Unlocking my T-Mobile G1 UK

I’m quite delighted with the T-Mobile UK service on my G1. Just, it is sometimes annoying taking more than one handset out with me — and I often just want ONE handset with ONE ubiquitous number on it.

I suspect that the battery on the G1 will make it unusable for me as a primary handset. The continual synching must really kill it. When I have been carrying it, I make a point of *switching it off* in the morning and putting it in my bag. That way, when I want to use it, it has full battery.

It is obviously not a primary phone at this point. But in order to use it as such, I needed to unlock it.

What to do?

Well, I visited $44.99 was the unlock fee and they claimed to be able to unlock the G1.


I wasn’t so sure, you never know about some sites you find on the internet — and many times before, I’ve taken it upon myself as a Mobile Industry Review chap — or SMS Text News before then — to stump up the cash and test these things out for you.

Well, I ordered. Paid the $44.99 by PayPal.

And I waited.

At least 12 hours was the warning — it could take that long. I sat back and did some work.

I watched a few minutes of Strictly Come Dancing.

1 hour, 57 minutes later, my unlock code arrived by email.

So I ordered at 7pm, got the code at 9pm UK time.


Instructions on the email were straight forward.

I ignored them and did what I reckoned was correct: My job to play around, I thought. I took out my T-Mobile sim, put in the Vodafone SIM, and restarted the phone.

The phone started fine, finishing with this ‘SIM network unlock PIN’ screen:


‘Am I about to screw it up?’ I wondered.

I typed in the unlock code supplied and pressed UNLOCK:


I got a brief message saying ‘success’. Brief enough for me to miss it and not take a photo of it.

I then saw No Service on the screen:


Uh oh.

Then the screen’s network ID went blank:


Right then. Maybe it’s worked? Has it worked? Maybe it hasn’t been hard-coded with the Vodafone network ID, I thought — so it won’t actually show up as ‘Vodafone’.

I was asked to re-type my Google Account password. I suspect that’s because I changed networks.

I ticked ‘allow international roaming’ and switched on data services in the phone’s menu, just in case that was needed.

I typed in the various Vodafone settings — the APN and so on from — and took a deep breath.

Perhaps I have to set it as default? Or so some other jiggery pokery? Maybe.

First off, let’s connect to the internet and see if it worked:



Fast. Quick. Done.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

14 replies on “Unlocking my T-Mobile G1 UK”

Yup, I too unlocked my G1 using that site and it only took 29 minutes for the code to arrive!

I'm not sure where you got $44.99 from, it only cost me £15.99!

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