If you are clueless about unlocking a BlackBerry Curve, this article has exactly what you need to know. Unlocking a phone is quite a simple process, as you will discover further. All it takes is a MEP code from the carrier and following some simple instructions.
Unlocking Without Carrier Permission is Illegal Now
With effect from 26th January 2013, unlocking a newly purchased phone, without carrier permission is illegal in USA. This ruling doesn’t apply to phones purchased before the declaration date.
In case you are using a Blackberry Curve 8320, 8900, 9310, 9320, 8500, 8300 series phone or any other model and if AT&T or T-mobile is the cell company you are subscribed to, your mobile will mostly be locked to their service exclusively. Cell phone locking prohibits your phone from connecting to any other GSM cellular service provider, by use of any other SIM card. Does that mean your Blackberry Curve is tethered to the same cell phone service provider for life? No, absolutely not. There are ways of unlocking the phone and switching to other subscribers. However, as mentioned above, unlocking any phone purchased after 26th January, without procuring the MEP number from the carrier network, is illegal. Considering that you got the phone for a subsidized price, it’s unfair to illegally sever your connection with the network, when you haven’t fully paid for the phone. If you have paid full retail price for the phone or you have paid for the phone through usage of carrier services and your account is in good standing with them, getting your unlock code is quite straightforward.
How to Unlock a Blackberry Curve Legally?
This is a small tutorial explaining the unlocking of your BlackBerry Curve. There are many ways of doing this. The cell phone service provider, your phone is locked to, can unlock it for you on air or it can provide you with an unlock code, that you must enter. There are other hardware hacks that can unlock the cell phone for you, but those are not recommended and entirely illegal now. Most people are unaware that Blackberry mobile phones can be easily unlocked through the service provider, by making a request. When you are traveling abroad and out of your cell phone service provider’s coverage area, it’s better to use another SIM card and switch over to a local network. For that to happen, you must first unlock your BlackBerry Curve. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to go about unlocking it.
Step 1: Procure IMEI Number
Note down the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number of your BlackBerry Curve. This number is the unique identifier for your phone and you will need it, to get your phone unlocked. To retrieve the number, you will have to type *#06# in your phone. Immediately, you will see the 15 digit IMEI number displayed on-screen. Note it down accurately.
Step 2: Get the Unlock Code
The cell phone software is so programmed, that unlocking is only possible by entering a special unlock code, provided by the cell phone service provider. Unlocking of the phone means severing connection from your current cell phone service provider. To get the unlocking code, you must first contact the service provider’s customer care department. They will first verify your account details, ask for the IMEI number and then ask you for an email address to send the unlock code. The number generally arrives within 24 to 48 hours. The procedure for the procurement of the unlock code may vary with service providers. Once you get the code, note it down. Some cell phone companies may only provide you with an unlock code after the completion of the contract duration that they have with you. Now you are ready to unlock your BlackBerry Curve. Here are stepwise guidelines.
Step 3: Insert SIM and Power Up
Keep the unlock code and IMEI number in front of you. You must have a SIM card (inactive or active) inside the phone for the following procedure to work. Insert the SIM card and switch on the phone.
Step 4: Sever Wireless Connections
When the phone starts up, it might say something like ‘SIM Card Unauthorized‘. Firstly, visit the ‘Manage Connections‘ section, through the main menu and select the option – ‘Turn off all connections‘. This will sever all wireless connections with your BlackBerry.
Step 5: Type in ‘MEPD’
Next, you must go to ‘Menu‘ and select ‘Settings‘ option. Then choose ‘Advanced Options‘. Among the options that you see in the drop down list, select ‘Sim Card‘. Type MEPD through the keyboard (This need not be in capital). No text will appear on-screen, while you do this. You may see a list of phone settings with ‘Network Active‘ as one entry.
Step 6:Type in MEP2/MEP4
Then enter ‘MEP2’ in capital (Hold the Alt and press ‘E’ button to type ‘2’). Again the text won’t appear, as you type. Alternatively, if you have MEP4 code, enter ‘MEP4’. A window will appear and ask you to enter the unlock code.
Step 7:Enter Unlock Code, Restart Phone
Enter the unlock code correctly and your BlackBerry Curve is unlocked and you are now free to use any GSM service provider’s SIM card. This will be confirmed by a ‘Code Accepted‘ message. Just switch off the phone and switch it on again. Go to the main menu and select the ‘Restore Connections‘ option to be connected with the SIM card’s network. With that, you are essentially done. You may connect calls through your new network now.
Caution: Make sure that you enter the unlock code correctly, as only ten attempts are available. If you fail the ten attempts, your BlackBerry will get locked. So be careful when entering the code.
Once the phone is unlocked, you are free to switch over to any other cell phone service. Make sure that you have a valid unlocking code and understand the unlocking instructions clearly, before going ahead, as the phone will get locked with repeated failed attempts at entering the code. I again repeat that it is best to get your BlackBerry curve unlocked from your cell phone provider as they are bound to have the right codes. Going for other phone unlocking services is not recommended for new phones purchased after 26th January 2013 as it’s illegal by law.