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Subject: How to unlock a cell phone
Customer's exact description:How do you unblock a phone # on a pansonic kxtga641 model?
Discussion: Problems of this type can be either Phone Locked, SIM card Locked, or Lost Password. Customer did not provide sufficient detail to narrow the problem.
Solution: Provide instructions on how to deal with all three possibilities.
There are two cell phone technologies that are used by the majority of the world's mobile phone service providers: Global System for Mobile communication (GSM) and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA). If you have a CDMA phone, then your phone is not unlockable. End of story. However, if your phone operates on a GSM network, then it might be unlockable.
What's the difference? GSM phones use subscriber identity module (SIM) cards. A SIM card is a small card that's inserted into the phone. It contains all your contacts and settings, and it's linked to your account. You can take the SIM card out, put it into another phone, and if someone calls your number, the new phone will ring. You can also put a different SIM card in your unlocked phone, and your phone will then work with whatever phone number and account is linked to that card. CDMA phones have no SIM cards and must be authenticated by the service provider, which makes unlocking a phone impossible.
If a phone is locked, the service provider has installed some software on the phone that ties the subscriber ID number on the SIM card to the serial number of that particular phone. If the SIM card and phone serial number don't match, the phone simply won't work. The SIM card won't work in other phones, and the phone won't work with other SIM cards.
If you live in North America, you can usually determine whether your phone is GSM or CDMA based on the service provider you use. T-Mobile and AT&T use GSM, while Verizon and Sprint use CDMA. In Europe, almost all phones are GSM.
How can you tell if your phone is already unlocked? In Europe, unlocked phones are more common. In fact, many countries have cell phone portability laws that make it illegal for a company to lock a phone to a specific account (though these laws seem to change frequently). In North America, fewer phones are sold unlocked. If you received a phone for free or at a very low price when you signed a contract for your cell phone service, your phone is almost certainly locked.
There's an easy way to find out for sure: Find a friend whose phone is known to be unlocked. Have your friend place his or her SIM card in your phone, and then call your friend's number. If your phone rings, you know your phone is unlocked. If your phone simply generates an error message, then it's locked.
Problem areas: The question most honest people ask me is, "Is it legal to unlock a cell phone?" In Europe, the answer is generally yes. Though laws differ from country to country, they tend to favor consumers over companies. In the United States, the answer is also yes. The U.S. Copyright Office issues rulings every three years, and in 2006, they declared that unlocking a cell phone does not infringe on the copyright of the phone manufacturer or service provider, and therefore isn't prohibited.
In order to provide the customer with precise information, one must have the following information.
• Phone description including the make and model.
• The name of the subscriber's carrier (a.k.a. service provider).
• Information as to whether it is the phone or the SIM that is locked.
Possible solutions: The process of unlocking a phone is actually quite simple, and doesn't require any technical knowledge. There are three accepted methods for accomplishing the unlocking. For some phones, you just have to enter a numeric code into the phone. For a fee, some service providers will even give you the proper unlock code for your phone. There are also third party companies that provide cell phone unlock codes for a fee that ranges from $5 to about $25, depending on the model of phone you have.
There is a very high probability that your carrier will unlock your phone at one of its retail outlets. Manufacturers provide their customers (AT&T, Verizon, Nextel, etc.) with the unlock codes. However, if you - the ultimate consumer - write to Sony-Ericsson, LG, Motorola, Nokia, etc. and request an unlock code, that request will be refused. However, be forewarned that some service providers will charge you a fee for unlocking your phone.
Secondly, you can unlock your phone on your own. For some phones, you just have to enter a numeric code into the phone. I don't hand out these numbers because they vary from company-to-company and usually don't work, But if you have the patience, there are several instructional videos on www.youtube.com that provide some useful data. However, I don't recommend them because most of these videos are only free to look at. Yes they are trying to sell you something, like their service.
CNET has several pieces of free software that claim to unlock phones. Click on the following link and perhaps you can find something of interest. Universal Free Unlock Codes Calculator
Lastly, for a fee, there are third party companies that provide cell phone unlock codes at a cost that ranges from $5 to about $25, depending on the model of phone you have. The only company that I recommend is Freedom Unlock
and the fee for most popular phones is about Five (5.00) USD. I have no interest in this company and my only contact has been in researching their website.
A PUK (PIN Unlock Key) code is required to unlock SIM cards that have become locked following three successive incorrect PIN entries. If your SIM card becomes locked, you will need to get a PUK code from AT&T to unlock your SIM card.
Since I don't know the name of you carrier, I'm using AT&T as an example. Most carriers use the same methodology though the wording may be different.
You can obtain your phone's PUK code from AT&T in one of these ways:
• Log in to myAT&T online
• Use our Technical Support Chat.
• Contact Customer Care
To get your phone's PUK code online:
? Log in to myAT&T.
? From the myAT&T tab at the top of the page, hover over the Wireless link and select Phone/Device under the My Wireless Service heading.
? From the My Phone/Device screen, select the Unblock SIM Card link under the My Make & Model heading.
? The Unblock SIM screen will display your PUK code and will give you instructions for unblocking your SIM Card.
Once you receive your PUK code, you will need to enter it into your phone to set a new PIN code.
Note: If you enter the wrong PUK code 10 times in a row, your SIM card will be invalidated, and you will need to purchase a new SIM Card. The phone will display the following error: "PUK blocked call operator."
You can also do it without any assistance from anyone. However, be sure to read the following carefully because there are pitfalls. If you want to try to do it yourself, just click on the following link:Universal Software Solution for Unlocking a SIM Card
Although most people remember their primary SIM PIN code, those other codes - used for various verification purposes - are never to be found when needed. Below I've included a set of short codes which, when entered on a handset's standby screen, will let you easily change PIN and PUK (short for Pin Unlock Code) codes - but keep in mind, they may not work with all handsets and mobile operators.
More importantly, when changing one's PUK codes there'll be no help to get from the mobile operator if the new codes are forgotten, so make sure to write any changes down alongside the old PUK codes.
The following methodology does not work for every phone. Perhaps you'll be lucky. Also, please note that the codes should be entered without the spaces shown below.
Change SIM Card PIN
** 04 * old PIN * new PIN * new PIN #
Change SIM Card PIN 2 (Write down the new code)
** 042 * old PIN * new PIN * new PIN #
Change SIM Card PUK (Write down the new code)
** 05 * old PUK * new PUK * new PUK #
Change SIM Card PUK 2 (Write down the new code)
** 052 * old PUK * new PUK * new PUK #
Display Handset IMEI
*# 06 #
This was wordy but hopefully it helped you.