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Locked Cell Phones
May 31, 2004 3:20 PM   Subscribe

"Locked" cell phones. How locked are they? If I want to buy a phone that was used on AT&T and use it with T-Mobile -- or say, go between Verizon and Sprint -- how much of a headache am I putting myself in for?
posted by namespan to Technology (11 answers total)
Give us the model and make and we'll find the unlock code. Almost every phone is unlockable.
posted by BlueTrain at 3:38 PM on May 31, 2004

unlocking your mobile phone
posted by Hackworth at 3:39 PM on May 31, 2004

Here is an article that was linked somewhere last week describing the unlocking of cellphones for use on other networks. This site was linked to in the article.
posted by planetkyoto at 3:39 PM on May 31, 2004

It's an Ericsson (sp) T68i ... a friend wants to get rid of it. He's ditching AT&T for Verizon. I've heard good things about the T68i's in an earlier thread here somewhere.
posted by namespan at 3:44 PM on May 31, 2004

The T68i is a GSM phone and Verizon doesn't have a GSM network so it won't work. T-Mobile and some Cingular regions use GSM so with the unlock code you can use it on those networks.
posted by birdherder at 4:20 PM on May 31, 2004

What I meant is... I have T-Mobile, and he thinks he may be willing to sell me the phone for around $20-30. He knows he can't take the phone with him if he goes Verizon. But if we can unlock it affordably, that might be a good deal.

Where it gets more interesting is that I have a Sanyo 4900 that I used under Sprint for a while. If we can unlock that too, then we could just trade, for whatever the unlocking fees are, which might be more affordable all around.
posted by namespan at 4:31 PM on May 31, 2004

ohhh... then yes you could use the t68i on t-mobile if you get it unlocked. however, i don't think you unlock the sprint phone and use it on verizon.
posted by birdherder at 5:36 PM on May 31, 2004

Here is one site that can help you. My best advice to google "free unlock t68i" until you get lucky. I've unlocked three phones, in the past 2 weeks, for free already (I love buying/switching phones).
posted by BlueTrain at 6:00 PM on May 31, 2004

When I had my T68i unlocked, a shop had to to do it for me --- needed a special cable. I know some of the Nokia phones can be unlocked by punching in a code, but not the sony ericsson phones.
posted by nathan_teske at 9:04 PM on May 31, 2004

My experience is similar. I was able to unlock my Nokia after downloading a key generator. The site I found that at was Nokia specific, but I found that site through a discussion board: Howard Forums.
posted by smcniven at 5:37 AM on June 1, 2004

Be warned, though, that not every service company will agree to let you use some other company's phone; we have US Cellular at the moment, and they got really hinky at us for bringing in my mother-in-law's old AT&T phone to be added to our plan. Grr.
posted by mimi at 6:33 AM on June 1, 2004

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