What does unlocking a phone involve? + rep for best answer Watch

La Esmerelda
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Basically I wanna switch from t-mob to vodafone but my mobile has a "t-mobile" sticker on it so I'm guessing that I'd have to unlock the phone first.
Just wondering how long it'd take to unlock the phone, how much it'd cost and whether I could still use my phone in the mean time?

Then I have to get the PAC code off my network......and then what? Call vodafone?

And in the meantime will my sim still work whilst I'm unlocking the phone and once I've been issued the PAC code?

Soz for all the questions!
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pamelaa
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Don't get a network to do it for you, it'll cost you quite a bit of money go to a nearby shop that does it it'll probz cost about a tenner.
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La Esmerelda
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(Original post by pamelaa)
Don't get a network to do it for you, it'll cost you quite a bit of money go to a nearby shop that does it it'll probz cost about a tenner.
Ok, how long will that take and can I still use my phone?
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MikeL230
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Go down to the market and get some dodgy guy to do it.

Then put your new sim in the phone and it should work

It voids the warranty on your phone though be warned.
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pamelaa
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(Original post by La Esmerelda)
Ok, how long will that take and can I still use my phone?
They'll do it there and then for you.
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Mystic
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Search on the internet for unlocking the phone you have, a friend found free instructions , but has to keep her phone on at all times. Either if she switches it off, she'd have to restart the process.
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alexsheppard11
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(Original post by pamelaa)
They'll do it there and then for you.
i unlocked my phone myself once, using an online guide.
downloaded a couple of programs, and just followed it through.

this was on a K800i by the way

you could have a google, see if you can find something similar
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andrewkeith5
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(Original post by La Esmerelda)
Basically I wanna switch from t-mob to vodafone but my mobile has a "t-mobile" sticker on it so I'm guessing that I'd have to unlock the phone first.
Just wondering how long it'd take to unlock the phone, how much it'd cost and whether I could still use my phone in the mean time?

Then I have to get the PAC code off my network......and then what? Call vodafone?

And in the meantime will my sim still work whilst I'm unlocking the phone and once I've been issued the PAC code?

Soz for all the questions!
Right, it's a very very simple process.

Either way, it is usually most reliable (and least risky) to have your mobile operator unlock the phone. T-Mobile will charge £15 for providing you with a code which will permanently unlock your phone. Many market traders or independent shops will usually charge you £10 or so.

To have T-Mobile unlock your phone, it's simply a case of calling customer services on 150 and asking them - they're very nice people, and might ask you why etc. Just tell them your reasoning. They might try and offer you some better deals, listen if you're interested, otherwise just say "it's not worth bothering, I know what I want to do and it won't change now, sorry". When they've taken your phones' detail (they will need the IMEI number which can be obtained from the sticker under your phones battery or by dialling *#06# as if you were calling a standard number. Make sure to get this before you call. They will then send you the code in the post, but you can get it immediately but will need to re-call customer services (they can't give it to you in the same call) - the'll provide full instructions.

If you take it to a market trader, they might need to keep your phone for an hour or so, sometimes up to a day - they will use a "hacking" method, which will unlock the phone but there are risks depending on the model of the phone (which phone do you have?)

As far as I know T-Mobile don't lock/brand too much stuff on their phones, but it again depends on the model - if there is any, the T-Mobile branding will remain...You can get rid of this, but again it's very risky, depends on the model of phone, and will have to be done by an independent.

If you are using the code-from-operator method, you can use your phone the whole time, they won't cancel your service and it'll literally take a few seconds to unlock.

If you take your phone to an independent/market trader, you will have to leave the phone with them for a period of time, so obviously you'll have to trust them and won't be able to use it.

Hope that answers your question, please let me know if you've any further questions

Andrew
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pamelaa
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(Original post by alexsheppard11)
i unlocked my phone myself once, using an online guide.
downloaded a couple of programs, and just followed it through.

this was on a K800i by the way

you could have a google, see if you can find something similar
Yepp, but be careful though because if you enter the code wrongly more than 3 times I think it is you can only get it unlocked by the network.
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andrewkeith5
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(Original post by pamelaa)
Yepp, but be careful though because if you enter the code wrongly more than 3 times I think it is you can only get it unlocked by the network.
Slightly mis-informed, that's on Nokias...With the Sony Ericsson home solution all you risk is "bricking" your phone - basically, if you get it wrong, it won't work again without some relatively-professional hacking.

Unlocking your phone at home is really only suitable for people experienced in the process and who will know how to fix it if everything goes wrong.
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La Esmerelda
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(Original post by andrewkeith5)
Right, it's a very very simple process.

Either way, it is usually most reliable (and least risky) to have your mobile operator unlock the phone. T-Mobile will charge £15 for providing you with a code which will permanently unlock your phone. Many market traders or independent shops will usually charge you £10 or so.

To have T-Mobile unlock your phone, it's simply a case of calling customer services on 150 and asking them - they're very nice people, and might ask you why etc. Just tell them your reasoning. They might try and offer you some better deals, listen if you're interested, otherwise just say "it's not worth bothering, I know what I want to do and it won't change now, sorry". When they've taken your phones' detail (they will need the IMEI number which can be obtained from the sticker under your phones battery or by dialling *#06# as if you were calling a standard number. Make sure to get this before you call. They will then send you the code in the post, but you can get it immediately but will need to re-call customer services (they can't give it to you in the same call) - the'll provide full instructions.

If you take it to a market trader, they might need to keep your phone for an hour or so, sometimes up to a day - they will use a "hacking" method, which will unlock the phone but there are risks depending on the model of the phone (which phone do you have?)

As far as I know T-Mobile don't lock/brand too much stuff on their phones, but it again depends on the model - if there is any, the T-Mobile branding will remain...You can get rid of this, but again it's very risky, depends on the model of phone, and will have to be done by an independent.

If you are using the code-from-operator method, you can use your phone the whole time, they won't cancel your service and it'll literally take a few seconds to unlock.

If you take your phone to an independent/market trader, you will have to leave the phone with them for a period of time, so obviously you'll have to trust them and won't be able to use it.

Hope that answers your question, please let me know if you've any further questions

Andrew
Thanks!
My phone is a reaaaaaaally old model (the motorola w377) so I think getting someone to unlock could be risky as it is that old.....right?
Just wondering once I'm issued the pac code, will I still be on my first network (T-Mobile) and what do I do after I'm given it....do I phone Vodafone and they switch me straight away or will there be a waiting period?
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pamelaa
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(Original post by andrewkeith5)
Slightly mis-informed, that's on Nokias...With the Sony Ericsson home solution all you risk is "bricking" your phone - basically, if you get it wrong, it won't work again without some relatively-professional hacking.

Unlocking your phone at home is really only suitable for people experienced in the process and who will know how to fix it if everything goes wrong.
It's not misinformed :s because your phone won't work, will it? Duh.
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andrewkeith5
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(Original post by La Esmerelda)
Thanks!
My phone is a reaaaaaaally old model (the motorola w377) so I think getting someone to unlock could be risky as it is that old.....right?
Just wondering once I'm issued the pac code, will I still be on my first network (T-Mobile) and what do I do after I'm given it....do I phone Vodafone and they switch me straight away or will there be a waiting period?
That's no problem - just to check, you are in the UK right? not france as your profile would suggest?

Erm, it's unlikely that it would be that risky because if it's very old whoever does it will have experience - but from what I understand of old Motorolas, there isn't any reliable way to unlock them without having access to the operator/Motorolas servers.

With regards the PAC code...you can ask T-Mobile for this at any time - they will send it to you in the post within 14 days, and it is valid 30 days from the day you request it. If you want to transfer your number to Vodafone, just give Vodafone a call and give them the PAC code and the number should be transferred within 5 days - by which I mean the process will start within 5 working days, once it starts it will take up to 48 hours to complete. There will be a waiting period, but your T-Mobile SIM will work right up until the point that the number transfers, and the Vodafone SIM will work the whole time, but should only be used once the number has transferred or there might be billing problems

If you don't use your PAC within 30 days (by which I mean if Vodafone don't start the process within 30 days), then the code will expire and T-Mobile won't let your number be transferred under that code, and you will need to request another.

There might be a slightly different when switching your number to Vodafone, for example they might need the PAC code before you buy the contract or before you register the PAYG SIM, etc., so it's best to give Vodafone a quick call (find their CS number and search for it on http://www.saynoto0870.com to make sure you aren't paying a stupid amount for the call)

Andrew
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andrewkeith5
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(Original post by pamelaa)
It's not misinformed :s because your phone won't work, will it? Duh.
Well from how I read your original message it was, as you implied that on any phone, if you enter an incorrect unlock code 3 times, the phone will become locked permanently and only the operator can remove the lock. This method, however, is only knowingly employed on Nokia phones, to effectively ban the use of the "code generators" that some people have been using to break the network locks.
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pamelaa
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(Original post by andrewkeith5)
Well from how I read your original message it was, as you implied that on any phone, if you enter an incorrect unlock code 3 times, the phone will become locked permanently and only the operator can remove the lock. This method, however, is only knowingly employed on Nokia phones, to effectively ban the use of the "code generators" that some people have been using to break the network locks.
Same thing happens on sony ericcsons love.
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Sam656
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#16
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If it's over 12months old, ring ur provider for free, if not pay the £20-£35 for unlock code.
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