How should I go about unlocking a Canadian phone for use in Iceland?
August 27, 2009 9:55 PM   Subscribe

How should I go about unlocking a Canadian phone for use in Iceland? I have a compatible GSM phone but I have no idea how to go about unlocking it.

I'll be in Iceland this weekend, and I'll need a functional cell phone. Roaming isn't an option. I took a look through my stash of old phones for those compatible with the Icelandic GSM bands (800/1900), and it seems like the Motorola V235 should do the job.

I'm planning on buying a prepaid starter kit on Vodafone Iceland, but of course I need the phone to be unlocked first.

I'm on Fido... how should I go about getting an unlock code? Will it cost me anything?
posted by csjc to Technology (5 answers total)
Google your phone model and unlock. You can buy a code online for $10-20.
I've also had luck taking a phone to the local shady electronics street.
posted by k8t at 10:15 PM on August 27, 2009

I've used these guys before and been happy with their service. $18.99 to unlock a Fido Motorola phone.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:14 AM on August 28, 2009

Any North American GSM phone, even dual-band, will work in Iceland if Iceland supports 1900. So, first, your phone will indeed work.

To unlock it, I'd follow the suggestion by k8t and just get the unlock code online. This isn't as weird as it sounds- we bought the unlock code for my partner's v195 and it was just like any transaction, cost $15. The other option is to find an indie cell phone reseller- in Van that would probably mean poking around Surrey and Chinatown and such; just ask of they unlock mobile phones, but having done it I'd honestly just do the online option.

What they do is to send you an unlock code, and to unlock you need a SIM card that is different from the one that you use for your phone. You do NOT have to wait until you get to Iceland. Just find a friend who's on Rogers, for example, and ask to borrow his or her SIM card. It can be any SIM card; we unlocked my partner's phone-- which was locked to B-Mobile from Trinidad, as this was his phone he uses down there when visiting his family-- by my sticking in a Blau SIM card from Germany that had expired. When you power the phone up, you'll get a prompt asking for the unlock code, you enter it, and Bob's your uncle. Get the Vodafone kit and talk away. You also now have the option to, of you care to, switch to Rogers, get a US SIM card for trips down there, and since your phone is actually quad-band, use it all over most of the world and just buy new local SIM cards. The only place you can't talk is Japan since they're not GSM.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 8:28 AM on August 28, 2009

In addition to the suggestions above, you might also take a look at your phone contract. Many allow you to have the provider unlock the phone, for free, after you've had the phone for a specified length of time. No point in spending money needlessly, after all--that's why you're not planning to roam!
posted by brianogilvie at 12:41 PM on August 28, 2009

Have used uniquephones on numerous occasions, they have never left me down.
posted by patphelan at 5:51 AM on August 29, 2009

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