Droid 3 SIM unlock discussion

Discussion in 'Motorola Droid 3' started by leobg, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. STVA
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    STVA New Member

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    Did you call the global services number? It is different than the normal customer service line and it is not surprising that the standard CS reps are clueless.
  2. jrtstinkfish
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    jrtstinkfish New Member

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    I bought a Droid 3 to use on our upcoming Eurotrip with a non-Vodafone SIM, and was just going sell it when I got back. I'm not a Verizon customer, but a friend of mine is, and he called Verizon to get the unlock code and was told by Global that he would have to deactivate one of his current phones and activate the Droid 3 to get the code. This seems to go against everything I've read here. He is a longtime customer in good standing with 4 lines on the account. Am I just destined to use my dinky unlocked Motorola Pebl, or does anyone know of a way to sweet talk them into it? He told them he bought the phone just for the trip and did not want to deactivate his Thunderbolt, but to no avail.
  3. KuddlKat
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    KuddlKat New Member

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    Called Verizon's tech support number today for my D3's unlock code. Took a while and some explaining to be transferred to a Global Service rep. This is my 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] attempt to get the code. Both attempts I was told I had to read through the standard T&C which they would send to my e-mail address on the account. Still never received the T&C, but this time she gave me the 8-digit unlock code.

    I'll try it tonight if I can find my old T-Mobile SIM. Cross your fingers.
  4. KuddlKat
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    KuddlKat New Member

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    Unlocked

    Found it in my old Motorola MING. Popped in the SIM and turned on the D3. It came up requesting the unlock code, so punched that in and it was "successful." I switched over to GSM/UTMS Only and it identified a T-Mobile network (locked, of course).

    So, I'm ready for my trip to London next month. All I'll need to do is find some place around Heathrow that sells a prepaid SIM with a decent data plan so I can use Google Navigation and Skype.
  5. silver6054
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    silver6054 New Member

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    Since this is a little old, may be you solved it by now, but anyway! This IS consistent with what has been said in many places, the phone to be unlocked has to be active on a Verizon line (along with the other conditions). But you can activate it, get it unlocked, and then activate the old phone without any waiting. However, I would be wary of doing this with a 3G-4G mix. Does he have a 3G phone on one of the other lines?
  6. silver6054
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    silver6054 New Member

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    You can get them from vending machines at Heathrow, but of course that makes it hard to find out the rates. Check online first, look at say the UK sites for Orange, T-Mobile, Vodafone, "3", and then resellers such as Talkmobile (which I use), Tescos etc. Mobile stores are almost everywhere on high streets.
  7. KuddlKat
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    KuddlKat New Member

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    Yep, been looking online and the consensus has been Orange, 3, or O2. I'll mainly be just hunting for one that does unlimited data or something close to that, but I'll be sure to get all the details before purchasing. We'll only be over there for 10 days.

    Hope I can remember to call it a 'mobile' and not a cell. :wink:
  8. silver6054
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    silver6054 New Member

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    Yes, forgot O2 for some reason. Unlimited or "big" on PAYG isn't easy, so the Dolphin SIM on orange offers "unlimited" internet, but that is really capped at 100MB per month, which isn't much! On the Talkmobile SIM, you get 25MB per day for 10p (~15c) and each MB above that is also 10p. That is enough for me for email and navigation without Wifi, but of course watching a movie would be expensive!
  9. BennyLecter
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    BennyLecter New Member

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    Hello All,

    I have a Droid 3 with Verizon; after spending around 1 hr, although I called since the very beginning to the Verizon Global Support, I was able to unlock my D3; As somebody else mentioned already, the standard CS have no clue on this to be even possible, so you need to dig on it for a while.

    ok, this is my issue...

    I have a SIM/Chip from Telcel MEXICO and I am planning to travel there soon; This chip as far as I know worked well in MX, it was purchased on Oct 2011. Before called Verizon I installed this chip, after turned on the D3 it prompted a message requesting the SIM unlock code; so I entered the code provided, and IT WORKED!!!; but... I have been trying to set up the GSM network (I am still in California, US), just to test that everything is ok, but I all the time get NO GSM signal, as if the SIM itself is not working at all; I've read in this discussion from some forum members, that as long as I am in the US, the GSM network won't work. Does anybody have tested unlocked D3 using TELCEL in Mexico? or I will have perhaps to test this when I am physically in MX?

    Thank you!
  10. leobg
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    leobg Member

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    While you are in USA you will not get service, this is normal. D3 has a restriction of using other USA carriers. Once it sees the Mexican operator it will connect and work fine.
    You will need to define access points for the data connection or you will not get data via the cellular network. Google around for them. There are also few apps available on Android market such as APN Global which can do this for you.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2011
  11. BennyLecter
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    BennyLecter New Member

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    Thank you for your prompt answer!

    I wil update my results.

    Best Regards!
  12. haider
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    haider New Member

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    Final Questions

    Hey, I am from India and am planning to get a droid 3 through my cousin in NY city.I've got a few last questions though :

    1) Il be paying the full retail price of 460$ , are there any additional taxes ?

    2) Is subscribing to a data plan necessary ? How much will that add to the cost ? What happens to it when I get the phone to India ?

    3) What are the requirements for asking Verizon for the unlock codes ? As in, will they just need the IMEI ?
    (Basically with the phone here with me, can my cousin call up Verizon for the codes since he himself uses a Verizon contract phone ? )

    4) Are 3rd party codes working now ?
  13. kanundrum
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    kanundrum New Member

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    Hi All

    Have a few questions about providers abroad

    Going to the following places if anyone can reccomoend a good provider and your normal locations I can pick up sim cards at :

    1. Dublin/Shanon ireland (will need for 6 days)
    2. Scottland (Only 2 days)
    3. Italy 6 Days (Venice ancona and rome)


    Any reccomendation on carriers?

    Thanks! Will be calling up vzw in a bit to get my unlock code.
  14. robotbldmom
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    robotbldmom New Member

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    Hello everyone,
    I am very hopeful that someone much more knowledgeable than I will be able to answer these questions. I have a Droid 3, I know that there are two sim cards one of which s the global and the other is the "Verizon" card. If I travel to Germany and have my global sim turned on by Verizon, I can use my service in Germany however the rates are really high.
    So my first question is this: can I take my Verizon sim and the Global sim out of my Droid 3 and just buy a prepaid sim?? Also second question: how do I use data like "google maps"? Is data include on the european prepaid sim card?? And finally: Are there different types of prepaid sims like phone only or phone/data?? I am sorry for all the questions but us "moms" who do not travel as much in Europe still need to learn all this new technology. Please bear with me and answer as simply as possible. Thanks in advance....all information is appreciated.
  15. silver6054
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    silver6054 New Member

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    I'm not sure what you mean by two SIMs. I believe that the Droid 3 just has the Verizon (Vodafone) SIM, is the other an SD card? That is not a SIM!

    Yes, you can and should use a prepaid SIM. But first you need to get the phone unlocked. You call Verizon, and providing your account meets certain conditions (in good standing, been a customer something like 90 days or more, and haven't had another phone on that number unlocked in the past 10 months...) they will give you an unlock code. The first time you put in another SIM you will be asked to enter the code. Once the phone is unlocked it stays unlocked, i.e. there is no need to do this again for another SIM.

    Verizon might tell you that you can only unlock while you are out of the country. But it's better to confirm that the unlock code works before you are abroad and then find out it doesn't. You can get prompted for the unlock by using a friends AT&T or T-Mobile SIM. (You won't get any service in the US doing this, but you can confirm that the phone is unlocked).


    Re data: there are lots of different SIMs, with different data options. If you are just in Germany, you should get one for there, rather than a multi-country SIM, as the rates for a single country are usually much better. You can find Vodafone and T-mobile stores as well as others. You will probably need ID and a German address, such as your hotel. The right choice will depend on how long you will be there, how much data you think you will use, and coverage where you will be.

    The one thing to be aware of: a prepaid SIM gives you a new phone number, people will no longer be able to reach you on your US number. If that is a problem, you should probably keep the Verizon SIM.

  16. KuddlKat
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    KuddlKat New Member

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    There is only one SIM in the D3. Last New Year's, we bought a pre-paid T-MobileUK SIM when we got to Greenwich (SE of London) and used that for data. I think it was a 1-month for 500MB, but we were only there for just over a week so that was fine for Google Maps and Navigation.

    It was a small cell phone store called fonehouse. We had trouble getting the plan working. I think it was that we needed a local (to the country) credit card to register or send a SMS to register and we had to go back. He fixed us right up and we had full maps and internet everywhere we went on vacation around London.

    Just be sure to contact Verizon to get the unlock code for your DROID³ before you travel. If at all possible, borrow someone else's SIM (T-Mobile or AT&T) which will allow you to enter the unlock code. You won't actually be able to use the T-Mobile or AT&T USA network, but you will be able to tell if the unlock code worked. I used my old T-Mobile SIM that sat idle ever since I switched to Verizon on Nov 6, 2009.

    Hope this helps.
  17. KuddlKat
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    KuddlKat New Member

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    And.... everything that silver6054 said. :biggrin:
  18. robotbldmom
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    robotbldmom New Member

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    Thank you for the quick responses: i think I am almost there (in understanding this) so please bear with me for a few more questions, okay. Yes, I understand now the SD card is where all my own personal data and phone numbers are listed, is that correct? Would I need to remove this from the Droid 3 in order not to overwrite or damage my personal data?
    When I purchase a SIM card in Germany and I put it in the Droid 3, how do I activate the card, is this a difficult process and how would I know my "new" phone number?
    When you refer to the "unlock code" is that the same as calling Verizon and having them turn on my "global" feature?
    Would my voicemail continue to pick up the messages called to my US phone number? How would I then access my voicemail, can I do that online?
    When you suggest that i try the unlock code before I leave, will this affect my phone's use in the US. I am really unclear about this part of the procedure. I know, sorry, kinda new to all this.
    Thanks again for your patience.:biggrin:
  19. silver6054
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    silver6054 New Member

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    OK, a little bit more background..... Verizon, except for the 4G phones, uses a technology called CDMA (as does Sprint). This does NOT use a SIM card, so your phone would work fine in the US if you took the card out. (You might get a message about No SIM, but everything, voice, data, text would work fine). The SIM card is only needed for the other major technology, GSM, and that is what you would use in Germany. So unlocking the phone etc, doesn't impact your US service at all. When you return to the US, it will work fine, whether you leave the German SIM in, or replace it with the original one.

    SD card. Leave that in. It's used to store data for applications, photos, music etc. You will need it in if you use the phone camera. Using the SIM won't impact it, so it's absolutely fine to leave it in, and various things will work better.

    Unlocking the global feature: this is only if you are using the Verizon SIM abroad. What they do is activate the SIM and allow your phone to make international calls. If you are using a prepaid SIM, Verizon never gets to see the traffic, the phone has nothing to do with Verizon, until you return to the US.
    What the unlock code does is to allow you to put a non-Verizon SIM in the phone. By default, GSM carriers in the US, and Verizon on these phones, lock their phones so you cannot use them on other networks without their permission. Basically Verizon wants you to use their SIM because they can make a lot of money! With a prepaid SIM, unless you suspend the Verizon service, you just continue to pay the monthly charge, and all calls/data/texts are charged to your prepaid SIM. So, you need to talk to Verizon Wireless global and ask for them to unlock the phone so you can use a foreign SIM. (You need to be precise here, as some reps won't know what you mean. In particular, you don't want the code to unlock the screen, nor the PUK code for the SIM. Some reps are much more knowledgeable. Ask for Global Services) Not sure how long it is for the Droid 3, but they are often 8-16 digits. When you place a new SIM in the phone, you will see a prompt, and you just enter those digits and you are done forever with the unlock. Doing a factory reset, or even more extreme things (SBF), doesn't relock the phone.

    Activating the SIM. You will probably buy the SIM preloaded with some airtime. The store, especially if you go to a carrier store, will help. You may need to call a number to activate, or the purchase process may activate. The box the SIM comes in will have the phone number printed on, and you can also get it displayed from menus on the phone once the SIM is inserted.

    I don't know how long you will be there, if it is for any length of time, ask about top-up procedures. You can do this online, but US credit cards might not work for this, so best to get top-up vouchers or something if you expect to use up all your original prepaid time. Many stores will sell you top-ups (as do many ATMs, but don't know how well this works with a US card).

    Now to be fair this is the "happy story" version. Generally, if you get a current SIM, things should work OK, and the phone will automatically read needed information from the SIM to allow data to work. Otherwise you will need to set up an APN, which is fairly easy but writing it out makes it look intimidating. I can give you the information if you want!

    To save battery, when you get the SIM it makes sense to change the network mode to GSM: Look for something like Settings>Wireless & Networks>Mobile Networks and then select GSM/UMTS. The reason for this is if you leave it at the default Global setting, the phone searches for a Verizon signal (and it won't find one!) wasting power.

    Re Voice Mail. Yes, you can dial your usual number (with a +1 in front from your phone). When you get your greeting, press #. You will then be asked to enter your password etc and you can listen to your messages. There are probably other ways of doing this, but I find this the easiest.

    Thanks
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012
  20. robotbldmom
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    robotbldmom New Member

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    ^^^Silver: what great info...again thanks, I will take the additional info about APN if you don't mind. I will not be in Germany for long but my college kid will be there for 3 1/2 months (same phone type and service provider) and will need more data and service than I will. Any hints for student will also be appreciated. Is there any "one" best card in Germany as to price, length of stay, data usage etc? This forum has been very informative for a challenged mom :biggrin:
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