Does Unlocking unlock cdma network outside USA?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Imhzw, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. Imhzw macrumors newbie

    Imhzw

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2014
    #1
    Sprint iPhone 5c A1456

    Unlocking seems to unlock the GSM part.

    I go to the Apple Community and people there tell me that the lock principle is different between cdma and gsm. It's difficult to unlock cdma, and the carrier itself don't want to unlock it either.

    But when I see some unlock service, it indicates that :
    Sprint USA
    Available now - permanent factory unlock
    *Due to technical limitations of CDMA, this will only be unlocked for use outside USA. Inside the USA it will still be locked to Sprint

    So I am wondering that does unlocking allow consumers to use another country's cdma network?

    And some doubt about LTE. Does unlocking include FDD-LTE if the phone supports in device ?
     
  2. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #2
    Sprint's unlock policy allows only for an international unlock. CDMA or GSM you can use it outside of the United States.

    Inside the United States you are locked to Sprint, no matter if the carrier is GSM or CDMA.

    Any third party unlocks being offered will unlock for international use only, which can be GSM or CDMA as long as it's outside of the United States.

    No one except Sprint can unlock for domestic use inside the United States and Sprint never does that.
     
  3. zorinlynx macrumors 601

    zorinlynx

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    May 31, 2007
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    Florida, USA
    #3
    This is precisely why I will never go back to Sprint. Unless they change that policy, and even then, forgiveness will take time.
     
  4. uwdude macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 16, 2014
    #4
    I still don't understand how that works, how do they keep the GSM part locked if you're in the US? Does the CDMA part talk to it and recognize you're within the US or something? Just seems odd that they are able to enforce that if there are GSM unlocks and jailbreaks and everything going around.
     
  5. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #5
    LOL, yeah, I get it. Don't think for a minute that I like this policy, because I don't It's stupid and it makes Sprint look bad. It's a relic from days gone by.

    I just haven't had reason (until recently) to want to leave (with my phone) so it doesn't affect me.

    ----------

    Sprint pairs the SIM card with the IMEI/ESN of the phone. This is at the baseband level. The phone will check the SIM card. If the SIM card is a US network it will check to see if it's Sprint and if so it will check to see if the CCID on the SIM card matches the IMEI/ESN of the phone. If it does NOT match, you get no service. Whether it's a GSM or CDMA US carrier, doesn't matter. If the SIM card is a Sprint SIM card, but the CCID does not match up then you STILL don't get service.

    The CCID on the SIM card and the IMEI/ESN of the phone must match.

    If you are outside of the US and the SIM card indicates that then none of this applies and as long as your iPhone supports that carrier's frequencies you get service.
     
  6. zorinlynx macrumors 601

    zorinlynx

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #6
    It's simple; Sprint has a list of GSM carriers that are in the US. The big ones are T-Mobile and AT&T; there are other smaller ones on the list too.

    They simply unlock for any carrier not on that list.

    There's not much to it; when you insert a new SIM card the phone contacts the activation server and finds out if it's unlocked for that carrier. If it is, the phone goes online and works; if not it pops up an error. The phone remembers which carriers it's unlocked for once you try them.
     
  7. uwdude macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 16, 2014
    #7
    Oh, so you're saying that the software unlock for the Sprint phones is different than the software unlock for the other iPhones, such that it restricts the networks it can connect to. I still don't see how they can keep you from doing a full GSM unlock if it's just software- I would think somebody would have gotten around that by now, but whatever I guess.
     
  8. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #8
    See my posts above his. The SIM card is paired to the iPhone at the baseband level.

    Software unlocks have not worked for a couple of years.
     
  9. 1080p macrumors 68020

    1080p

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Location:
    Planet Earth
    #9
    The Dev Teams pretty much gave up on software unlocks because iPhone is available on just about every major carrier now... and most of them will do a factory unlock for you. Now they just spend their time looking for jailbreak exploits because Apple has gotten very good at squashing them.
     
  10. uwdude macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 16, 2014
    #10
    It would seem then all you'd have to do is replace the baseband then, although true maybe they just haven't bothered trying to do an unlock on these specific phones.
     
  11. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    New Zealand
    #11
    In any case you'll need to ensure that the destination network will activate a "foreign" phone. Some will, others won't.
     
  12. Imhzw, Aug 6, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2014

    Imhzw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Imhzw

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    Aug 5, 2014
    #12
    I read your post in the forum, and carriers who do not provide unlocking like KDDI/AU/NTT or provide unlocking but international use are all hooliganism.

    I am ready to use it in China. So I am seeking examples which could unlock cdma outside USA. People in Apple Community all say cdma can't be unlocked.

    There is once a bug. Many people in China use Verizon iPhone 5 with CDMA2000 network. Some of them upgrade iOS and after activation they find the phone do not support CDMA2000 anymore. They inquire GSX finding the activation policy change from 2023 to 10. So I am wondering if the activation policy 10 only supports GSM.

    Please allow me to ask a question: unlocking service from eBay usually charge $150. If I open a Sprint account for 3 months with the cheapest plan, what's the price?
     
  13. Imhzw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Imhzw

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2014
    #13

    When I insert a CSIM Card from China Telecom in my LOCKED SPRINT IPHONE 5C, it shows the carrier's name correctly and the signal is strong. The activation is failed when I use the cellular network. So I think if it's unlocked if should be used perfectly. But due to the answer I find in Apple Community that Unlocking can't unlock cdma, I need to make sure whether it supports.

    However, I bought the phone mainly because of its low price and twice performance than iPod Touch 5. I can only wait for a lower factory price now~
     
  14. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    #14
    I could be off on this, but I don't believe CDMA is even locked, it's just up to the particular carrier to allow that phone on their network or not (assuming it even supports the right bands first).
     
  15. Imhzw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Imhzw

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2014
    #15
    This is an answer I find from Apple Support Communities:
    I am very confused ! ! !
     
  16. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    #16
    Well not much to be confused about: you basically need to know if the carrier you will use will accept the phone you want to use on it.
     
  17. uwdude macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 16, 2014
    #17
    Well I think it is true, if you try to use a CDMA phone from another carrier on your CDMA carrier, like trying to use a Sprint phone on US Verizon or China Telecom, Verizon or China Telecom must accept the phone and add it to their database before you can use it. So your CDMA carrier may or may not allow the phone on their network (I think Verizon and Sprint typically won't allow each other's phones, especially Sprint).

    What we were talking about before is using a CDMA phone like a Sprint phone on other carriers' GSM networks. Which apparently Sprint will allow if it's a foreign network but not domestic. Which I'm still not sure why the hackers haven't quickly gotten around that, maybe not worth their time I guess.
     
  18. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #18
    Three reasons I can think of.
    1. It's not posslble.
    2. As you said not worth their time. Sprint is one carrier, it's the third largest. While the furor over Sprint's unlock policy and the knashing of teeth is very vocal, overall it's an extremely small percentage of people among a great sea of easily available unlocks for the other three carriers.
    3. There are already third party unlocks available for international users.

    So, great effort for very little gain. Who benefits from this? Sprint users. Oh sure, other users on other carriers might, but why put out that much effort when you can just pick up the phone and call your carrier?
     

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