The Blog Lives



Unlocking Phones

By Mike Lin

Canada finally (well, since September or something) has cell phone providers with interchangeable networks (for newer phones)! Incredible. It’s taken forever, but you can now not only take your number with you to a different provider, but also your phone… provided you can unlock it.

Cell providers don’t want to make it easier for you to leave than they legally have to, so they apply a ‘lock’ on phones you get from them which prevents their use on other providers’ networks.

Fortunately with many (most?) phones (but not iPhone) you can get a code that unlocks them for a small fee. I’ve done this on my last two phones. The first being a Rogers Blackberry 8900, and my new one, which is a Telus Motorola Milestone, an Android phone.  I unlocked both to use on Fido.

Steps (for Motorola and Blackberry):

  1. Buy phone from store like BestBuy.
  2. Get imei number (a phone id number) by typing *#06# into the phone.
  3. Send imei to unlocking service like mobileincanada.ca
  4. Pay $20, receive unlock code.
  5. When you put in your sim from a different provider, type in the unlock code and you’re done!

Pretty easy.

Unlocking an iPhone, in contrast, requires resources from the iPhone hacking community and is definitely not for most people.

So there you have it. You too can be free to have your cell provider of choice, with the phone of your choice (except iPhone).

Leave a comment