Unlocking your GSM cell phone

By jobeard
Sep 28, 2006
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  1. CAVEAT EMPTOR!

    Sad tale to be aware of; unlocked phones may be severely crippled in the features available on another providers network!!

    Purchase Motorola V600 (Quad band) GSM phone for extended trip to Europe. (Domestic uses 840+1900, Europe 900+1800)

    Phone was already unlocked (shipped locked to T-Mobile however) in the box, and I only needed to swap the SIM card from Cingular into this phone --- works great, except no Email nor Browser support!

    Called Cingular and we got TXT messaging working (but I don't normally use it), but we could not configure Email/Browser to access the Cingular network at all. The T-Mobile software is so different, there's no settings for things like IP-Address and Port numbers!

    Called T-Mobile (1-209-904-2030) -- catch 22, not a T-Mobile user and therefore can't even access the phone.

    Called Motorola Support (1-800-331-6456). WOW! Service person was nice enough, but spouted official Company rhetoric.
    "The phone was manufactured for T-Mobile and with that contract, the T-Mobile software was installed. It is illegal for us to uninstall or replace that software."

    1) It's MY phone, not T-Mobile's
    2) I choose the service provider I need
    3) said contract is collusion and conspiracy by the manufacturer and the service provider(s) here domestically (US) to force either a new device purchase and or to coerce a specific service provider.
    4) European users do not have this problem and pre-paid SIM cards allow access to ANY SERVICE provider.
    5) Heck, I've even purchased a pre-paid SIM and it connects to AT&T without any difficulty -- just no means to configure Internet access -- due entirely to the T-Moble software (hum-- dumbware!!).

    I informed the Motorola support person of the above and that I traded a Better Phone (Nokia) so as to quickly acquire a Quad-Band before leaving for Europe. This experience has soured my opinion of Motorola products, but to be fair, it's very likely to be a conspiracy across the industry here in the U.S.

    CAVEAT EMPTOR!
  2. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff Newcomer, in training Posts: 8,165

    I can confirm the bit about European cells.
    Bought (as an upgrade) 3 tri-band cells, from and locked into the Vodaphone network (in Ireland).
    Having spent enough money (i.e. over €130.- per cell) on my previous Vodaphone pay-as-you-go phone-bills, all I needed to do then was call Vodaphone customer service with the cells' IMEI-numbers, they gave me the unlock-codes on the spot!
    The cells are happily used now in Pennsylvania on the Cingular network, without any problems or limitations.
    They were 2x Motorola E770V and 1x Nokia 3120.
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