Tuesday, April 19, 2011

How to unlock a blackberry phone in 10 simple steps

We got a blackberry from US and didn’t feel the need to unlock the phone till my E51 refused to power up after a total battery drain. I was left with no cell phone situation – which trust me is a very bad condition in the era of smartphones and 3G on almost all carriers (even if I was going to be in home all day long). So the blackberry was taken out from its 6 month long hibernation and I was initially doubtful if it would even charge up for use. Thankfully, the blackberry didn’t let me down! Next step was to unlock the phone. There are several guys in India in every gully who claim to unlock US phones of any make/model/carrier. Few of them might just do it right but in most cases, they end up removing the basic software and corrupting the phone along with all those dear apps or return the phone to you saying it can’t be done with this model – after holding your phone for at least a couple of weeks. We had a bad experience with two such guys with our iPhone – it still yearns to be unlocked!

So this time I decided that I was going to give it a try myself with the help of Google and YouTube. I took the bold step because, I had two blackberry of the same make but with a single battery (so in any case I could just use one blackberry at a time), therefore even if I screwed one up, there was a backup anyway! I was amazed to find that there were so many vendors who could help me unlock the blackberry and I must say I was mistrusting initially but nevertheless took the chance and I am really happy that I took the chance! Here is the steps that I followed to unlock the blackberry.

blackberry unlock

How I unlocked the blackberry

Step #1: Find the IMEI number of your mobile phone. This can be done by typing *#06# on the key pad

blackberry unlock1Step #2: Go to the below website:  www.unlockcellphonecode.com. The best part about using unlockcellphonecode.com is that they are the cheapest amongst all others on the internet. The cost for my blackberry was just $9.99 which is pretty cheap compared to what the local unlock-wallas ask for. Here you will see a form where you have to enter the following details:




* Select the country and carrier database  from the drop down list

* Select the right carrier/provider of your mobile

* Select the right blackberry model

* Enter the IMEI number – I was a little apprehensive about giving out the IMEI number- but now I know it was completely safe to do so.

Step #3: Click on Add to Cart

Step #4: You can pay through PayPal or through Google checkout

You will get a confirmation upon payment along with an invoice number and you will also get an email confirmation. You will also receive a user name and password along with the link where you can check the code. Follow the instructions in the email. This e-mail will be where you will also get the unlock code.

Then comes the waiting part.  Since this was an online transaction and as there was no contact number available on the website, the waiting part was a bit scary I must admit. They say that codes are available in 2-4 hours time, but it took 8 hours in my case. So don’t panic if you don’t see the code in you inbox within 4 or 6 hours.

Once you get the code, you will have to do 2 simple steps to unlock the phone:

Step #5: Remove the old SIM card from the blackberry and power it on (You can either have the new SIM card inserted or you can do this with no SIM in the phone – that makes no difference)blackberry unlock2

Step #6: Go to Options –> Advanced Options –> SIM Card. Now enter the following in the keypad: meppd

You will see that the Network option shows “Active”. This means that the phone is locked to the network of the provider

Step #7: Now enter the following on your keypad: mepp alt2 without any space between them. 

blackberry unlock3Step #8: You will see “Enter Network MEP Code (256 left)” This number 256 is the number of attempts for you to enter the MEP Code. You are lucky if you have these many attempts left. But if you exhaust all of those attempts, the phone gets hard locked to the carrier and there will the nothing you can do to unlock the phone.

Step #9: Enter the unlock code that you received in the email. This will unlock the phone and you will now see that the Network also shows “Disabled”. This is perfectly alright, it just means your phone is no longer tied to the carrier

blackberry unlock4

Step#10: If you had not inserted the new SIM card earlier, do it now. Usually the right carrier gets selected automatically. If it does not go to Options—> Mobile Network and search for available network and choose the right carrier from among the list.

Now you will have an unlocked Blackberry!!

Did this help you? Have you unlocked through any other better way? Do share your thoughts!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Introducing the world of 3G to Indian mobile consumers–A review of 3G service providers and their tariffs

After mobile number portability it is now time for the telecom industry to woo the customers to the latest in the industry. Yes indeed, 3G is the talk of the town. With 3G available from all the major service providers both for their pre-paid and post-paid consumers, everyone can now experience ‘on the go’ internet experience from their smart phones. What remains to be seen is how the Indian consumers are going to embrace this technological advance. And this to a great extend will depend on the data plans and tariffs that the service providers will offer. I have compiled a list of major 3G service providers along with the details of their post paid charges (wherever available).

Comparison of the tariffs and service

3G service

Of all these, Vodafone’s deal is currently the best as one gets to try the 3G experience ‘at no extra cost’. But when Vodafone will start charging for the service, I guess BNL will get back to be he best again. Not only are the charges vey nominal, the service is also good. I find Airtel to be the costliest amongst the lot (They even charge you at 50paise per minute on Customer service calls – that’s pathetic!). I have personally tried Airtel and BSNL and from my experience, I find BSNL beat Airtel hands down I terms of cost, browsing speed and issueless connectivity. Airtel has intermittent breaks in connection and is relatively slow in comparison. Vodafone, I heard lives up to the ‘Super man’ zoo-zoo levels of expectation. (Again Vodafone did come up with the best series of Ads for 3G – they seem to have on hell of a creative team)

3G tariffs

State wise list of service providers:

Here is the details of 3G service provides in different states:

State Service provider
Andhra Pradesh Bharati Airtel, Idea, Aircel
Assam Reliance Telecom, Bharati Airtel, Aircel
Bihar Bharati Airtel, STel, Aircel, Reliance Telecom
Delhi Bharati Airtel, Reliance Telecom, Vodafone
Gujarat Idea, Vodafone, Docomo
Haryana Idea, Vodafone, Docomo
Himachal Pradesh R C0m, Idea, STel, Bharati Airtel
Jammu & Kashmir Aircel, Reliance Telecom, Bharati Airtel, Idea
Karnataka Bharati Airtel, Docomo, Aircel
Kerala Idea, Docomo, Aircel
Kolkata Reliance Telecom, Vodafone, Aircel
Madhya Pradesh Idea, Docomo, Reliance Telecom
Maharashtra Idea, Docomo, Vodafone
Mumbai Bharati Airtel, Reliance telecom, Vodafone
North East R com, Bharati Airtel, Aircel
Orissa STel, Aircel, R com
Punjab Docomo, Idea, Reliance Telecom, Aircel
Rajasthan Docomo, Reliance Telecom, Bharti Airtel
Tamil Nadu Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Aircel
Uttar Pradesh (East) Aircel, Idea, Vodafone
Uttar Pradesh (west) Docomo, Bharti Airtel, Idea
West Bengal Bharti Airtel, Reliance Telecom, Vodafone, Aircel


Even though 3G is  the hot cake now, the usage will greatly depend on competitive pricing. Also as a smart phone (like iPhone, android models or Nokia smart phones) is a basic necessity for this service, that will also act as a dampening factor. Nevertheless, I believe that this revolutionary technology will reach the masses very soon even if the service is priced quite on the higher side now. I am sure the charges will settle down to customer friendly rates within a short time – remember when cellphones came to India, incoming calls were charged at Rs.65 per min and today we are paying homage to 1 paise/min!

What do you think? Do you have 3G enabled handsets? What 3G service do you use and how do you like it – Please share your views!