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Thread: Do I NEED a foreign SIM card to unlock my phone?

  1. #1
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    Do I NEED a foreign SIM card to unlock my phone?

    I did a search but unlock sim must be a real popular topic as I read through 8 pages of hits and still couldn't find my answer.

    So I emailed T-mobile earlier today to request an unlock code for my V300, and have just received the code now. The instruction they sent me had some jumbled letters so I came here to look for instruction and found out that you need a foreign SIM card to get into the screen to enter this unlock code.

    I don't have a SIM card from another carrier and don't know anyone who uses GSM phones and therefore can't borrow one. Is there any way I can unlock my phone without a foreign SIM card or do I have to wait till I travel abroad to do so?

    Also, how long is the unlock code good for if left unused? I'm not leaving for another 3 weeks and I just want to make sure if I'm unable to unlock it now, I'll still be able to do so in three weeks.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    The unlock code is unique to the phone and does not expire.

    You shouldn't need any sim card to unlock the phone. Just enter the code following their instructions.

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    Some phone do require a off carrier sim to allow for unlocking.

    However I would at least try it without one. Phones allow for multiple (around 5) attempts before permanant locking.
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    Oh that's great news, but the instruction didn't say anything about how/where to enter the code at. I have a Motorola V300. Please help!

    This is all they gave me:

    Thank you for taking the time to contact T-Mobile. I will be happy to assist you with your SIM Unlock Request.

    Instructions for Motorolas
    IMEI [3526XXXXXXXXXXXX] = Unlock Code [XXXXXXXX]

    NOTE: If the phone displays, "Please wait to enter special code" or
    "Contact service provider,?you will have to wait for it to change back.
    Please be aware that the phone must stay powered on to do this. If the
    back is low, be sure to plug it in. It could take 15 minutes to an hour
    to change back. If the phone does not change back, the handset will
    need to be replaced.

    If the display reads “Enter Special Code? enter the unlock code and
    press “OK?If the display does not read “Enter Special code?
    1. Press and hold the * key until an entry box is displayed, then let
    go
    2. Enter *, #, 3, 2, # and press “OK?3. Enter the unlock code and press “OK.?The display should read
    “Completed?or “Deleted?

  5. #5
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    1. Press and hold the * key until an entry box is displayed, then let
    go
    2. Enter *#32# and press OK. Enter the unlock code and press OK. The display should read Completed or Deleted.


    This is the unlock sequence, just follow these steps and it should work, otherwise, you can call up Tmobile and they can walk you through the steps.
    Last edited by viperssd; 05-05-2004 at 08:09 AM.

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    Do I NEED a foreign SIM card to unlock my phone?

    YES...

    I had to buy one off Ebay. Make sure the battery is fully charged before starting the unlock procedure.

  7. #7
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    Alright..I just tried pressing the key sequence but it kept coming up at "not available", so I called T-mobile customer service. The guy walked me through the steps and confirmed that I do NOT need a foreign SIM card to complete this process. He walked me through the whole thing, but it still kept coming up saying "not available", meaning I can't even get into the screen to put in my unlock code. I pressed *, then * # 3 2 #, then ok (or call on the V300) and then it immediately came up saying "not available".

    The customer service guy was clueless so he transferred me to tech support, and after being put on hold for 2 minutes, I got disconnected.

    Help again please!
    (I'm beginning to think that I *DO* need a foreign SIM card to do this.
    Last edited by lydiainflorida; 05-05-2004 at 09:09 AM.

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    Lightbulb In the Past Motos have needed Foreign SIM

    Motorolas have needed Foreign SIMS in that past. I dont know about V300. But I do know I have seen many a thread where people have tried to beat the system and have had to return phone to TMO after it got perma locked. The odds are better that youll get where your going and the code will be OK, then the fact that youll play around and nothing will work. Quit while your ahead, IMHO
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  9. #9
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    Originally posted by lydiainflorida
    Alright..I just tried pressing the key sequence but it kept coming up at "not available", so I called T-mobile customer service. The guy walked me through the steps and confirmed that I do NOT need a foreign SIM card to complete this process. He walked me through the whole thing, but it still kept coming up saying "not available", meaning I can't even get into the screen to put in my unlock code. I pressed *, then * # 3 2 #, then ok (or call on the V300) and then it immediately came up saying "not available".

    The customer service guy was clueless so he transferred me to tech support, and after being put on hold for 2 minutes, I got disconnected.

    Help again please!
    (I'm beginning to think that I *DO* need a foreign SIM card to do this.
    Look at the post directly above yours. You will need a foreign SIM card.

    The CS rep doesn't know what they are talking about... If fact about 90% of CS reps of T-Mobile while generally nice, don't know much. You can call 10 times and get ten different answers. The only people that are informed are in the data department for the large part.

  10. #10
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    Am I understanding right that a "foreign" sim card is a sim card from any other wireless provider (cingular, sprint, verizon, AT&T, etc)? It doesn't have to be a card from another country, right?


    EDIT
    Oh, and will nearly all other sim cards fit my phone? Are they all standardized?
    Last edited by JesterPoet; 05-05-2004 at 02:05 PM.

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by JesterPoet
    Am I understanding right that a "foreign" sim card is a sim card from any other wireless provider (cingular, sprint, verizon, AT&T, etc)? It doesn't have to be a card from another country, right?


    EDIT
    Oh, and will nearly all other sim cards fit my phone? Are they all standardized?
    It just has to be from a differant carrier. Foreign meaning it is not from the same provider that sold the phone.


    There are 16 and 32k sims (32k's are the new ones).... I used a 32k Cingular sim.

    They should all be the same size except for some of the early sims that were the full size of a credit card. If you have one of those it can be cut-out with a razor blade and used. Only dis-avtantage is they are 16k sims. Certain functions won't work... and of course you only have like 99 phone book entires instead of 250.

    I'm pretty sure a 16k chip could be sued to unlock IF it was from a differant carrier. I had a bunch of old Sims.. from various companies, none would work for unlocking as they had become part of the T-Mobile network.

    If your on T-Mobile use Cingular , and vs. versus

    If you have a buddy you can use his sim, just make sure to have a fully charged battery as sometimes it can take an hour or so for the insert code message to appear!!! If the phone runs out of battery before message appears /the code is entered I think you will have to return the phone for service, they do some kind of reset...


    NOTE: If you use a sim chip from a carrier that has been bought out by your provider, it isn’t a Foreign sim.
    Last edited by WeAreNotAlone; 05-05-2004 at 03:40 PM.

  12. #12
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    What email address do you send it to to get the unlock code for your phone? Thanks
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  13. #13
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    Originally posted by FlugPoP
    What email address do you send it to to get the unlock code for your phone? Thanks
    There is no email address to get unlock codes any longer. You have to either call customer care or use the feedback/comment form at the T-Mobile site. If you use the feedback/comment form they'll send you a return email and ask for the IMEI, your phone number/account number plus ask for the last four digits of your SSN.
    Moderator yahoogroups forum T-Mobile-US http://groups.yahoo.com/group/T-Mobile-US

  14. #14
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    Talking Got it!!

    I just got back from the mall. I went to an AT&T booth in the mall and the guy was really nice and let me use his SIM card to unlock my phone. As soon as I put in the SIM card, it asked me to put in the password. I then put in the unlock code, and right away it went searching for AT&T's network and all of his settings came up on my phone. Awesome! Thanks everyone!!!

  15. #15
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    nice info guys! Just a few quick questions

    will T-Mo give me unlock code now? i have been just 1 month with them yet..

    its obvious but need to clarify.. once unlocked. i guess i can use any service SIM (including the T-mo original) in the phone....

    finally,,, from what i read i need a foreign SIM... does that need to be working... i mean i had a ATT GSM phone b4 switching to T-MO... i have the SIM in there.. should that work.. the phone is just lying around neways..
    Moto V300 rocks w/ da mp3 ringtones!!

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