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Old 11-03-2006, 04:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Can someone please explain to me what it means to have an unlocked phone? Does that mean you can use it with any carrier? How does one do that? Just buy the phone and call up the carrier and get it activated? Sorry for the stupid question...

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Old 11-04-2006, 01:34 AM   #2 (permalink)
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When you purchase a phone from a provider, it is locked to that provider. Once the phone is unlocked, it will work on any other provider with the same type of signal. For example, an unlocked Blackberry 8700c will work on Cingular and Tmobile (GSM) but not Verizon (CDMA). For instructions on where and how to unlock your phone, just use the Search feature at the top of the page, it's been discussed many many times.
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Old 11-04-2006, 01:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Basically it means you can use it with any other GSM carrier (which basically means you can use it with Cingular or T-Mobile.)

All you have to do is put your SIM card into the device (if you already have service) and call up your provider to add a BlackBerry plan. If you don't already have service, then you just need to call the carrier of your choice to establish it and tell them you don't need a phone (or take the 'free' one, since most carriers will make you sign a contract to establish service anyway, you might as well get a backup phone,) and they'll mail you a SIM card that you can put into the BB and use it.
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Old 11-05-2006, 02:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Here's another example. I have had service with Cingular for quite some time. In the past when I wanted a new phone I would buy it from Cingular. It would come setup to use on their system and I would remove the sim from my old phone, install in the new phone then it's ready to go.

Where the sim card is concerned, think of it as a stand alone part. No matter where (which carrier) your sim card comes from it has the same standard data on it. Your personal info, your mobile number etc. unique to that sim only. As you use it and depending on which carrier, other information is added. Like your contacts phone numbers, etc.

Again, using myself as an example, my sim card was issued to me by Cingular. The first time I learned of unlocked phones, I wanted to try one. So I went online and bought one from a company that sells unlocked phones from a variety of manufacturers.

The phone I got was a new Nokia designed to be used in Europe, the phone arrived in a new sealed box. I simply opened it up, inserted my sim card, charged the battery and then turned it on. Now came the fun part as I watched it go through an auto setup routine and after a minute or two it was ready to go. The first thing I did was to call my voicemail by pressing #1. I was so amazed as not only did it dial in properly but it also dialed my password automatically and played my voicemails. So setup was a no brainer.

That's a snapshot of how easy it is. We have a lot of choices of phones, many of those that are not even offered in the U.S. The main consideration when buying unlocked phones is that they will operate on the frequencies your carrier uses. QuadBand phones will work on any GSM network. Tri band phones only work if your carrier does not use GSM 850 band.

Here is a link to look at unlocked phones:
GSMArena.com - GSM reviews, opinions, votes, manuals, ringtones and more...

Cheers...
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Old 11-06-2006, 10:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I unlocked my 7130c just two days after it arrived. As a long time Cingular customer, they didn't hesitate to give me the unlock code over the phone. I just had a thought however, how does the IT policy work with respect to the SIM card?

When I switched out Cingular for Meteor in Ireland, (before I was connected to my BES), Meteor required a password whenever I turned on the phone. Now, my IT policy requires one as well, but a different password. The IT policy isn't on the SIM, so will this phone still operate properly when using non Cingular SIMs? Anyone have experience with this?
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Old 11-06-2006, 03:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry 7100g: BlackBerry7100/4.1.0 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102)

Now, when I have a "two year contract" with Cingular, is that with the phone or the phone number? What I wonder is if I were to hey an unlocked phone, put my existing sim card in, would I have to pay any kind of fees or will just swapping the sim card be good enough?
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Old 11-07-2006, 04:02 AM   #7 (permalink)
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slance66 - The IT Policy is on the BB and not associated with the SIM card. There are several password layers on phones.

macbrando - the contract is with the phone number.
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