How to “Unlock” Mobile Phones

In GSM, Hacking on May 30, 2006 at 12:42 pm

Most mobile phone handsets are “locked” to a particular network. That is, they are programmed only to work with the sim card they were originaly sold with. This can be frustratin if you wish to change your service provider! Of course, there are many retail outlets who can “unlock” your handset to accept all sim cards for a fee. But it is usually cheaper (and more useful) to be able to do this for yourelf!

I cannot possibly detail how to unlock all mobile phones in this article, as there are hundreds of different models of mobile phones out there! Instead, I will go through the basics and direct you to free unlocking programs which will help you along your way to cell-phone freedom!

For most handsets (excluding some newer Nokia models) you will need:

  • A free serial port on your PC/laptop
  • A serial cable specifically designed for your laptop
  • The IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number of your handset
  • Appropriate software for the make and model of your particular handset.

If you don’t already know your handset’s IMEI, you can easily get this by keying *#06# into your phone. The IMEI will then be displayed on screen.

Universal Simlock Remover provide a free download of their latest software which includes unlock programs for dozens of mobile phone handsets. You do not need to purchase their complete unlocking package (unless you are planning to unlock handsets for busines use!), though they do sell serial leads for individual handsets if required.

Download URS Version 1.09 here.

USR’s software comes with instructions relating to each individual handset. Be sure to follow these instructions carefully so that you do not accidentally mess up the software of your handset and render it unusable!

In some cases, you may find that a handset is “locked to all networks”. That is, you can use any sim card in the handset but are unable to make/receive calls and texts. This usually occurs when a phone is reported stolen or a service contract has not been paid. In this case, it is the IMEI which is locked, and the only solution to be able to use the handset again is to either change the IMEI (which may only work with certain Nokia and Samsung handsets) or to use the phone in another country (as a handset is usually only locked to networks in one particular country).

Newer Nokia handsets are easier to unlock as they do not need to be connected to a computer. Instead, you would need to use a code calculator (also included in the USR package) to find the correct code to input when a “blocked” sim card is inserted. You will need to input the IMEI number of the handset into the code calculator and this will present you with a series of codes which should work (usually this is the first on the list).

I hope this article has been useful to you. But if you do require any further information, check out NokiaFree.org which has a great wealth of information on many different makes of mobile phones and details on good unlocking programs.

  1. Thank’s Man…

  2. my phone locked me out,i forget my password,please i need a code to unlock my phone this is my imei number 353363003961401

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