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When you first purchase a Motorola W370 Tracfone, it is limited to connecting to the network of your phone’s current carrier. It is possible, however, to unlock the W370 and allow it to connect to any carrier’s network.
The W370 uses Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) technology, meaning that it works with a Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card. Fortunately, this makes it relatively easy to unlock the phone, as you can use a code to unlock it.
The important part is getting a code in the first place, which can be done through your phone’s carrier or a third-party website. You also need to know the phone’s International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number and need to purchase a SIM card from a carrier other than your phone’s current carrier.
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Find Your Phone’s IMEI Number
Dial “*#06#” on the W370’s keypad. Check the screen and you should see a 15-to-17-digit number appear. Write this number down and keep it somewhere you can easily find it.
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Contact Your Carrier
Contact your phone’s carrier and ask to speak with a customer service representative. Have the IMEI number you wrote down earlier on-hand along with information about your account with the carrier. Request an unlock code while speaking with the representative and provide him with the IMEI number and any other account details he asks for.
Keep in mind that unlocking the phone allows you to connect to any network, including your carrier’s competitors’ networks. Because of this, the representative you speak to may reject your request for an unlock code.
If the representative does provide you with a code, write it down and keep it someplace where you can find it again.
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Purchase Code from Third-Party Website
If your carrier rejects your request for an unlock code, your only option is to purchase one from a third-party website. Open your web browser and navigate to a site that sells unlock codes for the W370 (such as UnlockItNow.com or CellCorner.com). Just like when trying with your phone’s carrier, have the phone’s IMEI number handy while visiting one of these sites.
Look around at different sites until you find one that sells codes at a rate you’re comfortable with. Some sites charge around $13 for a code, while others charge more or less.
Once you have found a price you’re comfortable with, provide the site with your W370’s IMEI number and your billing information. After you have entered this information and confirmed your purchase, sites usually send you an email with a code and instructions for using it. It may take a few hours to receive the email with the code.
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Unlocking the Phone
Whether you receive a code from your phone’s carrier or purchase one from a third-party site, once you have the code you are ready to unlock the phone.
While the W370 is off, remove the battery pack from the back of the phone. Remove the current SIM card and insert a SIM card from a different network in its place (such as replacing an AT&T card with a T-Mobile card). If you do not have one, you can purchase a SIM card from the official AT&T Wireless and T-Mobile sites.
With the new SIM card in place, put the battery pack back in place and turn the phone on. Look at the screen until the “Enter Special Code” message appears. When it does, enter in the unlock code you received.
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Things to Know
Do not enter the wrong unlock code too many times. If you do, you risk permanently hard locking the phone, which would make it completely useless to you.
If you enter an unlock code and receive messages stating: “Contact Service Provider,” “Wait before enter special code” or “Contact Service,” it likely means that there have been too many incorrect codes entered and the phone has hard locked. While it is possible that the phone is permanently hard locked, it may only be a temporary lock. Wait between 40 minutes and 2 hours (with the W370 on and the error message displayed) and check the screen. If you see “Enter Special Code” again, the phone is no longer hard locked.
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- gsm-security.net - What is an IMEI? - http://www.gsm-security.net/faq/imei-international-mobile-equipment-identity-gsm.shtml
- UnlockItNow.com - Motorola W370 Unlock - http://www.unlockitnow.com/Motorola/W370.php
- cellcorner.com - Unlock Motorola W370 cell phone via IMEI - http://www.cellcorner.com/xshp/unlock-phone-codes/unlock-motorola-w370-cell-phone-by-code-via-imei.html
- mobileunlockguide.com - Motorola W370 Unlocking Instructions - http://www.mobileunlockguide.com/motorola-w370
- aitelephone.com - What is a SIM card - http://www.aitelephone.com/international-cell-phone-what-is-a-sim-card.html
- wireless.att.com - AT&T SIM Card Cell Phone - http://www.wireless.att.com/cell-phone-service/cell-phone-details/index.jsp?device=AT&T+SIM+Card&q_sku=sku981990#fbid=oR78CbRFubH
- t-mobile.com - T-Mobile SIM Card phone details from T-Mobile - http://www.t-mobile.com/shop/phones/cell-phone-detail.aspx?cell-phone=T-Mobile-SIM-Card
- Motorola W370 image courtesy of orcacellular.com