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Old 06-16-2007, 11:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Unlocked Blackberry with (International) Sim Cards

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I hate that my first post here is a beg, but there's no getting around it.

I am pretty much an eejit when it comes to mobile devices, so please forgive my utter ignorance on the workings of the BB.

The Background: While in Los Angeles recently, I purchased an 8100 (Cingular). When I returned home to North Carolina, coverage was sketchy at best (the phone kept showing "No Service" and "Searching for Network"), so I've sent the phone back.

The Situation: Meanwhile, I've bought an unlocked 8100 on ebay (thinking I'd use a sim card for a company with better coverage in my area). Phone looks great, but I can't seem to call up any network other than Cingular. The two sim cards I've inserted have been Vodafone (Australia) and T-Mobile (UK).

The Beg: Can anyone suggest why neither sim works, or what I need to do to get the Blackberry to recognize the cards? I know that it's reading them, because the messages stored on the sims are accessible. But it still gives the only available network as Cingular. Does this mean that the phone is actually not unlocked?

Would appreciate any help on this.

T
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Old 06-16-2007, 12:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Go to Options >Advanced Options >Sim card. While on the sim card page type M E P P D (you won't see anything on the screen while typing.)

That should bring up another screen. Next to "Network" it should say "Disabled or Inactive." If it says "Active" then the phone is still locked.

Also, the sim cards you're using may not even work here. Are they active accounts? If not, they won't work. What does it say on the main screen with those sim cards inserted?
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Old 06-16-2007, 02:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks John!

I input MEPPD and everything that came up on the next screen was listed as "Disabled." So, the Blackberry is unlocked, I just need a US sim card for it. Do you know if I should be able to use any US sim with the phone? Or maybe I should find out which carrier provides the best coverage for my area?

Thanks again for the handy tutorial!

T

PS The main screen shows that I can make an "SOS" call. And, on the Applications screen, there's a "Virgin Xtras" icon (Vodafone icon for the other sim card) for the inserted card.

The UK Virgin T-Mobile sim card hasn't been used in about 3 years (although I keep getting text messages from Virgin, welcoming me to the States and telling me what great rates I can get if I top up my card).

The Australian Vodafone sim card still has a few dollars' credit on it, but I don't think Vodafone is picked up here.
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Old 06-16-2007, 02:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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They sound like prepaid foreign sim cards. You will not get any BB data. Have you looked into SunCom? When I'm in North Carolina my TMo BB switches between SunCom and AT&T. You need a valid sim card to get anything at all.
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Old 06-17-2007, 10:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Right, I'll get a valid US sim card then. Thanks for the heads up on SunCom, but they don't cover my area (I'm in one of those middle-of-nowhere towns; even T-mobile only offers roaming service here). I can be content with prepaid until I move to a well-covered city in a couple of years.

Ta!

T
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