SBJ1998

U.S. Cellular 4G LTE SIM card FAQ

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That's good news about knox.   It's useless to the vast majority of customers.    Samsung sells a "Developer Edition" of the Note 4 for Verizon customers that has an unlocked bootloader.  The price is fixed at $699, and there's no subsidizing it.   I've always thought that they should sell the "Enterprise Edition" instead, which has everything locked down tight, and with knox installed.   Then let all the "Retail Edition" phones sold in Verizon stores have unlocked bootloaders.   Then, they'd be asking big corporations to pay the premium price to maintain their security...  rather than poor individual developers.  It sounds like a win for everyone, to me.

 

Anyway... It sounds like the USCC unlock is a more secure process.  Like there are private keys involved.    A little research on it, and I found that some unlocking methods involving parsing the IMEI and current time along with a private key to generate the unlock code.   That's pretty serious, and above my head.

 

However... I did read in these forums that it's a "simple 6-digit code of all zeroes" or something like that.   I don't even know where to access the code to enter it anyway. 

 

Regardless...  if there's no problem with unlocking it in a store, then I don't have to worry about doing it myself, unless I can find no method of physically getting it to a USCC store to get it done.

 

Thanks again, as always!

Edited by DrPhant0m

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That's good news about knox.   It's useless to the vast majority of customers.    Samsung sells a "Developer Edition" of the Note 4 for Verizon customers that has an unlocked bootloader.  The price is fixed at $699, and there's no subsidizing it.   I've always thought that they should sell the "Enterprise Edition" instead, which has everything locked down tight, and with knox installed.   Then let all the "Retail Edition" phones sold in Verizon stores have unlocked bootloaders.   Then, they'd be asking big corporations to pay the premium price to maintain their security...  rather than poor individual developers.  It sounds like a win for everyone, to me.

 

Anyway... It sounds like the USCC unlock is a more secure process.  Like there are private keys involved.    A little research on it, and I found that some unlocking methods involving parsing the IMEI and current time along with a private key to generate the unlock code.   That's pretty serious, and above my head.

 

However... I did read in these forums that it's a "simple 6-digit code of all zeroes" or something like that.   I don't even know where to access the code to enter it anyway. 

 

Regardless...  if there's no problem with unlocking it in a store, then I don't have to worry about doing it myself, unless I can find no method of physically getting it to a USCC store to get it done.

 

Thanks again, as always!

If the phone is rooted, the diagnostic tool will detect it and attempt to flash a stock ROM before unlocking. As for the Knox warranty counter, they really don't care. Just make sure to flash a stock, unrooted ROM before getting it unlocked.

 

The simple 6-digit code of all zeros is used for manually programming the device to another carrier, it's a separate mechanism than SIM unlocking and serves a completely different purpose.

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Good info there, too.

 

Can I try my luck and ask if anyone knows if I'll be able to flash a Verizon ROM to the phone when the dust settles?  The retail version of the phone can't be bootloader-unlocked or rooted... but there is a "developers edition" that has an unlocked bootloader... for which some ROMs exist.

 

Thanks!

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As long as the ROM is properly converted. I should have said that.

Yes you can - but not blindly.

Read - read - read. It's not as straight forward and simple as you may think. You can't just flash stuff without know what it does.

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk

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Understood. I need to learn more about the actual differences between the hardware. And software, actually... you can't just flash everything. On the surface it seems the only differences are an unlocked bootloader and a couple different LTE bands. It would be ideal if I could pretty much turn this phone into a bootloader-unlocked Verizon phone tho.

Edited by DrPhant0m

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No, your UICC is paired to the MEID of the device it was activated with, if this specific parity doesn't match, you will not obtain service.

This is actually incorrect.  USCC's network identifies the SIM or UICC number, no parity included.  Early on when they started carrying phones that needed these cards they had issues with having the same card on multiple accounts.  Even with the launch of TOPS it did not fix it, made it worse matter of fact.  However, you will only be allowed to have that one UICC or SIM number on one phone, but they do not pair with the meid.  As for rooting the phone to unlock it, USCC trains their people specifically to not touch rooted phones.  You might get lucky with someone who does it for you anyhow, but you do run the risk of them handing it back and saying sorry.

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If all the user has is root access, there's a pretty good chance that they wont even notice - or wont even know what to look for.

 

If you have a rom that changed everything, or looks entirely different, thats a dead giveaway and they should turn you down for going in asking for help with a rom'd phone.  thats just dumb.

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Update...

Turns out the USCC phone I got on amazon was blacklisted. Didn't find out til I took it to a store and they used the number on the UICC to see the account was defaulted, and owed $800+ Not sure why no one could tell me that on the phone from the IMEI, but anyway...

Obviously they wouldnt unlock it, so the phone is unusable on any network. I won the amazon claim, got a full refund, and still have the device. Now my 18mo son has a nicer phone than I do.

It'd be great if I could unlock the phone... but for now it just runs videos and apps wifi-only.

Thanks to all for the help.

PS... when I brought the phone in, it was fresh from Odin. The only indication of any tampering would have been the Knox flag and flash counter in download mode. All software was fresh and stock. They didn't mention anything about it.

Edited by DrPhant0m

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Update...

Turns out the USCC phone I got on amazon was blacklisted. Didn't find out til I took it to a store and they used the number on the UICC to see the account was defaulted, and owed $800+ Not sure why no one could tell me that on the phone from the IMEI, but anyway...

Obviously they wouldnt unlock it, so the phone is unusable on any network. I won the amazon claim, got a full refund, and still have the device. Now my 18mo son has a nicer phone than I do.

It'd be great if I could unlock the phone... but for now it just runs videos and apps wifi-only.

Thanks to all for the help.

PS... when I brought the phone in, it was fresh from Odin. The only indication of any tampering would have been the Knox flag and flash counter in download mode. All software was fresh and stock. They didn't mention anything about it.

PRO TIP:

 

Pull the UICC out before taking the phone into USCC to be unlocked or activated on service, they will reference the MEID instead of the phone number that was on the UICC.

 

MEID checking through TOPS is a massive  pain in the ass for USCC employees, if there isn't a phone number to reference they'll very likely skip the process.

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They tried to unlock it and it didn't succeed, so they investigated. My wife took the phone to a store while visiting her aunt, so I just know what I'm told. Are you saying I might be able to get it unlocked if I don't bring the UICC?

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They tried to unlock it and it didn't succeed, so they investigated. My wife took the phone to a store while visiting her aunt, so I just know what I'm told. Are you saying I might be able to get it unlocked if I don't bring the UICC?

It will significantly increase your chances of a successful unlock. By bringing it without the UICC, the only way the agent can verify if it's clean is through RIM, which means they have to create a dummy line just to run the MEID.

 

Also what phone are you trying to get unlocked? Sammies before the S6/S6 Edge will only work with other LTE/CDMA carriers, they'll also work on T-Mobile but voice won't work, only LTE data.

Edited by SBJ1998

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No, your UICC is paired to the MEID of the device it was activated with, if this specific parity doesn't match, you will not obtain service.

This is actually incorrect.  USCC's network identifies the SIM or UICC number, no parity included.  Early on when they started carrying phones that needed these cards they had issues with having the same card on multiple accounts.  Even with the launch of TOPS it did not fix it, made it worse matter of fact.  However, you will only be allowed to have that one UICC or SIM number on one phone, but they do not pair with the meid.  As for rooting the phone to unlock it, USCC trains their people specifically to not touch rooted phones.  You might get lucky with someone who does it for you anyhow, but you do run the risk of them handing it back and saying sorry.

 

It's correct, please stop spreading false information.

 

The UICC will only work with the phone it was activated with, so it's technically "paired" with that phone. The network will block any provisioning attempts by the UICC if it's placed in a device with a different MEID than the one it was originally activated with.

 

Sprint and MetroPCS have both been doing this since the launch of their LTE networks, UICC/SIM parity is not a new technology and it IS used by USCC.

 

Even through TOPS, any device activation will require the MEID to be inputted, it isn't just purely based on the UICC.

 

You're wrong about them not flashing rooted phones too, their diagnostic tool will just attempt to flash stock ROM before unlocking.

Edited by SBJ1998

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They tried to unlock it and it didn't succeed, so they investigated. My wife took the phone to a store while visiting her aunt, so I just know what I'm told. Are you saying I might be able to get it unlocked if I don't bring the UICC?

It will significantly increase your chances of a successful unlock. By bringing it without the UICC, the only way the agent can verify if it's clean is through RIM, which means they have to create a dummy line just to run the MEID.

 

Also what phone are you trying to get unlocked? Sammies before the S6/S6 Edge will only work with other LTE/CDMA carriers, they'll also work on T-Mobile but voice won't work, only LTE data.

 

IIRC from page 1 he's working with a Note 4.

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Correct.   Note 4 indeed.

 

 

They tried to unlock it and it didn't succeed, so they investigated. My wife took the phone to a store while visiting her aunt, so I just know what I'm told. Are you saying I might be able to get it unlocked if I don't bring the UICC?

It will significantly increase your chances of a successful unlock. By bringing it without the UICC, the only way the agent can verify if it's clean is through RIM, which means they have to create a dummy line just to run the MEID.

 

Also what phone are you trying to get unlocked? Sammies before the S6/S6 Edge will only work with other LTE/CDMA carriers, they'll also work on T-Mobile but voice won't work, only LTE data.

 

 

So... I've got this Note 4 that I can't use... and I'm 90miles away from the nearest US Cellular store.  

You're telling me that if I'd go back to a store and say I don't have a UICC, that I might be able to get it unlocked, and working on Verizon?

 

Oh, jeeze...  this is a tough call.  

 

Any idea why it failed when they tried it the first time?  I believe they said that their default (easier/quicker) method wasn't working, or they had postponed the ability to use it...  so they did some kind of manual thing.  My wife said that the guy took another phone from the display, and was typing stuff into it and going back and forth with my phone.   My wife called me and said "He's finishing up, and he's going to try to call you using my Verizon SIM card in the phone"

 

I waited for 30min, and my wife finally called me back and told me everything about how the account the phone was on is blacklisted and everything.

 

I really don't know more detail than that.  Can anyone help to fill in the blanks for me?

 

Is it possible that the phone is now "marked" in their system after going through this, so that it won't be easy as you guys say to get it unlocked?

 

Thanks for the ongoing help.

Edited by DrPhant0m

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No, your UICC is paired to the MEID of the device it was activated with, if this specific parity doesn't match, you will not obtain service.

This is actually incorrect. USCC's network identifies the SIM or UICC number, no parity included. Early on when they started carrying phones that needed these cards they had issues with having the same card on multiple accounts. Even with the launch of TOPS it did not fix it, made it worse matter of fact. However, you will only be allowed to have that one UICC or SIM number on one phone, but they do not pair with the meid. As for rooting the phone to unlock it, USCC trains their people specifically to not touch rooted phones. You might get lucky with someone who does it for you anyhow, but you do run the risk of them handing it back and saying sorry.

It's correct, please stop spreading false information.

The UICC will only work with the phone it was activated with, so it's technically "paired" with that phone. The network will block any provisioning attempts by the UICC if it's placed in a device with a different MEID than the one it was originally activated with.

Sprint and MetroPCS have both been doing this since the launch of their LTE networks, UICC/SIM parity is not a new technology and it IS used by USCC.

Even through TOPS, any device activation will require the MEID to be inputted, it isn't just purely based on the UICC.

You're wrong about them not flashing rooted phones too, their diagnostic tool will just attempt to flash stock ROM before unlocking.

I can personally confirm that uscc pairs the meid and sim numbers for activation.

You can't have one or the other, you need both.

Idk why you would say that they aren't paired? You obviously have no idea how the service works otherwise you would know that this is how it has always worked.

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk

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Correct.   Note 4 indeed.

 

 

They tried to unlock it and it didn't succeed, so they investigated. My wife took the phone to a store while visiting her aunt, so I just know what I'm told. Are you saying I might be able to get it unlocked if I don't bring the UICC?

It will significantly increase your chances of a successful unlock. By bringing it without the UICC, the only way the agent can verify if it's clean is through RIM, which means they have to create a dummy line just to run the MEID.

 

Also what phone are you trying to get unlocked? Sammies before the S6/S6 Edge will only work with other LTE/CDMA carriers, they'll also work on T-Mobile but voice won't work, only LTE data.

 

 

So... I've got this Note 4 that I can't use... and I'm 90miles away from the nearest US Cellular store.  

You're telling me that if I'd go back to a store and say I don't have a UICC, that I might be able to get it unlocked, and working on Verizon?

 

Oh, jeeze...  this is a tough call.  

 

Any idea why it failed when they tried it the first time?  I believe they said that their default (easier/quicker) method wasn't working, or they had postponed the ability to use it...  so they did some kind of manual thing.  My wife said that the guy took another phone from the display, and was typing stuff into it and going back and forth with my phone.   My wife called me and said "He's finishing up, and he's going to try to call you using my Verizon SIM card in the phone"

 

I waited for 30min, and my wife finally called me back and told me everything about how the account the phone was on is blacklisted and everything.

 

I really don't know more detail than that.  Can anyone help to fill in the blanks for me?

 

Is it possible that the phone is now "marked" in their system after going through this, so that it won't be easy as you guys say to get it unlocked?

 

Thanks for the ongoing help.

It'll work fine on Verizon for 1x and 3G, USCC's Note 4 only supports Verizon's secondary LTE band(AWS), not band 13 which is Verizon's most widely deployed LTE frequency, so LTE will be crippled.

 

This is what I would do in order to minimize the issues with unlocking your phone.

 

Factory reset the phone

Flash the latest, unrooted, official stock ROM

Disable DM mode if it's enabled(dial ##366633#)

Enable USB debugging

 

USCC's diagnostic tool won't block a phone from being unlocked due to the ESN being bad, I actually ran into the exact same issue as you. The employee wouldn't unlock the phone because the number on the UICC was delinquent so I removed the UICC, went back, and unlock process went perfect.

Edited by SBJ1998

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This is good info. What is DM Mode? And what effect does it have on unlocking?

I connect to band 4 (AWS/"XLTE") everywhere, so I don't see it as a problem. Also, I've seen it mentioned that qualcomm 8xx processors can be flashed using dev software to enable other bands. I'm not putting any eggs in that basket yet tho.

I wish I knew all this going into the process. But, I'm still wary since I was told they postponed the Note 4 unlock method, and the guy attempted to do it manually.

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DM mode is the mode the phone is put in so the code can be entered (USCCs system does all this very fast) - but idk how you get to DM mode without USCC doing it.

I (and many others) would love to know exactly how this is done.

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk

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DM mode is the mode the phone is put in so the code can be entered (USCCs system does all this very fast) - but idk how you get to DM mode without USCC doing it.

I (and many others) would love to know exactly how this is done.

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk

You can enable DM mode by dialing ##366633#

Edited by SBJ1998

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This is good info. What is DM Mode? And what effect does it have on unlocking?

I connect to band 4 (AWS/"XLTE") everywhere, so I don't see it as a problem. Also, I've seen it mentioned that qualcomm 8xx processors can be flashed using dev software to enable other bands. I'm not putting any eggs in that basket yet tho.

I wish I knew all this going into the process. But, I'm still wary since I was told they postponed the Note 4 unlock method, and the guy attempted to do it manually.

Diagnostic mode, the unlock will not start if the phone is in DM mode when plugged in.

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So, I'm to understand that I should disable DM mode to make it easier to unlock.

In other words...  disable the mode they put the phone in to enter an unlock code.

 

I'm not sure that makes sense.

 

 

BTW... the phone was freshly-ODIN'd to BOC4, and I went straight to the dialer...  DM mode is disabled by default.

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So, I'm to understand that I should disable DM mode to make it easier to unlock.

In other words...  disable the mode they put the phone in to enter an unlock code.

 

I'm not sure that makes sense.

 

 

BTW... the phone was freshly-ODIN'd to BOC4, and I went straight to the dialer...  DM mode is disabled by default.

It's something about the diagnostic tool, it'll get an error that says something like "cannot communicate with phone while in DM mode use ##366633# to disable DM mode"

 

The tool will automatically re-enable it, maybe the tool thinks the phone has been tampered with if it's been in DM mode before, I have no idea.

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If someone set up an NV dump to run when USCC unlocks their phone, we would be this much closer to being able to unlock without intervention from USCC.

 

It seems as though USCC phones are SIM-locked with perso just like their GSM counterparts, the menu to input the NCK code is just hidden.

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