SIM Cards and Unlocking your Phone
What is a SIM?
Subscriber Identity Module (SIM): A smart card containing the telephone number of the customer, encoded network identification details such as: Call Forwarding, Caller ID, etc., the PIN, and other user data such as the phone book. T-Mobile customers can move their SIM card from any T-Mobile branded phone to any other T-Mobile branded phone without the need to contact Customer Service to activate the new phone. Your rate plan and phone number will follow your SIM to the new phone. SIM Error Messages:
- Invalid SIM: This error means that the SIM you have inserted into your phone is either inactive or is not compatible with our service. You may purchase a new SIM card from a T-Mobile retail location. Locate a T-Mobile retail store near you.
- Insert SIM: Your SIM is either not inserted in your phone or is inserted improperly. Please remove and re-insert your SIM card. If you continue to receive this error message, your SIM card or phone may be defective. You may take your phone and SIM to a T-Mobile retail store for further assistance and a free SIM card replacement if necessary. Locate a T-Mobile retail store near you.
- Unregistered SIM: This error may occur if your SIM card is not fully activated or if the SIM card registered to your account is different than the SIM you have in your phone. For assistance with this issue, please contact Customer Service.
- SIM Not Ready: This error occurs when you have just powered your phone and is due to the phone not being fully initialized. Please wait a few moments before accessing your phonebook or placing a call.
- OTA OK: This message is displayed when your phone receives a network update, phonebook download, or an Over-The-Air t-zones or Picture Messaging configuration. NOTE: These messages are free of charge and will not be billed to your account or pulled from any text message bucket.
- Enter PUK: These errors can occur if you have entered your SIM PIN three times incorrectly. If you receive this error message, please contact Customer Service for a PIN Unblocking Key (PUK) to restore access to your phone.
- Check card, Card Blocked See Supplier, Blocked, SIM Blocked, or Contact Card/Service Provider: These errors may occur if you have entered your PUK ten times incorrectly. If these errors display your SIM is unusable and you will need to purchase a new SIM card. You may purchase a new SIM card from a T-Mobile retail location. Locate a T-Mobile retail store near you.
A SIM PIN can be used to prevent access to your phone. When enabled, your phone will prompt you for the SIM PIN when the phone is powered on. Entering the wrong PIN will prevent you from making or receiving calls. SIM PINs are different from a Security Code that your phone may use to secure other phone functions. Please check your phone’s manual for further security details.
T-Mobile SIM PIN numbers are set to default values before purchase. If you change your SIM PIN, it is recommended that you keep record of the new PIN in a safe location. T-Mobile cannot retrieve a lost or forgotten SIM PINs.
- SIM PIN1: 1234
- SIM PIN2: 5678 (Only available on select phones)
T-Mobile branded phones operating on the T-Mobile network may only use T-Mobile SIM cards. To use a T-Mobile branded phone on another wireless carrier's network with a non-T-Mobile SIM card, you must first request a "SIM Unlock" code from T-Mobile. Conversely, if you have a phone from another North American wireless carrier, you may need to request a "SIM Unlock" code from that carrier before being able to use a T-Mobile SIM card on the T-Mobile network. SIM Unlock Requests:
T-Mobile customers must meet the following eligibility requirements before contacting Customer Service to request your SIM Unlock code.
The following restrictions apply to all account types:
- T-Mobile can provide SIM Unlock Codes only for handsets sold by T-Mobile USA, with the exception of Danger Sidekick devices. T-Mobile can obtain SIM Unlock Codes for companies acquired by t-Mobile USA (VoiceStream, Aerial, Omnipoint, SOL, Digiph, PCS One, and Powertel).
- SIM Unlock Codes will only be provided after your account has been active for 90 days. Only one unlock code may be provided per customer every 90 days.
- No SIM Unlock Codes will be provided within the 14-Day Buyer's Remorse period. Customers who purchase phones in CA California or via Amazon.com are granted a 30-Day Buyer's Remorse Period.
- SIM Unlock Codes are not always available from the Manufacturer. However, T-Mobile will make a dedicated effort to obtain the SIM Unlock code. Note: Other restrictions may apply depending on account type.