How to unlock your cellphone…

Great Article on PC Magazine’s website:

Now that the Copyright Office has given a green light to unlock your GSM or iDen phone, you can save money on a new phone – provided you can find it unlocked, or unlock it yourself. Depending on your phone, you might be able to do that by punching in a code, by buying a cable, or by sending it to a professional unlocking service. This applies to Cingular, T-Mobile and Nextel phones; Sprint, Verizon and Alltel subscribers are out of luck, for reasons I’ll explain below.

If you’ve had a T-Mobile phone for 90 days, or you’ve run out of time on a Cingular contract, you can get an unlocking code just by calling your carrier. Tell your carrier’s customer service representative that you’re traveling abroad and want to use a foreign carrier’s SIM card. If they don’t give you the code, stick by your guns and ask for a manager.

If you don’t fulfill those requirements – say you’ve just bought a phone off of eBay and it turns out to be locked, or you want to use a phone locked to a foreign carrier, or you want to make a prepaid phone into postpaid – you have a bunch of different options.

If you have an older or more basic Nokia phone, including the 1100, 6230, 6820 or 7650, you can use a free, online calculator to figure out your unlock code. Check out the instructions at and then use the calculator at to find the code.

Owners of a few GSM Pocket PC smart phones made by HTC – the Cingular 8125 and 8525, and T-Mobile MDA – can use another free tool, at

For most other phones, you have to buy something, whether it’s software or a service. Many phones, including Sony Ericsson phones, Blackberries, some Treos, some LG phones and HTC smart phones can be unlocked with software and a special cable, according to Alex Parkhomovich of in Astoria, NY. Running the software taps into a remote database of unlocking codes and transmits the right code to your phone. All told, expect to spend $15-60 for the cable and/or the license to unlock one phone.

I have a friend who is also a client, who is visiting Costa Rica right now. He purchased a Treo 650 from Cingular, at my suggestion. He is an international businessman who travels throughout Latin America. He called me yesterday to ask how to unlock his treo. He wants to get a local or prepaid SIM in all the countries he travels to.

I understand that Cingular will give it’s clients unlock codes if they request them. However, some Cellular users are not so lucky. This article should be a big help.

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