SIM network unlock PIN, what the?

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I'm a Contributor Level 2 cbsewell
I'm a Contributor Level 2

SIM network unlock PIN, what the?

I brought my own unlocked phone to FIDO, a Samsung Galaxy XCover 4. When I first put the FIDO SIM in, I noticed it competely erased my phone.  It must have also locked it to FIDO, because I am now trying to sell it and when the buyer put their own SIM card in (Freedom Mobile), it asked for a "SIM network unlock PIN", which neither of us knew.

 

Just to be clear, this is not a FIDO branded phone.  I didn't buy it from FIDO.  So why does it now appear to be locked to FIDO and how can I unlock it?

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Re: SIM network unlock PIN, what the?

Hello Cbsewell,

 

  As of December 2017, all cellphones sold in Canada are required to be sold unlocked as per CRTC Wireless Code (see also here). If you have a locked phone, it can be unlocked without charge.

 

  Generally, Canadian Samsung phones undergo a process called SIM Profiling once a SIM is first inserted (see here). Prior to December 2017, that process also SIM-locked the phone to the provider. If your phone was purchased prior to that date or Staples still had stock of those older model phones, your phone would have also SIM-locked as well since the process is built-in by the manufacturer. The current Staples listing for the phone does state: Device will lock to carrier once a SIM card is inserted. That suggests their stock for that phone would have been prior to the Wireless Code changes.

 

  I understand the Wireless Code stipulates that locked phones can be unlocked free of charge. However, since the phone was not purchased from Fido, I'm not sure whether they'll be able to provide the unlock code for the device. You might consider contacting Samsung Canada to help unlock the device. Alternatively, there are third-party unlocking services. That said, I'm not sure whether they would charge for their services in this case.

 

**edit** Assuming you are able to unlock the phone, are you sure the phone will work with Freedom? There appears to be conflicting information online regarding the phone's bands/frequencies. Some sources suggest it has '3G' UMTS (WCDMA) band 4 (1700/2100MHz or AWS), while others suggest it's band 1 (2100MHz). Voice and messaging services on Freedom would require band 4 on the '3G' network**

 

Hope this helps 😀

 

Cheers

 

 

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I'm a Legend Level 1
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Re: SIM network unlock PIN, what the?

Hello @cbsewell if the phone was unlocked it should have not locked to Fido when you put the SIM card in. Where did you originally got the phone from and how was it unlocked? 

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I'm a Contributor Level 2 cbsewell
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Re: SIM network unlock PIN, what the?

The phone was purchased from Staples and was not locked when I bought it. If you don't purchase the phone from the carrier itself, it should not be locked to the carrier. Isn't that a law in Canada?

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I'm a Contributor Level 2 cbsewell
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Re: SIM network unlock PIN, what the?

Fido support was of no help at all. They tell me the phone shouldn't be locked but cannot explain how it is locked.  The only SIM card that was ever in the phone from the day of purchase was Fido's.  The phone was not purchased from Fido, so there's nothing they can do. 

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Re: SIM network unlock PIN, what the?

Hello Cbsewell,

 

  As of December 2017, all cellphones sold in Canada are required to be sold unlocked as per CRTC Wireless Code (see also here). If you have a locked phone, it can be unlocked without charge.

 

  Generally, Canadian Samsung phones undergo a process called SIM Profiling once a SIM is first inserted (see here). Prior to December 2017, that process also SIM-locked the phone to the provider. If your phone was purchased prior to that date or Staples still had stock of those older model phones, your phone would have also SIM-locked as well since the process is built-in by the manufacturer. The current Staples listing for the phone does state: Device will lock to carrier once a SIM card is inserted. That suggests their stock for that phone would have been prior to the Wireless Code changes.

 

  I understand the Wireless Code stipulates that locked phones can be unlocked free of charge. However, since the phone was not purchased from Fido, I'm not sure whether they'll be able to provide the unlock code for the device. You might consider contacting Samsung Canada to help unlock the device. Alternatively, there are third-party unlocking services. That said, I'm not sure whether they would charge for their services in this case.

 

**edit** Assuming you are able to unlock the phone, are you sure the phone will work with Freedom? There appears to be conflicting information online regarding the phone's bands/frequencies. Some sources suggest it has '3G' UMTS (WCDMA) band 4 (1700/2100MHz or AWS), while others suggest it's band 1 (2100MHz). Voice and messaging services on Freedom would require band 4 on the '3G' network**

 

Hope this helps 😀

 

Cheers

 

 



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I'm a Contributor Level 2 cbsewell
I'm a Contributor Level 2

Re: SIM network unlock PIN, what the?

Well, I'm happy to say the whole unlock thing is straightened out, no thanks to Fido support. The IMEI wasn't in the Fido database so they couldn't help. My next step was to contact Samsung for some the unlock PIN for the IMEI. Thank heavens I saved the box for the phone, because the unlock code was printed on the sticker next to the IMEI.  Who knew?

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I'm a Contributor Level 2 cbsewell
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Re: SIM network unlock PIN, what the?

This might be particular to Samsung phones. I've looked at the stickers on a couple of other phone boxes I have and no SIM network unlock PIN was mentioned. Something to keep in mind if the problem arises with another Samsung phone, either moving to Fido from another carrier, or moving to another carrier from Fido.

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