Typically when you purchase a cell phone, the company that sold you the phone 'locked' the phone before you bought it, so you can only use it on their network. This means that you can't use your phone on any other network, even if you change the SIM (which is an abbreviation for Subscriber Identity Module) card. The SIM card is the little piece of plastic that identifies your phone to the cellular network. Changing your SIM card to have your phone work on another network is useful especially if you want to travel to another country and want to buy a pre-paid SIM card so you can have cell phone access without roaming charges. There are services that offer to provide unlocking capabilities for a fee, but don't pay for them! You can do it yourself for free, which is the perfect price.
1. Before trying anything else, contact your service provider and ask for an unlock code. Usually, if you've been a customer of theirs for some time, they will provide you with an unlock code for free. This is, by far, the best way to get your phone unlocked.
2. Download software to generate the unlocking code. Software is available on some websites for free and some pay websites that also offer support if things go wrong. See external links below.
3. Find the Serial number of the cell phone, also known as your IMEI number. This can be done by either removing the back of your cell phone and looking underneath the battery, or simply by typing in *#06# into your cell phone. It should be something like: 030057361439976/ 05429508118
4. Using the software you have downloaded, enter in your Manufacturer (which is in this case Nokia), your model number, and your IMEI number. Also enter your country and the Network. Calculate the code, this may be different depending on which software you are using. If your phone is the Nokia 3390 phone, select the model 3310, they are the same phone.
* #pw+403927744443466 +7#
5. Remove the SIM card from your Nokia phone. This is typically done by removing the back cover of the phone and removing the battery and sliding the card out. Put the battery back in and power the phone on.
6. You will see a message "Insert SIM Card". Enter all of the characters you see in your code, including the # symbols. To get a 'p' press * 3 times, to get a '+' press the * key 2 times, to get a 'w' press the * key 4 times. Disregard any spaces in the code.
7. In order to unlock your phone you generally need to enter only one code. Start with the first one. If your phone is not unlocked by typing the first code (MCC+MNC), use code "7" (Multilock)
8. Once you have finished entering a code that works you should see a message that says "SIM is not restricted" or "Restriction off" message depending on your model. If not, try entering another code. Message "Cannot undo restrictions" means the phone is "hard-locked" and cannot be unlocked by code.
* Unlocking only applies to GSM phones, phones using other cellular technologies, cannot be unlocked without special software and hardware.
* Switch off the phone. Hold the keys "3", "*" and "Call" and switch the phone on. Keep the buttons held down till you see the word "Formatting. .." on the screen. Make sure that the battery is full charged before you attempt this. This should reset the phone lock code.
* Attempting to unlock your phone is done at your own risk. Although unlocking your phone is legal, some cell phone operators might choose to void your warranty should you unlock your phone (then again, some cell phone operators won't mind).
* Most phones only allow you to try a certain number of unlock tries, Nokia phones have a limit of 5 tries. After that, the phone becomes "hard-locked" , meaning it cannot be unlocked without using special equipment.
* Most of the newer phones will not work with the codes generated by the free unlock programs.