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How do I know which carrier I need to contact to unlock an old phone?

tmerlin
Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen

Hello all,

 

I just purchased a plan with Public, but when I enter the SIM in my old 2016 Samsung S7, I get the "SIM network unlock PIN" message and of course I don't get any service.

 

I understand that prior to 2017, phones could be locked and that I need to contact the original carrier but I don't remember who it was at all. I could have purchased it at Costco or somewhere else, and I don'r remember who the carrier was. So I'm stuck! If I call Videotron, Bell, and Rogers, will they also help me out even if I had purchased a plan with one of their sub-brands like Virgin, Fido, etc.? 

 

 

Thanks a lot for your help! @ Moderator_Team1@ Moderator (note to everyone: these usernames of not those of moderators)

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions

HALIMACS
Mayor / Maire

@tmerlin 

 

Does the device still have the old SIM in it?

 

Is the carrier stamped on the SIM?

 

You might also want to check the device's network connections tab.  It may display the most recent carrier which may assist in this regard.

 

EDIT:   Also, perhaps this may assist? (can't say i've tried it, though, so use at own risk...) 

 Canada Mobile Network Operators - IMEI.info

View solution in original post

21 REPLIES 21

HALIMACS
Mayor / Maire

@tmerlin 

 

Does the device still have the old SIM in it?

 

Is the carrier stamped on the SIM?

 

You might also want to check the device's network connections tab.  It may display the most recent carrier which may assist in this regard.

 

EDIT:   Also, perhaps this may assist? (can't say i've tried it, though, so use at own risk...) 

 Canada Mobile Network Operators - IMEI.info


@tmerlin wrote:

Hello all,

 

I just purchased a plan with Public, but when I enter the SIM in my old 2016 Samsung S7, I get the "SIM network unlock PIN" message and of course I don't get any service.

 

I understand that prior to 2017, phones could be locked and that I need to contact the original carrier but I don't remember who it was at all. I could have purchased it at Costco or somewhere else, and I don'r remember who the carrier was. So I'm stuck! If I call Videotron, Bell, and Rogers, will they also help me out even if I had purchased a plan with one of their sub-brands like Virgin, Fido, etc.? 

 

Thanks a lot for your help! @ Moderator_Team1 @ Moderator 


Please note that those usernames that you have tagged are not of Public Mobile staff or customer support agents.  Also, note that Public Mobile cannot assist you in unlock a device locked to another carrier.

 

One way to find out who the original carrier is to insert SIM cards from different carriers until you find out which one doesn't make the phone prompt you for the SIM network unlock PIN.  

 

I would also suggest to go into the phone's About menu and look for the the software version information. There shoudl be an be an entry that refers to a service provider's software version.  While this doesn't eman tthat someone couldn't have changed the device's installed software, this entry will generally provide a very good clue of which carrier the phone is locked to.

 

Samsung Canada may be able to assist you.

BKNS27
Mayor / Maire

@tmerlin 

Try this website to find out who was the original carrier that can unlock your phone:

https://www.imei.info/carriers/canada/ 

 

You will need to enter the IMEI number by going to Settings>About phone.

 

You can also go to a local cell repair shop that offers unlocking service.

tmerlin
Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen

Thank you both, @computergeek541 and @HALIMACS for the prompt response!

 

So... if I go to:

  • About phone
  • Status
  • SIM card status
  • Network says "Videotron", does this mean it is the last carrier registered on the phone?

I checked About phone / Software information, it does not give a hint on the carrier, or at least it's not understandable by me.

 

I don't own SIM cards from all carriers but I guess I will start with Videotron and also Samsung Canada.

 

Thanks again for your help, and best wishes for 2022!

Anonymous
Not applicable

@tmerlin 

try to call to manufacturer of your device brand give them the IMEI number dial *#06#  for your device them know which carrier was .... or try eBay, lower cost.

Yes @tmerlin , start there.   Do you recall having service with them?

 

And remember, all Canadian carriers are required, by law, to unlock devices with no charge to you.

 

If they TRY to suggest there is a charge, tell them you'll contact the telecom regulator.

 

Also, you may wish to check this to be sure the device isn't blacklisted... Check the Status of Your Device in Canada | DeviceCheck.ca

tmerlin
Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen

Thanks, yes I may have contracted with Videotron or one of their sub-brands, I'll call them tomorrow but I don't expect much help from them 🙂

I tried your link and luckily it isn't blacklisted. Thanks!

tmerlin
Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen

Thanks! But it looks like that site only searches for US carriers.

I might go with the shop option if I'm still stuck tomorrow.

 

Thanks again.


@tmerlin wrote:

Thank you both, @computergeek541 and @HALIMACS for the prompt response!

 

So... if I go to:

  • About phone
  • Status
  • SIM card status
  • Network says "Videotron", does this mean it is the last carrier registered on the phone?

I checked About phone / Software information, it does not give a hint on the carrier, or at least it's not understandable by me.

 

I don't own SIM cards from all carriers but I guess I will start with Videotron and also Samsung Canada.

 


I'm trying to point you toward an entry called something simialr to "Service provider SW ver.".  There will be a string of 3 character codes at the end of that.  Videotron in the SIM status only refers to the network that you're currently connected to. It isn't related to the lock status of the phone.