, but that money went into a deep hole, never to be seen again.)

    That brought me here and I found the T-Mobile IMEI Verification page (thank you), which tells me none of the IMEIs are reported as stolen and T-Mobile would be pleased as punch to sell me a SIM, for each of them, that I can use with their service. I was also able to verify that these phones work fine with my daughter-in-laws prepaid T-Mobile SIM card. But I'm SOL with LycaMobile, unless I want to plunk down at least $25 a phone and hope and pray I don't get ripped-off again.

    Needing to know the old number and former owner of a phone that T-Mobile (itself) is able to quickly verify isn't reported as stolen and even offering to let you buy their SIM to activate it, but then refusing to unlock it, seems just a tad disingenuous to me. It sounds like they're trying to keep me locked into T-Mobile service on phones they don't own.

    The T-Mobile customer service guy suggested I contact Motorola to see if they could unlock the phone. Has anybody had any experience or success with that?

    Also has anyone had any experience with using a T-Mobile prepaid SIM card (which would seem to establish ownership of the phone and give you a T-Mobile number), and then using that number to unlock the phone? If that would work, I might even be able to pass one prepaid card from phone to phone and unlock all three with it.

    But my guess is T-Mobile probably won't do that either and that three nice, older Motorola phones are bricks unless I use them with T-Mobile's service, or if I want to be an idiot with more money than brains and pay twenty-five times the cost of the phones to "unlock" them.

    Long-winded, sorry. I would appreciate any suggestions or help about getting these phones unlocked. Also, from those with more GSM experience than I have, can I expect the same kind of shenanigans from AT&T or do they have a more "reality-based" unlock policy? I stupidly thought that since LycaMobile was a T-Mobile MVNO, that T-Mobile phones would be the best to ones to use with LycaMobile. Live and learn.

    Thank you,
    Dan
    Last edited by dandelgado; 05-05-2013 at 04:43 AM. Reason: To correct a word omission.

  2. #2
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    Also... T-Mobile gets some income from these phones if I use LycaMobile (I presume LycaMobile has to pay at least something to T-Mobile as an MVNO). They get no income from these phones if they go back in the drawer.

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    I'm lost. Why do you need to unlock them again?

    Speaks for itself, Sprint. Try more actions and not lip service.
    Google+

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kies View Post
    I'm lost. Why do you need to unlock them again?
    When I put the LycaMobile SIM in phones I get "Enter Subsidy Password" on the screen. I searched on the Internet and found out they needed to be unlocked to work with LycaMobile and I needed an (8 digit) "Subsidy Password" to do that. I was able to get T-Mobile to give me one for the phone I had some information about (old number, former owner), but the others are thrift-store phones so I can't supply that information for them.

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    My only suggestion is to get a T-Mobile account with 1 BYOP line. Unlock the first one after 40 days of service, swap out phones, then unlock the second after 130 days (40 + 90). Then cancel account. Be careful with data usage on LycaMobile.
    Update: When requesting the unlock code, tell them you are taking a 1 week trip to the UK, and plan to use a pre-paid SIM there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpookyTunes View Post
    My only suggestion is to get a T-Mobile account with 1 BYOP line. Unlock the first one after 40 days of service, swap out phones, then unlock the second after 130 days (40 + 90). Then cancel account. Be careful with data usage on LycaMobile.
    Update: When requesting the unlock code, tell them you are taking a 1 week trip to the UK, and plan to use a pre-paid SIM there.
    Thanks. Considering the cost of the phones I might just go and find an old AT&T phone and see if it's more unlock friendly. Also, thanks for the warning on data usage. I'd seen a lot of complaints on that, but these phones are intended for a talk only (and maybe a few text messages).

    I guess LycaMobile is pretty new to the U.S., but it seems like they could make a deal with T-Mobile when using T-Mobile phones, since they ride on T-Mobile's network. Maybe they will after they get more established in the United States.

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    See the sponsored sticky thread here:

    http://www.howardforums.com/showthre...k-free-sim-pin

    Perhaps they can unlock your devices for less than $25 each.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dandelgado View Post
    Thanks. Considering the cost of the phones I might just go and find an old AT&T phone and see if it's more unlock friendly. Also, thanks for the warning on data usage. I'd seen a lot of complaints on that, but these phones are intended for a talk only (and maybe a few text messages).

    I guess LycaMobile is pretty new to the U.S., but it seems like they could make a deal with T-Mobile when using T-Mobile phones, since they ride on T-Mobile's network. Maybe they will after they get more established in the United States.
    AT&T is far worse with unlock codes. In most cases, they do not provide them at all. The only exception I know of is iPhones.
    Most T-Mobile MVNO's do not require T-Mobile phones to be unlocked. LycaMobile is the exception.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpookyTunes View Post
    AT&T is far worse with unlock codes. In most cases, they do not provide them at all. The only exception I know of is iPhones.
    Most T-Mobile MVNO's do not require T-Mobile phones to be unlocked. LycaMobile is the exception.
    Thanks for the information. I didn't know that. Maybe LycaMobile will eventually make a deal with T-Mobile too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jet1000 View Post
    See the sponsored sticky thread here:

    http://www.howardforums.com/showthre...k-free-sim-pin

    Perhaps they can unlock your devices for less than $25 each.
    Thanks, I'll see what I can work out.

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    T-Mobile is MMC=310 / MNC=260 along with SIMPLE Mobile and most other TMO MVNO's so no unlock needed.

    LycaMobile is MMC=311 / MNC=96 so you need to unlock. You should also note that the $20 plan has data at "$0.06 per 1MB" and no option to disable it. If the kids find the WAP browser, you could get hit for data costs.

    SIMPLE Mobile has a $25 plan that would not require you to unlock the phones.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpookyTunes View Post
    T-Mobile is MMC=310 / MNC=260 along with SIMPLE Mobile and most other TMO MVNO's so no unlock needed.

    LycaMobile is MMC=311 / MNC=96 so you need to unlock. You should also note that the $20 plan has data at "$0.06 per 1MB" and no option to disable it. If the kids find the WAP browser, you could get hit for data costs.

    SIMPLE Mobile has a $25 plan that would not require you to unlock the phones.
    Thanks again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpookyTunes View Post
    SIMPLE Mobile has a $25 plan that would not require you to unlock the phones.
    That deal looked good, but then I read the fine print. It's for 15 days, not a month.

    After doing a little more snooping around, it looks like I just picked the wrong manufacturer. The old T-Mobile Blackberries are free to get unlocked. Or just three dollars if you need it done immediately.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dandelgado View Post
    That deal looked good, but then I read the fine print. It's for 15 days, not a month.
    Sorry about that. Check out "GoSmartMobile". They are owned by T-Mobile and have a $30/month talk & text plan. I think you can use a T-Mobile locked phone as is, but you should confirm this with support.

    Also, have you daughter-in-law request the unlock code for one, and if you have any friends with T-Mobile, see if they will do it as well. Each customer can unlock one every 90 days.

    You should also check out the post-paid, no contract, BYOP family plans at T-Mobile. It may cost less in the end with many lines, plus each line get 500 MB data free.
    Last edited by SpookyTunes; 05-10-2013 at 11:32 PM.

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    Also, spot mobile use tmobile and has a plan for 24.99 for 30 days no data. that's what you want. In addition PTel still have the $40 plan with on promotion with free sim for $20. See ptel thread.

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