Mobile Phone Unlocking

Dad’s mobile phone was an experiment in keypad design that didn’t really work. The Nokia 3650 had the numbers in a circle around the navigation buttons, but he (and I) never got used to it. The phone got wet a few weeks back and hasn’t been working properly, so I figured I’d swap it for my now defunct Nokia 6600. The problem is that the 6600 is locked to the Orange network, and Dad’s on Vodafone. It’s perfectly legal to unlock your phone using non-official methods (unblocking – changing the IMEI number so that stolen phones can be used after being disabled – is very illegal) so I figured it was worth a go. I could take it to the local market, where anybody with a data cable would do it for a fee, or use an online generator.

There are various websites that provide the information, but it’s important to read up on the process as you’re only allowed five attempts to enter the correct code before the phone won’t let you try ever again – it must then be done via data cable or from the host network. To generate an unlock code you need to enter your IMEI number, phone model and host network. There’s also a ‘boxserial’ code that the software will take a best guess at. I didn’t need to change the default on this latter option, but it may be important for much older phones.

I removed the sim card, and first tried the software from I entered the details and it produced seven codes. Numbers one and seven, their recommended results, didn’t work, and I figured I’d try a different site just to see whether they produced the same codes. was next, and their phone list also contained the 6600e, which is the Orange specific version of my phone. I chose this and again seven codes were generated. Number seven did nothing. I entered number one nervously, as if this failed I’d only have the one attempt left. Then the ‘phone unlocked’ message appeared! Woohoo! I put Dad’s sim card in and…it still didn’t work. Damn! A bit of googling revealed that the 6600 is a little finicky, and sometimes needs another code entering. So I entered code number five, the recommendation, and again the unlocked message appeared. This time, however, the phone started up fine and immediately connected to Vodafone. Great!

I’ve since unlocked the 3650 to allow easy transfer of information, and again the codes from worked fine – number one was successful immediately. So Dad has a new phone with a reasonable keypad layout, and we’ve a 3650 that’ll work with any sim card which could be useful as a backup. The last time I tried getting a network to unlock a phone it cost >