The nightmare of unlocking a phone on the Optus network

I spoke how easy it was to unlock a phone on the Vodafone network, now what about the Optus network?

Well turns out it is almost impossible.

Let’s say I acquire a phone locked to the Optus network;

Firstly, I need to know the Optus phone number associated with that phone when it was purchased from Optus.

Secondly, I need to know if it was purchased on a Plan or Pre-paid, yes, there are two different numbers for unlocking a phone on a plan or Pre-paid.

And lastly, only the original purchaser/owner can call the unlocking service.

I am not going to even bother going through these hurdles even though the original owner is my dad, I have the original number, and I could even verify I was the owner with known personal details.

It is a joke.

Now compare this to Vodafone who provided me the unlocking codes through a simple website.


Unlock a Sony Ericsson mobile locked to the 3 (Hutchison) network

I recently acquired a Sonya Ericson C903 handset, which was locked to the now defunct Three network (formerly Hutchison Australia) which was recently acquired by Vodafone.

Vodafone has a free service that provides the relevant unlocking code when given the IMEI number of the phone;

They will also provide the unlocking procedure as per the following document;

Sony Ericsson Unlocking Procedures

Now the problem is you need a working 3 network SIM, where do you get this from?

For free, you can go into any Vodafone store and ask for a ‘blank 3 SIM’, which you can use to allow you to follow the above Unlocking Procedure in store.

It is that easy.

Thanks to Vodafone for their free support helping unlock my phone.

Free GPS maps for Garmin MapSource

I discovered this amazing service the other day, I was aware of the OpenStreetMap project, user contributed global street maps, but I was unaware of the additional service which allowed you to download maps to be used on Garmin devices, including MapSource. Whilst Garmin produces some very comprehensive country maps, they miss some of the rarer countries, which OpenStreetMap have covered.

Central Asia free Garmin MapSource map

How to Unlock Garmin maps

For information only, How to Unlock Garmin maps.

First get your hands on the desired Garmin City Navigator Downloadable Update for your country/city (MapSource A).
In the compressed file should be the folders IMG, support and Windows plus a readme.txt.

You will need a version of Garmin MapSource 6.13.1 or older which does NOT support Unlocking via the internet (MapSource B).
This can be found in older version of the downloaded map update files (perhaps a 2007/2008 version).

Run the CN.msi installation file to install the old version of MapSource (B).

Run MapSource (B) and the UnlockWizard.

Now get your hands on Garmin Unlock Generator V1.5,
Enter your 10 digit Unit ID, and select map product <custom mapset>, enter the FID (MapID) of the newest Downloadable Update (the one you want to Unlock).
Click generate, copy the 25 digit map unlock code and paste this into the UnlockWizard.

At this stage you will have the older version of MapSource (B) with some old map.

Run the CNMENT2010Update_ENU.msi file in IMG folder (MapSource A).

Run MapSource (A). That’s it. The map should now be Unlocked.

Unlock the Nokia 6300 for under $10 with the iSIM

Here’s a quick post on a tested method to unlock a Nokia 6300. Well, not quite unlock a Nokia 6300 but trick the phone into thinking your SIM is of compatible carrier. I purchased the iSIM from eBay for $10 including shipping to Australia. When searching on eBay, search for “unlock 6300” and arrange by lowest price first.

The iSIM is a IC that goes in-between your phone and SIM card. The only drawback with this method is having to cut a 5mm by 5mm slot into your SIM card to allow the chip to sit flush (see below picture)

iSIM with cut Optus SIM card

I successfully tested the iSIM with a locked Nokia 6300 to Vodafone, with an Optus SIM card.