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how much to unlock a phone and where do i do it?

(20 Posts)
Mammina Fri 11-Sep-09 17:01:51

that's it really, phone died, old phone is on different network

SomeGuy Fri 11-Sep-09 17:10:36

what phone is it. Completely depends on the phone. Could be free, could b e £20.

seeker Fri 11-Sep-09 17:11:44

I'ver just paid 10 pounds to unlock a T mobile phone to use on O2.

fruitshootsandheaves Fri 11-Sep-09 17:13:08

I unlocked mine for free using a code I found online after I'd paid orange £20 and their code never arrived anyway!

Search for your phone model online you might get lucky.

WebDude Fri 11-Sep-09 17:16:19

Depends a bit on the phone. I've seen suggestions that some (newer) phones cannot easily be unlocked.

It's not uncommon to see some small phone stalls at indoor/outdoor markets where they will charge a tenner, sometimes less on Ebay but much less of a guarantee - at least with a till receipt you have proof of payment (and if you take the other SIM with you...)

Some just use a sequence of * # and some numbers, but others need to have a cable plugged in and some specialist 'hacking' software used.

I've tended to buy either a new (cheap) phone on the network (from Argos / Asda) or an unlocked one on Ebay.

It's perhaps also worth pointing out that phones for Asda (which uses Vodafone) are all unlocked and not super-expensive, for the range they have. Most 'new' phones (ie released late 2008 or in 2009) will have very high cost for unlocked models though.

Not important this minute, perhaps, but SIMs for the Three network may not work with other network phones, simply because the Three network uses different frequencies, AFAIK.

The original Voda and Cellnet phones used 900 MHz frequency band, above the UHF TV sigs). Orange and T-Mobile use 1800 MHz, and many of the phones for those networks were therefore 'dual band' 900/1800 so in an emergency, could make a 999 call via a Voda/Cellnet cell on 900 MHz

Now if you look at phone specifications you will see dual band, tri-band, quad-band (as N America uses 1900 MHz not 1800). Never looked too closely at the quad-band phones. Anyway, Three uses 2100 MHz, so there's a chance their SIM won't work with phones not made for Three.

(Comments about other phones, networks, included in case someone else finds your thread.)

missmelly Fri 11-Sep-09 17:32:18

I called O2 yesterday about my phone (nokia n95). I was cancelling the contract as I'm going overseas and asked about unlocking. She said a lot of them are not locked anyway. I tried a vodafone sim in it and it worked.

Thought I'd mention just in case you havent tried a new sim yet

Mammina Fri 11-Sep-09 18:04:36

thanks everyone. it's a nokia, about 5 years old from what I remember. i'm sure i've tried a t-mobile sim in it before and didn't work (it's an orange phone)

SomeGuy Fri 11-Sep-09 18:37:18

nokia what? Some can easily be unlocked using online instructions. Others not

WebDude Fri 11-Sep-09 21:07:14

migola if it's 5 years old you might find it better to buy a new PAYG to put your current SIM into and flog the old Nokia on Ebay (indicating it is locked to Orange).

Most newer phones will have better battery life, and a new one may have the accessories like earplugs (if it plays MP3s or radio) and a camera (even on phones around 25 quid).

Mammina Sat 12-Sep-09 17:24:08

not sure, I need to find it to see what model it is!
webdude i don't think i'd get much for it on ebay though, plus i get a new one on my contract in 6 months' time. will see how much it is to unlock first, i'm really not bothered about fancy stuff i just need a phone grin

LeonieSoSleepy Sat 12-Sep-09 17:35:48

Message withdrawn

suzybsue Sat 12-Sep-09 17:44:22

Not sure you can get a Orange phone, to work on other networks.

Mammina Sat 12-Sep-09 18:05:57

not found the phone yet but found out which one it is - 6230

WebDude Sat 12-Sep-09 18:06:27

LeonieSoSleepy well, regards O2 and Voda, forgive me it I don't try another SIM in the phone bought for use on Voda, just in case it locks the phone (as I'm using that phone quite often).

Various posts on other discussion boards have suggested a mix of locked and unlocked regarding Vodafone phones.

Putting an Asda SIM (uses Voda network) in an O2 Sony Ericsson gives the message "Insert correct SIM card". I really would have loved it if you'd been correct.

LeonieSoSleepy Sat 12-Sep-09 18:13:36

Message withdrawn

LeonieSoSleepy Sat 12-Sep-09 18:14:44

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LeonieSoSleepy Sat 12-Sep-09 18:30:47

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Mammina Sat 12-Sep-09 20:17:24

leonie thank you so much

WebDude Sat 12-Sep-09 20:58:06

Yes, thanks for the link. to that Nokia unlocking site. One for the bookmarks.

I suppose Carphone Warehouse mught get "grey imports" (only kidding, in case their legal advisors look!) and they're not locked but it does seem rather 'hit and miss' depending on where one got the phone (eg on contract, at some/ no cost, or PAYG, in a network owned store) and when it was bought.

I have to say that in the past, unlocked mobiles were often the 400++ price ones on websites. Seeing Asda marking their own as all being "unlocked" and knowing how many people have done unlocking at markets or sell codes via Ebay, it's still far from uncommon to find phones that are locked to one network, IME.

Out of perhaps 10 phones I've bought via Ebay in last 10 years, 8 have been locked. One Nokia 8310 was unlocked, and a Motorola V2288 (imported from France, where locking to networks is banned)

paviya Thu 22-Nov-12 06:27:34

It's depends upon your mobile.
What's your mobile model no?
Using unlock code is the best way to unlock mobile phone.Nowadays there are many online unlocking code providers available.Recently i unlocked my Nokia mobile using unlock code.I bought unlock code from www.unlock-zone.com/nokia-5210/rs5wp9/ Here i bought Nokia 5210 AT&T unlocking service at $ 14.86.They provided my unlock code with simple unlock instructions via e-mail.So i easily unlocked my mobile within a day

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