AT&T Lumia 900 users now able to unlock their phones. Kind of.

Lumia 900

"I am not a number! I'm a free phone!"

Word on the street is that starting yesterday (October 8th), those of you who are on AT&T or at least have an AT&T Nokia Lumia 900 can now call with your International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number and get your unlock code. That would allow you toss in a T-Mobile SIM (or anyone else’s) and use the phone freely on any network.

We called and emailed AT&T on the matter and we can confirm that they are unlocking phones but…this is AT&T we’re dealing with and our experience was far from smooth...

The Prisoner

All right AT&T, let me have it...

Our George Ponder emailed them about it and he was told that unless you are out of contract or paid the ETF, they won’t give you the code. The conversation ended there for him. I called AT&T, which is the recommended method. However, I spent 33 minutes on the phone, half of which was the customer service agent looking through his manual to figure what I actually wanted.

In the end, I gave him my IMEI only to be told that they can't find the unlock code. In turn, they created a case for me and they should have it resolved by the 17th.  Needless to say that was a painful, near time wasting experience.

Having said that we have seen people in our forums and elsewhere have success in getting their unlock code, so if this is important to you then we recommend you call AT&T and get started with the process.

To obtain your IMEI before the call and to make your life easier, simply open up your dial pad and type *#06#. Write that down and grab a cup of coffee before you enter the AT&T train wreck of unlocking your device.

Good luck and let us know in comments if you were successful. Thanks to all who sent this in!


Reader comments

AT&T Lumia 900 users now able to unlock their phones. Kind of.


i think it is disgusting that they have a dedeciated email process for unlocking iPhones, but not the same for other phones.

60% to 70% of the smartphones they sell are iPhones, so for them if you want the most bang for the buck it makes sense.

Agree with Rebel_Yell. I dig em myself.  So far, they have done more for my account in 2 months than Sprint did in 2 years and I had to bust down the doors in the end to get out of there.  And they still owe me 22.61 and that was February when I left.

"Needless to say that was a painful, near time wasting experience."
That was a bit generous, Daniel, LOL! I suppose that it wasn't a complete time-wasting experience because you were able to document it and add your experience to the blog. Regardless, that sounds PAINFUL.

It was and I mini-live blogged it in our writer's chat room. It was like going to your parents and asking for an unlock code...got the same response, basically. 

But yeah, at least my pain is your gain, lol.

Yes, I switched to AT&T just before the Lumia came out and got the Lumia within a week of it's launch by returning my previous phone (long story). So I am well still under contract.  I chatted with AT&T technical support via web chat and obtained my code with no issues. The only issue I had was figuring out how to use it. The method recommended to me in the forums was to us a non at&t sim and it would prompt you for the code which it did and my code was accepted on the first try. So I have an unlocked Lumia 900 and I am still under contract but by having it unlocked it helps my resale value for when I upgrade to the 920 :)

I had them unlock my phone (Samsung Focus) in December last year. I was 1 year 2 months into my contract at the time. It was a very smooth process for me.

Yes; I had had the phone for less than 100 days when I called.  The rep. told me the only restriction was that I had to have had the phone for at least 90 days, which I did.
I think it also helped I told him I was travelling out of the country -- he repeated that that was my reason on the phone in a way that sounded as if I had said a different reason, he wouldn't have done it.  The phone call was lengthy because the rep. didn't know how to generate the code for the Lumia 900; however, I did get the code in an E-mail a couple days later after he figured out how to submit the request to "the right people".
When I went to the UK, I got a giffgaff SIM, popped it in, entered the unlock code I got from AT&T, and all was well for the phone.  And when I got back the States and put my old SIM back in, it still works great!

"That would allow you toss in a T-Mobile SIM (or anyone else’s) and use the phone freely on any network."
freely on any network? does the radio within the 900 support verizon and/or sprint bands as well?  My HTC Trophy has a sim in it with Verizon, so could i theoretically buy an unlocked 900 and use it on Verizon?

It's more complicated if you want to take a Lumia to another carrier. Apparently while you can have Rogers unlock the device, you still can't get mms and might experience other problems because the Nokia Network Settings app isn't available in the Canadian marketplace :(

I got the network unlock code 3 months before from AT&T, As i was travelling to different country and to use different SIM , they have given the network unlock code, My question is , Is the unlock code you are discussing right now is same like network unlock code which i got ?
please clarify

Yes.  The Unlock Code being discussed is to allow the device to accept other carrier SIM cards, which is the whole point of GSM-based networks.

I would rather pay the $10 than go through the pain. You can buy the codes from many sites, with prices varying from $10 to $20. Not only AT&T, but any network for that matter.

I called AT&T last week to ask for unlock codes for one of my Lumia 900s that I purchased full price and the representative basically was an idiot, she told me that AT&T had exclusivity for the phone and won't be giving out unlock codes ever, this was after being told sometime in June that it will be available in October. So I gave up and just waited for the survey they usually sent right after you call their customer service department. I gave them the worst possible ratings and in the comment part where they ask for your reason, I basically called them Liars. What do you know, yesterday morning, I got a call from AT&T and they basically said because of the review they wanted to call back and see if they could fix my issues. Instead of giving me the unlock code for just the Lumia 900 I got for full price, I ended up asking for both and they gave it to me. Awesome.

I just called AT&T customer service this afternoon to unlock the Lumia 900 which I paid full price for but after 30mins on phone with two associates and a supervisor I was told that AT&T will never unlock those phone unless I use it on their network for 90 days.

So is this the equivalent of the term SIM UNLOCKED?
What is an unbranded unlock?
Does this free us from AT&T blocking updates because its unlocked/sim unlocked/unbranded unlock?

Unbranding allows you to bypass AT&T for updates.  Unlock the SIM allows you to use non AT&T SIMs.  This come in handy if you travel to Europe where they have networks that are supported by the Lumia.  You can just by a SIM and use the local networks vice paying AT&T for roaming

No, the Unlock Code does not remove the carrier branding in the OS, just unlocks the GSM radio and SIM reader to accept other SIM cards from other carriers.  You are still beholdent to AT&T and their stupid update cycles, or the lack there of.

What's the big deal of unlocking the phone ? If you want an unlocked phone...buy it unlocked if you want ATT phones use ATT im sick of hearing people bash ATT...i had Verizon and hated them their customer service stinks and all they sell is Motorola driod version a-z while ATT doesn't have the fastest network...yet...unless you have lte service which ATT LTE is lightening fast especially in NYC... they have the best variety of phones in my opinion....i personally could care less if my Lumina 900 gets unlocked why cause all I use is ATT and don't plan on going anywhere else

@rrsrv151 Some of us travel around the world and would rather throw in  a pre-paid SIM on a foreign carrier than use AT&T international data. Have you not thought of that?

And sick of hearing people bash AT&T? I just spent 33 minutes on the phone to get an unlock code which is my right and they couldn't help. It's once case but it wasn't a good experience. And neither was George's.

@rrsrv151: I am sorry but you seem to have less knowledge than even me. I thought I was the most technically challenged person on this website.

Will this allow tethering or not? Someone posted they still can't. Any other experiences? What other advantages are there to unlocking?

If you go overseas on vacation or business with an unlocked phone, you can rent a sim from a carrier in that country and that way not be charged international roaming.

Tethering is up to the carrier. I recently went travelling and bought SIM's in different places, all with unlimited daily data plans. I tried to tether with my laptop - all but one carrier worked immediately without any extra effort.

Just unlocked my phone.  I am in the u.s and the phone is currently being used on a contract, but i didnt purchase the phone with a contract.
Anyway, took me about 5 minutes of live chatting to get my code and the pin was accepted.
Go to att.com/wireless, go to support, you will need to log in to do a live chat.  pick international live chat, say you want to unlock for international use.  Verify account, give IMEI, they will provide you with a pin. 
I am all set, it should be pretty easy.  Dont answer more than you need.  that always help. 

I did it the way you suggested, as I actually prefer Chat over calling as people on the phone tend to not listen and comprehend at times...and then i get aggrivated lol. 
Everything went smoothly. 1st code I was given didnt work (tried twice). 2nd code work and said "Pin Accepted". Took all of 5-7 min. 
Good tip for everyone man. 

I called last night and got my unlock code.  The support rep gave me the Samsung procedure to enter the unlock code.  After a few minutes, he realized that I have a Lumia 900.  So he pasted somthing from a manul with the sequence of codes to get prompted.  I finally got frustrated and told him that I would figure it out.  So if you have a non authorized SIM, it will prompt you for the unlock code.  However, I didn't have an non authorized SIM.  But I found a key sequece that will prompt you for the unlock code and you don't have to remove your SIM at all.  ##782#

To get any response from AT&T, try this: AT&T CEO, Randall Stephenson
rs2982@att.com | randall.stephenson@att.com
phone: 210.351.5401 (direct to his secretary)
alternate phone: 210.821.4105 (headquarters, press 3, ask for Mr. Stephenson's office).
When they were dragging their feet over NoDo, they called me in response to my email complaint in which I questioned their "doesn't work on Samsung" excuse. Got me a month's free service.
sepatown is right. Give them a negative review, and they actually wake up.

My Experience with customer service was a F**** joke what idiots. I had to hang up on two people who claim AT&T was not giving out the code when I already called and got the code earlier yesterday morning & i was only calling to get instructions on how to properly do it. The last person i hung up on before i called back and actually got a lot of help from a great rep told me to press #*** wait for a P then press **** wait for a W then ** enter code & press **1# Dumb ass.
All I had to do was put in a T-Mo SIM and enter code, now its unlocked and I gave it to my son but all he gets is Edge on T-Mo.
He's happy thats all that matters to me.

use ##782# press call and it will ask for the code and press enter and it will work.
I got the same answer from AT&T, the customer service people are bunch of st*pids, they don't know what they are doing. I even called nokia for support, no help from them either.
I called the local at&t store, they told me that they are not suppose to help in this case.

This was super helpful, thank you so much. Used ##782# and pressed call as you mentioned, and the phone asked me for the unlock code. 

Also confirm that it was super easy to get unlock code from AT&T. Just called them at 611 and asked, and they gave it to me in 10min.
Thanks guys!

I took a trip from the US to the UK with three of my brothers this summer and we had no trouble getting our unlock codes by calling AT&T customer service. 1 Quantum and 2 Focuses (Foci?) out-of-contract and 1 Samsung Galaxy something still-on-contract. Guess it depends on which person you get...
...I do remember that there was something slightly wrong with their unlocking instructions for the Focus, but a quick web search helped us figure that out.

uh you just have to give them a good reason to unlock your phone. Earlier this year I went to Thailand for a 2 weeks vacation...but I told them I am going there for business for 3+ months. They gave me an unlock code right away. The whole process took no more than 5 minutes.

That just might be the key. Carriers surely have some feelings about their phones (and maybe customers) just walking over to another network. I think that I do like the PAYG method and wish that it was more widely available here in the US.

Lumia* sorry auto correct works....if your an international traveler I see how it makes sense...but bashing ATT because of their methods? Go to Tmobile they use the same network type that ATT uses if you dont like ATT... I just think too many people bash ATT because they need something to moan and groan about....

I went through a painful experience last night trying to get instructions on how to enter the unlock code.  Getting the code iself was quite easy for me (I don't have AT&T service of any kind).  I finally managed to get someone on the line that had a clue, at which point I was told to put in another carrier's SIM, then enter the code.
So, I went to T-Mobile today, did just that, and entered the code.  The method that they seem to be telling everyone is for Symbian phones, not Lumias.

I got my unlock code from them but having trouble with it.  I dont have a T-Mobile SIM and the bizzarre #***P****W**+... just does not work on the 900...
Couple of minutes to get the code - now I need to hunt down a micro-sim ...

Someone above said dial ##782# and it should prompt you.  I tried it and it did nothing but I already unlocked with a vzw sim (from an iPhone 4s).

I tried the ##782# method as well as the pw+ method and got nothing as well.  A T-Mobile SIM worked perfectly for me, popped the prompt right up upon booting.

I called Att and they gave me the code no questions asked. It's for my two year old Focus though =) which is now a Nokia lumia 800 windows 7.8 ;-)

Finally, it was actually painless for me to get the code, but the painful part was I couldn't remember how to enter it and the att rep couldn't figure it out, but I got it. Last time I called for this, they insisted nokia has the codes and they can't get them until end of the year. Thanks for the heads up on this!

I called yesterday and my answer was "For security reason we can't unlock my phone". I assume they meant my contract is not expired yet. Anyway, I log on with a chat rep through ATT site and THEY GAVE ME THE UNLOCK CODE! Try going through it this way!

When I dial ##782# after unlocking it, I get a black screen. I thought it is supposed to tell you it is unlocked after you do this. It no longer prompts for unlock code, just shows a black screen.

Once it is unlocked, it will display the blank screen. Looks like it has already been unlocked.

There's no need to unlock my phone... Unless im selling it or I fly to another country.. You al have to remember l900 uses the nano sim.. Im waiting for surface I will skip the wp8's for now

They told me they had to contact Nokia to get my phone unlocked so I should expect the unlock code by the 16th

I just finished a live chat session with an AT&T representative.
I just told them the truth. I wanted the unlock code to maximize the resale value so that I can buy the Lumia 920. It took all but 15 minutes total time. No questions asked. Right off the bat "Stacy" said that I was eligible and that I will have instructions e-mailed along with the unlock code.
Very nice!
In all fairness, it was this easy when I requested the unlock codes for my iPhone 4 as well earlier this year when the Lumia 900 came out. Very painless. Being a loyal customer must have its perks sometimes. People might gripe about Carrier A or Carrier B, but AT&T has treated me well for the last 5 years.

I had unlocked my Focus about a month ago prior to traveling with my wife to Thailand. At first the rep told me they are unable to unlock phone while under contract. This rule has been in place for about 2-3 years. They said I would need to pay off the balance of my contract to unlock my phone. I told them I have had prvious smartphone unlocked while on contract with no problems and did not have to pay anything and they transfered me to their international department. 30 Seconds later, I had my unlock code.
When in doubt always as to speak to their international department.  

My AT&T Lumia 900 was unlocked in August. I called them because I was traveling internationally in September. One week later I had my unlock code. I had absolutely no problems. Now my wife's iPhone 4s was another story. AT&T refused even though she bought her iPhone months before me. I ended up paying $65 for a factory IMEI unlock.

I know this is make no sense cause I'm from Dominican republic but I like to much AT&T phones, they work perfectly with my Carrie here, and is no hard unlocked it!

Took me 2 minutes. I chatted with the international support personnel and she didn't ask for anything apart from the IMEI number and the next message was the unlock code.

If anyone gets instructions with the pw+ input don't do it, that's the old unlock procedure, I remember unlocking my 3310 that way

Just now tried to get mine unlocked, everything went very well. I called ATT, told the guy I don't have an account and said I got my phone on the Internet, and wanted an unlock code for it. No questions asked, he was very nice and asked for the IMEI, about 2 minutes later of being on hold, he tells me the unlock code. Very happy with the process. Unfortunatley I didn't get the guy's name. Service like this will help me sway toward ATT for service later. Now if they could just lower their rates some :/

I went through International Chat Support and within two minutes I had the unlock code for my Lumia 900.  Don't know if I'll ever use the Lumia 900 on another carrier or when I'm abroad but it is nice to know I have that option.  ##782# and SEND got me to the unlock screen.
I wonder how much an unlocked Lumia 900 is worth.

I used the "Contact Us" email form at att.com after logging in to my account. Asked for unlock codes for two Lumia 900 IMEIs this morning. I had purchased the phones they day they came out from Amazon.com back in April 2012 so I'm not "upgrade eligible" but apparently was okay to get the unlock codes. Since I got them from Amazon for $49 each and later got $100 back each due to the software glitch at launch I've been very happy with my more than free phones!
Got an email back with unlock codes about three hour later. Email had the wrong Symbian instructions. So I put in a cut down foreign SIM in each phone, in a bit the phone asked me for the unlock code.Entered it and it worked! Free, at last, free at last, thank God Almighty I'm free at last!

Which email form contact us did you used? Im not finding any and I cant access support because I dont have a phone number

I quickly got my unlock code by chatting with the International support just like wamsill and others said above.
Just called ##782# to get to the unlock screen and punched in the number.
I'll be trying out the same with my wife's Titan.

I called in on the 8th and got my unlock code with no problems.  That was the easy part!  Getting the network APN settings put in was the hard part.  Using the Network Setup app eventually worked, but that shouldn't be necessary in 2012.

Yes.. I also cannot get hold of any person at AT&T. I'm not in USA, bought the phone from ebay.. Now it's with me, but locked to at&t.. please help..

@Daniel Rubino
- I got my unlock code after 3 tries, and I used the international at&t support, since I'm not an at&t customer I just waited to get to the customer service representative :)  So pretty sure its just a hit and miss.

i opened a ticket after talking to the customer service 1 month back and today i received the unlock code and resolved the ticket. very happy.

I just got my unlock code without any hassle. I called technical support, told them work mandates a t mobile phone, and that I needed the unlock code so I could use my phone on both networks. I said I would rather carry an extra sum card than to carry an extra phone. I still have one year left on my 2 year contract. I have the Nokia lumia 900. Now I have to see if it actually works. I will update later.