How to Unlock a SIM Card With an IMEI Number

By Nachiket Deshmukh

Cell phones purchased with a contract from a service provider are locked with the provider until the contract expires. The SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card in a cell phone is electronically linked by the service provider to the phone's unique serial number, or IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity). The SIM card contains useful information such as a user's phone number association, phone book records, text messages, multimedia files, etc. To use multiple cell phones with the same SIM card, you must unlock the SIM card associated with an IMEI number. Call your provider and request the subsidy unlock code.

Step 1

Insert the SIM card to be unlocked in a phone, power on the phone and turn off all wireless radio/network connections.

Step 2

Obtain the 15-digit IMEI number by keying *#06# on the phone.

Step 3

Select the SIM card settings from the phone's options menu and key in the code MEPD. This will display phone and network details in most of the smart phones such as the BlackBerry and Palm.

Step 4

Enter the 15-digit IMEI number if prompted on the phone's display.

Step 5

Key in the code MEP2 and the following message will be displayed on the screen: "Enter Network MEP code (10 left):"

Step 6

Key in the subsidy unlock code given by your service provider. This will unlock your phone and disassociate its SIM card from the IMEI number.

Step 7

Reboot the phone for proper operation.

Tips & Warnings

  • Back up your phone book contacts and useful data from your phone before attempting to unlock it.