Friday, March 4, 2011

Japanese mobile phone SIM unlocking procedures

LATEST UPDATE 10/28/2013: fixed info on price, discounts, and eligibility of current handsets.

Here is another wiki style entry to go along side the general information post. As more information comes out, I will update this post.

Unlocking of Docomo Handsets

Docomo's official SIM webpage indicates the following:
  • Date Effective: From April 2011 but current handsets are not eligible. 
  • Eligible Handsets: All handsets that originally go on sale from April 1, 2011, which is effectively the "summer models" to be released in June 2011. All phones sold since April 1, 2011 except the iPhone.
  • Ineligible Handsets: Every handset sold prior to the release of the summer 2011 models.
  • Eligible Unlocking period: No restrictions (unlocking immediately after purchase is allowed)
  • Service Charge: 3,150 yen
  • Procedure: Requires visiting a Docomo Shop (no unlock code sent)
  • Unlocked Handset Price: Same as locked handset
  • Unlocked Handset Discount Eligibility: Fully eligible
Cost of an Unlocked Handset

The price a buyer must pay in total will NOT INCREASE.

On 3/14/2011, the previous subsidy program "Handset Purchase Support" (端末購入サポート)was discontinued in favor of a "Monthly Support Program"(月々サポート). The main differences is the monthly support program discounts the cost of service, not the cost of the handset, but does so for the exact amount of the monthly handset payment. Contrary to a really bad article in the Mainichi Docomo WILL NOT remove discounts on unlocked handsets.
SIMロック解除後もファミ割MAX50やひとりでも割50などの各種割引サービスは引き続きご利用いただけます。ただし、お客様がドコモの回線契約を解約される際などには、所定の解約金をお支払いいただくと共に、月々サポートの適用が停止となりますので、ご注意ください。詳細は解約のページをご確認ください

After unlocking, all discounts services such as the Family Max 50 and the hitoridemo 50 can be continued. However, if service is cancelled, cancellation fees will be applied and monthly support will be cancelled.
http://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/support/procedure/simcard/unlock_dcm/index.html#p04

Overseas Handsets on Docomo

From April 1, 2011, Docomo began selling microSIMs and allowing approved handsets to access the flatrate data plans for less than 6000 yen. However, currently no handsets are approved for use pending determination by Docomo of which ones are capable of tethering. Therefore, all handsets brought to Docomo will be incur 10,395 yen data fees currently, which is the exact same price that would have been charged previously.

Nothing other than the stamping of micro SIMs has changed as of 4/3/2011.

It is well known that Docomo prevents non-Docomo-branded handsets from connecting to the flat-rate data APN by filtering the connection by IMEI number. (There is an option for data on these devices but it is so expensive and so slow that we don't refer to it by name.) Docomo does not register IMEI number of phones they didn't sell, making it effectively impossible to use a phone for anything other than voice.

Requirements for an overseas phone according to Docomo:
  • being physically stamped with the certification mark, or
  • displaying the certification information on the screen, or
  • having someone sloppily slap a sticker on it with the proper information (OK, he didn't say that, I did).
iPhones meet these requirements, but I'm unaware of any overseas android that do.

I recently purchased an unbranded Huawei Ideos from B-Mobile for work because it is 1) unlocked and 2) supports 850, 1700, 1900, 2100 MHz, which covers every W-CDMA carrier I can think of in the world. Check out the back. Yup, that's a sticker. EMobile sells the same handset, which probably sports the same sticker.


Unlocked Apple iStuff on Docomo

The US FCC disclosed that the iPhone 4 supports UTMS Band VI (800 MHz), which would make it a pentaband W-CDMA phone (800, 850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz). Docomo uses 2100 MHz (FOMA) and 800 MHz (FOMA Plus), so the iPhone 4 will be better supported by Docomo than Softbank which has no Band VI allocation.

It also appears that, due to the overlap between Bands V and VI (850 and 800 MHz, respectively), the iPhone 3GS and iPad will also work in the FOMA Plus Area. In addition to several claims to that effect, wikipedia ja user Osakanataro (awesome name) discussed the FCC reports in the relevant wikipedia talk page. In short, it appears to depend on the specific frequency range of a particular device's radio, so other 850 MHz handsets may or may not work.

Before starting service with Docomo, if you are unsure, a good way to test if your unlocked Apple iThing works in your area, especially if you live in the FOMA Plus Area, is to buy the cheapest, slowest, B-Mobile U300 microSIM.

You'll want to check out Hong Kong for the best prices.

Unlocking of Softbank Handsets

Update: Softbank to begin unlocking from August, 2011 with the 008Z by ZTE under similar terms as Docomo.

The MIC has created a "guideline" that urges but does not require all carriers to unlock phones beginning in FY2011. Unlocking is therefore supposed to be a two way street, but Softbank's Son has already said he has no intention of unlocking the iPhone and that perhaps he'll unlock one or two other handsets as a test. However it is my understanding that the MIC always issues guidelines and never forces the carriers to do anything, but the carriers have historically always complied, even though they are just guidelines.

During an interview with the Yomiuri, a couple of Docomo execs insinuated that Softbank would unlock phones. At least I think they insinuated. We never really figured out what they meant. They said that if the other carriers hadn't agreed to unlock, then neither would have Docomo, but at the time there had been no official word from any of the other carriers.

I'll leave it to you to decide what all this means.

My feeling is that softbank will comply, eventually, probably after winning some sort of concession. If it is indeed really true that all of Apple's exclusive contracts with carriers are finished, then there is less reason not to unlock, since Docomo could start offering the own iDoodads. But when Apple talks in absolutes, history tells us that it absolutely does not necessarily apply to Japan.

90 comments:

  1. Good information.

    I have heard somebody say they sometimes get no reception at all in rural areas on Docomo's network using non-docomo phones (don't they have a highly throttled packethoudai deal that's not IMEI-locked?), suggesting they also still use 1700 IX for certain areas[1]. This could be inconvenient for people not living in Tokyo.

    [1]Wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UMTS_frequency_bands

    ReplyDelete
  2. The docomo service is very good and my in-laws don't complain they live in motegi area Softbank on the other hand I can't even finish one call without a call failed message in my apartment and I live in the center of Tokyo

    The service that your talking about is the B mobile Talking sim .. Data is throttled at 300kbps lol you may be getting that with SB given their service blows so much ;-)

    I like the E-Mobile service it's just a pity that they use the 1700Mhz band or i would have told Softbank to stick it I use a Mifi module with my laptop then I'm out and something with my iphone then i'm using skype (trying to make a skype call on the softbank data network sucks

    I hope docomo wise up

    ReplyDelete
  3. Somewhere between tokyo nagoya osaka, I do believe they have 1700, but I don't really know anything about it, nor how they would logistically handle that.

    That's the data service I won't name. It has half the speed of bmobile (128k) and cost 4 to 5 times as much per month. Just stupid to subscribe.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for the good information, if you can find time I would be really interested about a review of the IDEOS device/ service by b-mobile. My understanding is that it's using VOIP as it's voice service + classic b-mobile data plan.

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  5. Been to busy so far to write anything up about it. In short, it's worth the price for an unlocked handset that can create wifi networks without rooting.

    I don't know anything about voip. It is capable of regular voice with a SIM that supports it. It comes with a USIM 300 from bmobile, so no phone number for voice, and voip isn't possible (since streaming is throttled).

    But with a proper SIM and no speed restrictions, it would do both.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I was referring to this: http://www.bmobile.ne.jp/ideos/voip.html

    As far as I can understand you can get VOIP for 20Yens/min on domestic calls over 3G.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Techniker TechnologeMarch 6, 2011 at 10:18 PM

    excuses for abusing the comments, but I'd like to ask about experiences with ginger yoshi 1.0rc5.2 or other android 2.3 versions of android on the ht03a. Thing is, ginger yoshi needs the new radio/spl, and so far I haven't bothered to upgrade, but android 2.3 might be worth the hassle...

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  8. Hmm... interesting. Totally not worth the price though.

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  9. I thought about flashing it just to play with it, but with all the stuff that doesn't work, it doesn't really seem worth it.

    But you should flash the new radio and SPL anyway because that IS worth it. Ever since I did it, I'm running the same configuration as I posted. Stable and faster than before.

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  10. "It is well known that Docomo prevents non-Docomo-branded handsets from connecting to the flat-rate data APN by filtering the connection by IMEI number."

    I assumed this was completely true but then came across this:

    So, http://www.applenoir.com/?p=1764

    AFAICT this guy is able to use a proper NTT DoCoMo FOMA SIM with uncapped data rates on a US 3G unlocked iPad (i.e. device that should be IMEI blocked) but he doesn't explain how. He's even traveling around Japan making a spreadsheet of his various speeds (see link in comments on that post)....

    Perhaps from a DoCoMo data card? Crazy expensive metered plan? Any ideas?

    ReplyDelete
  11. B-mobile is a separate data plan they do have "unlimited plans" but only for the iPad or iPhone. Also they throttle everything except a few IOS apps.
    http://www.bmobile.ne.jp/sim_mp/note.html

    The APN he is using is not the Docomo unlimited APN which is mpr2.bizho.net

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  12. He's using a docomo FOMA card AX03(ドコモFOMAカード) for the comparisons, which doesn't use the mpr2 APN like Nicholas says. But he is using Docomo. This is one of their Data products.
    http://www.hspc-docomo.net/

    This guy has un-boxing (un-enveloping, really) of the same SIM for a sony viao P type:
    http://flosshimane.blog.so-net.ne.jp/2009-03-22_foma01

    You can see that there are a number of products that this SIM could be slipped into.

    I got screwed by the Mopera APN. Based on my bill, without any campaign or contract for Mopera, you'd expect to pay around 10,000 yen a month for this with no voice option, I think. Not really feasible for smartphones. It is really more confusing than usual, but this is for tethering, I think, and I think you must subscribe to this separately.

    And for the viao P series. You can by it bundled with a bmobile U300, or without.
    http://www.hspc-docomo.net/product/index.html#pc09

    ReplyDelete
  13. Some of these links got all messed up. The last one if to Docomo's page for the vaio P series, and this one is for sony's page
    http://www.sony.jp/vaio/products/P11/

    And I can't spell viao.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Techniker TechnologeMarch 9, 2011 at 11:12 AM

    been there, done that. Again big thx for the tutorial @ http://softbanksucks.blogspot.com/2010/12/15mb-extra-ram-for-ht-03a-using-t.html

    ReplyDelete
  15. It seems like unlocking will only be offered for phone models with a launch date of April 1st or later, and any phone with a launch date prior to that (such as the Xperia arc) won't be eligible for SIM unlocking.

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  16. hopefully its not an April fools joke. Do they even do that here in Japan?

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  17. SIMロック解除機能を搭載している対象機種
    2011年4月以降に新たに発売された機種が対象機種となります。

    Handsets that went on sale from 4/2011 will be loaded with the unlocking function.

    It sounds like you're right. I am going to visit a store when I get a chance and try and write up what I can.

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  18. It's too bad. I was looking into the Xperia arc but SIM-unlocking is a must. Now there are cheap prepaid data plans offered in many countries, they are great for navigating around during a vacation.

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  19. I'll confirm here in a day or two which ones are and are not eligible and post it.

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  20. 4/3/2011 quick and dirty update to indicate price, discount availability and cost of using an unlocked handset not bought from Docomo.

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  21. I was wondering if its possible to unlock AU's USIM cards so they can be used in any WCDMA phone?

    thanks...

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  22. No.

    You unlock the phone not the SIM card. But, more importantly, AU doesn't use W-CDMA. They use CDMA-2000.

    Only AU branded phones will work.

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  23. I truly loved reading your post. Thanks!

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  24. Would anyone happen to have any information about Softbank unlocking iPhones that have had their contracts fulfilled? My friend has recently bought the new iPhone4S and put it onto a new contract, since his old iPhone3G contract was already 3 years old and therefore past the necessary 2-year contract requirement to pay for the phone body. Softbank told him the old iPhone3G is his now, since he paid for it, but refuses to unlock it - meaning it is now useless, both within Japan and outside Japan. Doesn't Softbank have an obligation to unlock phones where the contract requirements have already been fulfilled?

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  25. Carriers have no obligation to unlock a phone after you've paid off the subsidy. Apple doesn't do it with any carriers, in any countries that I know of. Either the phone is bought unlocked or it is forever locked. Maybe it can be hacked to be unlocked?

    ReplyDelete
  26. You can also unlock Softbank 001DL Dell Streak using UnlockStreak software: http://www.unlockstreak.com/products/unlock-softbank-001dl

    ReplyDelete
  27. Your blog is nice written!
    Your cell phone all right? please click my blog:Samsung Galaxy S3 Accessories

    ReplyDelete
  28. hiiii i m frm Pakistan i have a softbank star 7 009Z mobile frm japan how i can sim netrwork unlok pin of softbank 009z to use in Pakistan

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  29. plzz help dont knoe what happen??
    i bought galaxy s2 sc-02c from nttdocomo japan and factory unlocked by paying 3150 yens
    i have used for more than 4 months outside japan with different carrier. after getting ics after few days or weeks......accidently took my battery without turning off the mobile and thn took out sim card after some time when i turn the phone on.....it starts to hang with grey screen
    later after i tried to reboot several times. Then there a window appears with network unlock code.....
    please help ??help

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi,
    I got a HTC OneX bought sim-free abroad and I took a plan at NTT Docomo.
    It works fine, going through the mopera APN provided by Docomo.

    I did not notice any big speed difference with my wife's Galaxy Nexus, that is a genuine Docomo device, so not sure it the statements about APN and caping above a still true.
    I used to have also a Flyer connected last year on Docomo using a data-only plan and there was no problem either.

    One question though, if someone knows: can we get access to LTE (cross-i) speeds on Docomo network with an overseas model (provided it is technically compatible with the LTE frequencies, of course)?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  31. In theory, yes. In reality, apparently not. (see update) http://www.japanmobiletech.com/2012/09/unlocked-iphone-5-may-be-blocked-from.html


    What are the statements about APN and capping? No, Docomo doesn't do that with Xi. With FOMA, non-docomo handsets are locked out, though. I get no difference in speed with a DCM GN and T-Mo Nexus s.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Thanks for posting this article.
    I was recently notified by SB that my account was terminated due to two unpaid (non consecutive bills). It was a complete surprise, as nothing in the post suggested this might happen. On reflection, after looking at the two invoices further, there was a great deal of ambiguity in the language used. Termination applied to service or account? Nevertheless, the question I asked, was if I paid the bills, which I was about to do, would they reconnect 'yes' but with fees. I said, go jump. I then asked, given I had paid for the phone outright at the beginning of the contract, can they now unlock the phone. The answer was a 'no'.
    Now I don't recall anyone at SB making mention or providing anything written, to suggest that purchasing the hardware outright doesn't provide entitlement to unlocking the phone after the 2yr contract. Had I have know this, I would not have bought the phone or an iPhone. So...I am prepared to spend some money and lots of time challenging this on the grounds of being misinformed, and that a paid for item is the property of the owner. Seems what they are doing is illegal. Next step is to have a chat with a lawyer. Any advice or insights welcome. Best

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  33. Hi, first of all, great blog. I've been looking all over for something like this.


    Wanted to ask a question.. I'm looking for a new smartphone in Japan, but may move back to the US in the next year or two. I don't mind the cancellation fees so much, but my concern is that I'll get a phone that I can't use in the states. Reading your posts, it seems like an iphone would be a hassle if not impossible. Do you have any advice? Is an android phone better for relocating expats? Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
  34. In the current set of handsets available, my suggestion would be to get a Docomo Galaxy Nexus. Once you root and unlock it, you can flash the international radio and use it in the US without any problems (on any of the GSM, WCDMA networks - i.e. ATT, TMobile or their MVNOs). In my recent visit to the US, it worked like a charm on T-mobile $3/day pre-paid.

    Another option might be Galaxy SIII, but in my opinion it does provide twice the value as Galaxy Nexus compared to twice the price it would cost.

    iPhone is also an option, but unlocking it would require jumping through too many hoops, if at all possible.

    Galaxy Nexus is not available from Docomo any more, so you might need to buy a used one. Since you are here for around a year to two, you can consider getting a used Galaxy Nexus and use it with Bmobile sim. When you are travelling to US, you can easily unlock it and flash the international radio.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Docomo stopped selling the Galaxy Nexus a while back but you can still get them on Amazon Japan for 27,300 yen which isn't half bad if you ask me but there are some rumors of an upcoming Sony Nexus X.
    http://goo.gl/IOjWx

    ReplyDelete
  36. Incredible. Thanks for the tip. I'm starting to wonder why people craze over the iphone (instead of say the Nexus) when it seems like such a hassle, even when moving between domestic carriers. Anyway, thanks again. I do intend to move back to the US soon and will want a contract with a carrier there, so i'll keep on eye on the Nexus.

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  37. possibly related question: what is
    白ロム? i've been looking to buy another galaxy nexus handset and it would be great to get one of the ones on amazon japan for cheaper than the international sellers. but i don't want the docomo branded one--i want it unlocked and able to get updates OTA. do i want shiro-rom?

    ReplyDelete
  38. shiro-rom is typically used phones without the SIM. They can be some times used units as well.
    On Amazon or elsewhere, I doubt that you would get international version of G Nex cheaper than US play store. Docomo branded ones are going for around 27000 yen on Amazon for new unit. Used ones shoud be available for less. The hardware is still the same between Docomo branded one and the international one. So theoretically one could flash the stock rom and radio and it would become an international G Nexus with Docomo logo on the back cover.

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  39. hmm. i've never flashed a factory rom before. but the units in the states and in europe are a bit more expensive and i fear i'd pay a customs duty if i get one shipped here. are there any good instructions for doing that on the web? i've looked around but i'm a bit timid when it comes to that. i see loads of results on a google search but i don't know if i can trust them....

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  40. for example: this one on an auction site http://auction.item.rakuten.co.jp/11658494/a/10000038/

    ReplyDelete
  41. Its actually quite straight forward if you can follow instructions. There are lot of guides and some tools as well. The best place to look would be the forums in xda-developers. Another suggestion would be to wait until 29-Oct when Google would be announcing the new Nexus phones. I assume that they would be dropping the price of the current G Nex by atleast 50 dollars. Then price would be similar to what you would pay for a used one now.

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  42. ah, yes, i think i can wait a couple more weeks to see. thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Question about Softbank
    H, I 'm really interested in a Softbank smart phone that will be released in the coming months and I'm located in the U.S.
    My question is, as I will be visiting Japan next year, is it possible to pay full price for the phone and any unlocking fees and show my passport to Softbank to show that I am a visitor and get the smartphone unlocked to take it back home?
    thank you

    ReplyDelete
  44. Why would you want a Japanese phone if you are going to import it to the US? Anything LTE will not be compatibile so you will be stuck with 3G or even worse Edge. If you don't care about LTE then you would be beter of buying the Nexus 4 unlocked from Google.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Nothing special.

    I just like the design and features of some of the Japanese phones released by Docomo and Softbank.

    Actually, right now I am using a unlocked NTT Docomo phone for which 3G doesn't work (Only EDGE like you said).But I'm ok with it as I'm not a heavy data user at all and right now only have a 200mb plan just for the sake of it (for the weather updates and stuff) and sill never reach it.

    So for the original question about Softbank, is it possible? (Just for me to know)

    ReplyDelete
  46. No, never gonna happen for a number of reasons. Softbank won't unlock the phone. You'll have to start a service contract even to just buy the phone (they won't sell you hardware without a contract). You can't start a contract without being a resident (by Japanese law).

    ReplyDelete
  47. ok, Good to know.
    Thanks for the info

    ReplyDelete
  48. What is the model of phone you want? There may be a Docomo version or a similar model. Docomo phones can be unlocked by docomo for a fee.


    You'll have the same problem with getting one without a contract, but you may be able to find unlocked models in akihabara at some of the places that sell second-hand stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  49. It's Softbank Arrows A 201f to which Docoma has a equivalent model (Fujitsu Aqqws V F-04E).
    So there is actually a equivalent Docomo model, but I happened to like the shape of the Softbank model more.

    Anyway I took it out of my mind!!!!!!!!
    Thanks for the info again:)

    ReplyDelete
  50. hello. i'm here in the Philippines, and i'm planning to buy au kddi's HTC J butterfly. what worries me is that the phone/ unit is only sold in Japan. and there is no news yet if it will be introduced internationally. if ever i decided to buy the phone, can i unlock it? if ever i can unlock it, are there any features/ specs of the phone, which i can't use afer unlocking? thank u!

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  51. or what if i just buy in ntt docomo, and have them unlock the phone? is that even possible? does the sim unlocking applies to all their phone models?

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  52. Of course they'll unlock it if you want but you'll have to get a contract to buy the phone - they won't sell one without a contract. You have to be a resident.

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  53. All features will work except for the phone radio. AU phones are forever locked to AU's network. an iPhone 5 might be able to be hacked to unlock the GSM/W-CDMA baseband to allow other SIM cards, but AU is a CDMA/CDMA-2000 network, so almost all of their phones will be incompatible.

    ReplyDelete
  54. will all the functions of the unlocked phone and locked phone be the same?

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  55. hi again! you were right--the GN price dropped on the auction site and i bought one, unused, for 20k. so it's a docomo one, and i'm going to flash the factory rom and radio. does that mean i won't have to do the SIM unlock process at the docomo store, or is that deeper in the unit's programming? (assuming it is locked as it is, should be getting it this weekend).

    ReplyDelete
  56. If you are planning to use b-mobile SIM, then you dont need to SIM unlock it now, since b-mobile is MVNO on docomo network itself. However, you might consider doing it now itself in case you plan to use it in future outside the docomo network also.

    I would not suggest to get it unlocked through docomo shop. It will most likely get re-locked if you do factory reset. There are two other ways to do -

    1) Highly technical way - Not recommended unless you are comfortable executing Unix commands
    2) Easy App way - Install app and click unlock (http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1548210)

    I would suggest that first do the SIM unlock, then flash the ROM you want to flash (the latest Jellybean version is 4.2)

    For radio, if you are planning to use on b-mobile, do not flash a new radio. Or if you do, make sure it is the Docomo version so that you can enjoy FOMA coverage. List of radios and description available here --> http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1405345

    ReplyDelete
  57. hi all. need some advise re the above.
    i'm visiting family in japan right now and i'm interested in getting a galaxy note 2 LTE in a docomo plan and take it back to australia.
    would this work with telstra?
    would it be locked? unlocked? is unlocking possible?


    the idea would be for my family member to keep using their current older non smartphone from AU and switch it to docomo.
    would that handset be locked? would AU unlock it?


    thanks in advance.

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  58. well need help for ma htc desire c

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  59. so...theres no way to get my fully paid Iphone 4 unlocked so i could use it here in Brazil? thats really sad news to know how SB cares about their customers

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  60. Hello,

    I've just move to Japan (Kyoto) as a Resident. I bought an Aquos Phone 106SH at Softbank carrier with contrat. Despite the fact this is a great phone, there is the new Nexus 4 from Google that has been released recently. Is it possible to buy it from the Google Play Store (from another country) and get it to work in Japan with my Softbank Sim Card ?

    Thank your for your answer and gret website by the way (^_^)/

    ReplyDelete
  61. i have softbank japan iphone 500 to 700 need to unlock any one can

    pls email me or pm chetanvaghela410@yahoo.in

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  62. Hi guys! I have an unlocked DoCoMo flip phone. Is there any way to change APN to get 3G available outside Japan?

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  63. Is there any change that iPhone 5 32GB from Softbank Japan be unlocked? there are some websites offering unlock for Softbank iPhones but type of my iPhone is not enlisted.

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  64. hw to unlock nttdocomo simlock?

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  65. how software to use to unlock nttdocomo phone

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  66. Anyone know whether the docomo shop will unlock my phone while it's running a custom rom? Or should I flash back to stock before I try?

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  67. I'm here in the philippines with a docomo xperia NX. Is it possible for my friend in Japan to get the code for me?

    ReplyDelete
  68. if you can root your SCxxx Samsung you can unlock it..
    Either by free app fro market (but be carefull it can also f-up your phone) or by paid software from Simlock Remote Server:
    http://www.unlocksamsungonline.com

    Best regards,

    ReplyDelete
  69. Hi guys,

    Sorry to ask a question here, I searched everywhere but couldn't find my answer.

    I plan to buy a iida Infobar A02 device through Yahoo Auctions and import it to Europe.

    I know that there is almost no chance to see 4G working on it in Europe since the used frequencies are completely different, but GSM & 3G seem to work since the device is "Global Passport" compatible and that my country's carriers are displayed as UMTS compatible.

    My main question is about unlocking : are the au devices (or especially the INFOBAR devices) usually unlocked from the start and could I theorically use a european MicroSIM card on it ? The spec sheet says "au Micro IC Card(LTE)" so it actually sounds good.

    What do you think ?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Eric

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  70. Don't do that. It's not GSM/UMTS compatible and can't be used with a GSM-style SIM card.


    AU phones can only be used on AU (iphone may be an exception.

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  71. Wow, even if they say it's GSM/UMTS compatible with Global Passport ?
    Anyway thanks for the answer.

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  72. If you're not familiar with the implications of CDMA carriers, you should be if. The baseband's for these phones are not simply available like GSM basebands, but more importantly a CDMA phone is typically locked not only to network but to user.

    Anyway, the global passport and any GSM-based technology in an AU phone is not designed to allow you to move into another carrier's service area and slip in their SIM. It is designed to allow you to roam with a KDDI RUIM card in the phone, which is VERY lucrative to KDDI.

    I can count the total number of CDMA carriers in the world on one hand, and the only one that has unlocked GSM basebands is Verizon in the US.

    http://www.theverge.com/2012/9/25/3405610/verizon-iphone-5-unlocked-open-access-fcc



    So, the reason for the GSM tech is to facility roaming which is ostensibly a benefit to the subscriber but really just cash in the hand of the carrier.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Got it, I didn't know the SIM authentication was related to CDMA.
    Thanks a bunch for the explanation.

    ReplyDelete
  74. hi, i have an au iPhone5, would that work outside Japan. if I need to move to Europe, would it work on a GSM network,if I have paid the full price for the phone?

    ReplyDelete
  75. hello all brother and sisters.
    can anyone help me.
    i have a iphone 4 gsm A1332 6.1.2



    i want sim unlock.

    is is possible so please send me trick.


    i jail break with envasion but not unlock. only wifi working.

    ReplyDelete
  76. hi guys, can you help me unlock my Japanese DOCOMO FUJITSU F-08D phone? please let me know asap. thanks

    ReplyDelete
  77. Hye, if I bought an iphone, used iphone such as on amazon or auction,can it be unlocked and used worldwide?from my reading, only SB and docomo can be used on GSM,
    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  78. 1. If you buy *any* phone from Docomo it will be locked, until you ask them to unlock it (and pay the 3000 JPY fee).
    Whether it would work with Telstra depends on a number of things, but mainly what frequencies that carrier uses. For example, if you unlock a Galaxy Note 1, it won't work on eMobile in Japan because it doesn't support the 1700 band.
    2. You can't switch any AU phone to Docomo. AU Phones aren't GSM type phones, but use the older CDMA standard (like Verizon in the US) - they don't usually even have SIM cards. Also, you generally can't bring a phone to a carrier and ask to use it, they will force you to buy one. (If you don't want that one, then you just take the cheapest one and dump it and then buy the one you want used at Sofmap or something).


    Your family member could do the opposite and make a contract with Docomo and then buy another non-smart phone used that can use the same kind of SIM - but why go through all the trouble.


    You can buy the Galaxy Note II international version unlocked - which will probably be better if you aren't in Japan. (You can't use the 1seg, mobile suica, etc. outside of Japan anyway). You can buy the Japanese Docomo version used at various places in Akihabara.

    ReplyDelete
  79. No, because... Softbank Sucks. Even once you pay full price for the phone and it is legally yours, they won't unlock it! (Same goes for non iPhones on Softbank). Even if you like Softbank's service, you are still better off buying a Docomo phone, unlocking it, and using it with the Softbank SIM - because at least that way you can also use it with overseas SIM cards too.

    ReplyDelete
  80. Global passport phones can be used on GSM networks, but it is for roaming compatibility only.

    ReplyDelete
  81. Yes, but... that's not necessarily a good thing. For example, some Docomo phones only allow tethering with certain Docomo APs - even after you unlock them!

    ReplyDelete
  82. You can buy the phone used (or even new) online or from Sofmap, etc. The newest phones may not be available yet, though.

    ReplyDelete
  83. There are tons and tons of mobile phone blogs in Japan - they're just in Japanese. This is Japan. (You can find any detail you might want to know about any possible mobile device on 2ch, for example).

    ReplyDelete
  84. Hi,


    I have a Lumix Phone P-02D locked with DoCoMo and I'd like to know if there's even a slim chance of having it unlocked by myself. My last resort is to send it back to JP to have it unlocked or to use 3rd party online unlocking services. But before I go to that, I'd like to exhaust all possible ways of unlocking it on my own, thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  85. Hi, people.

    I think i need urgent help on how to root my new phone.

    I'm a DoCoMo "Foma" smartphone user living in Kyushu.

    After two and a half years using a Galaxy-S (which recently used to choke and freeze a lot), last month I got a "P-06D" aka" Eluga-V".

    I thought that a new phone with better hardware specs and a newer Android version would mean a more capable device, but to my surprise, the opposite seems to be the case!

    The hardware of the P-06D seems full OK to me , but I just can't get used to its User Interface - which, to my surprise. allows near to zero customization!

    I NEED a responsive Android device with customizable User Interface to host my productivity apps, phone, and digital camera function. That's all I need.

    I do NOT need any of the (uninstallable!) DoCoMo bloatware, and I don't need any of the fancy japanese functionalities (one-seg, saifukeitai and-what-not...). The only thing I need from Docomo is access to its voice mail (answering machine) service.

    People, do you think that I can get that by rooting the phone?

    If yes, could somebody point me to sources of information on how to do it (I have never rooted a phone before... I don't even know wether or not it is legal to root a phone in Japan...).

    Any advice would be HIGHLY appreciated.

    Have a nice day.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Hi, I have an Softbank 001DL here in the Philippines, I also now have the unlock code that I asked from Dell. How can I unlock it? The "Enter unlock code" screen doesn't appear when I insert different kind of SIMs here. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  87. www.sourceunlock.com
    Official iPhone IMEI Factory unlock thruough iTunes for iPhone 5S, 5C, 5, 4S, 4, 3GS, 3G which is currently locked to worldwide networks. Also IMEI Factory unlocks which works with any iOS 4, 5, 6 or iOS 7 and baseband version, to work with any carrier worldwide like at&t usa, verizon usa, sprint usa, tmobile usa, o2 uk, vodafone uk, orange uk, ee uk, 3 hutchsion uk, tele2 sweden, telia sweden, telenor sweden, telenor norway, netcom norway, tele2 norway, telia norway, telia denmark, tele2 denmark, movistar spain, vodafone spain, orange spain, yoigo spain, claro brazil, oi brazil, vivo brazil, tim brazil, bell canada, rogers canada, telus canada, koodo canada, wind canada, mts canada, vodafone egypt, mobinil egypt, softbank japan, kt korea, sk korea, zain kuwait, zain bahrain, lusacell mexico, movistar mexico, telcel mexico, america movil mexico, a1 mobilkom austria, orange austria, hutchison austria, optus australia, virgin australia, virgin canada, virgin france, hutchsion australia, vodafone australia, telstra australia, sfr france, orange france, bouygues france, claro chile, entel chile, movistar chile, tmobile croatia, tmobile hungry, vip croatia, zain saudi arabia, stc saudi arabia, etisalat saudi arabia, etisalat dubai, mobitel bulgaria, lmt latvia, tmobile albania, comcel columbia, movistar colombia, tigo colombia, orange dominican republic, claro ecuador, movistar ecuador, emt estonia, telia sonera estonia, dna finland, telia sonera finland, orange (martinique) french west indies, tmobile germany, vodafone germany, o2 germany, vodafone ireland, o2 ireland, omitel lithuania, vodafone malta, voxtel moldova, orange moldova, tmobile montenegro, kpn netherlands, vodafone netherlands, tmobile netherlands, orange poland, play poland, orange romania, vodafone romania, si mobile slovenia, avea turkey, turkcell turkey, vodafone turkey, tmobile slovakia, claro uraguay, movistar uraguay, movistar venezuela, telifonica venezuela. www.sourceunlock.com
    we must tell that if some problems happens and iPhone is not unocked we will refund your full payment – 100 percent guarantee.

    ReplyDelete
  88. Solaris - سولاریسMay 5, 2014 at 7:20 AM

    i have to root and unlock softbank 102p...

    can u help me plz?

    ReplyDelete
  89. Waooow!!
    Nice blog, this will be greatly helpful.

    att iphone unlock

    ReplyDelete