1. ncmomgoinczy's Avatar
    Hello everyone and please pardon my ignorance on this question but I am here to learn and tried searching for the answer but didn't find anything specific. What is a locked or unlocked phone? I keep seeing posts about unlocked bb and such, so I am very curious as to what exactly does this pertain to. Thanks!
    07-04-10 07:52 AM
  2. T
    Apparently these silly carriers, when they sell (i.e. rent) you a phone, "lock" it so that it only works on their networks. Some people know how to "unlock" the phones so they will work on other carriers' networks, too. How they do it, I don't know. But it must not be rocket science, because I was walking in the mall the other day and passed by a kiosk that was selling phone cases and also offered an unlocking service.
    07-04-10 08:05 AM
  3. Pete6's Avatar
    In this context, a locked phone is one that will only use the network of one single carrier. Usually such phones have been supplied by that carrier under a contract of some sort and the carrier wishes to force (lock) the user into their network.

    SIM cards for GSM phones from other carriers will not find a carrier signal if inserted into such phones. Under CDMA signal is only available on one carrier.

    Most phones supplied locked in this way will display the carrier logo on the case and on a splash screen when booting.

    Unlocked phones are the opposite of this. Any SIM card from any carrier will, when insert into an unlocked phone succeed in acquiring a signal from that carrier's network when in range.

    A sure way to prove a BlackBerry locked or unlocked is to go to Options, Advanced Options, SIM Card and look at the top of the screen. If it says

    SIM Card: Security Disabled

    then the phone is unlocked and may freely be used on any carrie's network.
    07-04-10 08:10 AM
  4. jeffh's Avatar
    Pete's suggestion is probably correct for GSM phones, but there's a little more to it for CDMA/GSM combination phones like the Storm and Tour and Bold 9650. My Tour, which is locked to Verizon, shows SIM Card: Security Disabled. For these phones, to verify it is unlocked, go to Options / Advanced Options / SIM Card. Type the letters MEPD. They won't be shown on the screen. You will then see some additional parameters. If Network is Active, the phone is locked. If Network is Disabled, the phone is unlocked.
    07-04-10 08:23 AM
  5. Pete6's Avatar
    Pete's suggestion is probably correct for GSM phones, but there's a little more to it for CDMA/GSM combination phones like the Storm and Tour and Bold 9650. My Tour, which is locked to Verizon, shows SIM Card: Security Disabled. For these phones, to verify it is unlocked, go to Options / Advanced Options / SIM Card. Type the letters MEPD. They won't be shown on the screen. You will then see some additional parameters. If Network is Active, the phone is locked. If Network is Disabled, the phone is unlocked.
    Yup, spot on Jeff. Thanks for the correction. Like what do I know of CDMA phones over in Europe - duh.

    If you need a phone unlocked, have a look at this CrackBErry forum http://forums.crackberry.com/f157/
    07-04-10 08:28 AM
  6. ncmomgoinczy's Avatar
    Thank you everyone! I had a feeling that is what it meant or something like that. Unlocked I'm assuming is what makes it easier for people to purchase phones from other people of different carriers. That is what I was figuring. Now I have a bb curve 8530 with Sprint. So when I go to options>about, it say CDMA, Wi-Fi. And I'm sure your all aware that Sprint doesn't have sim cards. Also CDMA, I remember reading something about that.
    07-04-10 08:59 AM
  7. jeffh's Avatar
    CDMA phones cannot be unlocked in the same way that GSM phones are. An unlocked GSM phone can be used on any GSM carrier's network. A CDMA phone, on the other hand, has to be activated by the carrier. Sprint and Verizon generally refuse to activate each other's phones on their networks. So you can't "unlock" your Sprint 8530 and use it on Verizon. Some of the smaller regional carriers will activate other CDMA phones, but Sprint and Verizon choose not to.
    07-04-10 09:06 AM
  8. ncmomgoinczy's Avatar
    Thank you Jeff! I understand it much better now It would be nice if there was a list of acronyms on here. That would be helpful for all of us newcomers.
    07-04-10 09:24 AM
  9. elvin1983's Avatar
    Pete's suggestion is probably correct for GSM phones, but there's a little more to it for CDMA/GSM combination phones like the Storm and Tour and Bold 9650. My Tour, which is locked to Verizon, shows SIM Card: Security Disabled. For these phones, to verify it is unlocked, go to Options / Advanced Options / SIM Card. Type the letters MEPD. They won't be shown on the screen. You will then see some additional parameters. If Network is Active, the phone is locked. If Network is Disabled, the phone is unlocked.
    I typed MEPD when I had the SIM Card section open, and I didn't see any additional parameters, what should you see when you enter that in?
    07-04-10 09:42 AM
  10. emeraldgirl08's Avatar
    I've just started a no annual contract with Tmob and I'm wondering how I'd go about asking them for the MEP code. I'd like to unlock the Tmob 8900 I have now. Do I just tell them I'm going out of the country next month? Is there any way for me to do this on my 8900 w/o calling Tmob? Any suggestions?
    07-04-10 09:45 AM
  11. jeffh's Avatar
    You should see a screen that shows
    ID:
    Personalization:
    SIM
    Network
    Network Subset
    Service Provider
    Corporate
    07-04-10 09:46 AM
  12. FF22's Avatar
    Thanks for the refresher. While I UNlocked my new Bold yesterday (called Verizon and was stepped through the codes), Finding that "hidden" screen confirms it. And Jeff's message above mine is also important. While my Bold is UNlocked so I can use "foreign" or 3rd party sim cards while in Europe (and other places), my VERIZON Bold still canNOT be used on the Sprint network.

    edited to add: I had to use the Shift key and enter them as UPPERcase on the Bold just now. And "Network" says "INACTIVE" not "disabled" in this extra screen (just a slight correction)
    Last edited by F2; 07-04-10 at 09:49 AM.
    07-04-10 09:47 AM
  13. elvin1983's Avatar
    Ok, I got it to work, I didn't have the letters capatalized...

    So the only one that is Active is the one labeled "Network", which I'm assuming means that it's locked. Interesting.
    07-04-10 09:49 AM
  14. jeffh's Avatar
    Ok, I got it to work, I didn't have the letters capatalized...

    So the only one that is Active is the one labeled "Network", which I'm assuming means that it's locked. Interesting.
    You are correct. Network is the only active setting on my locked to Verizon Tour.
    07-04-10 09:54 AM
  15. K Bear's Avatar
    I've just started a no annual contract with Tmob and I'm wondering how I'd go about asking them for the MEP code. I'd like to unlock the Tmob 8900 I have now. Do I just tell them I'm going out of the country next month? Is there any way for me to do this on my 8900 w/o calling Tmob? Any suggestions?
    Since you are off contract, all you have to do is call customer service and they can have the phone unlocked. It may take up to at least 48 for that code to generate depending upon if they have to contact RIM for the unlock code. This is the free option. The pay option would be using a carrier unlock service, usually for a nominal fee they will unlock your phone for you by generating an unlock code.
    07-04-10 10:22 AM
  16. emeraldgirl08's Avatar
    Thanks K Bear! I tried calling Tmob a couple of minutes ago but they are all off for holidays. Will try again tomorrow
    07-04-10 10:26 AM
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