The T-Mobile BlackBerry Pearl is part of the BlackBerry Pearl line of smartphones, originally released in 2006. The most recent model of the BlackBerry Pearl sold by T-Mobile was model 8120. The Pearl is notable among BlackBerry devices because it contains a modified 20-key keypad for text input instead of a full QWERTY keyboard.
One thing that’s the same for all BlackBerry phones sold by T-Mobile, however, is that the phone remains SIM locked. This means that you cannot use the phone with carriers other than T-Mobile even though the phone is capable of working with any GSM network. You have to unlock the BlackBerry cell phone before it can use a network other than T-Mobile.
Phone unlocking is perfectly legal. The cell phone is manufactured unlocked, and Research In Motion added a SIM lock at the request of the carriers. By using phone unlock codes to unlock the cell phone you are merely restoring it to factory settings. It does not void your warranty, and the phone will remain unlocked even if Research In Motion rolls out new software to your phone. Unlocked phones also have higher resale values than ones that are still SIM locked.
You can get the free codes for unlocking phones simply by asking T-Mobile for them, provided that you have been their customer for more than three months. Because the process to unlock a BlackBerry cell phone is somewhat complex, you may wish to stop into the local T-Mobile store and have them perform the phone unlocking for you.
If you do not have access to the free codes for unlocking phones, don’t worry. You can always purchase a SIM card from a different phone carrier and buy the phone unlock codes from a third party vendor online.
You can unlock your T-Mobile BlackBerry Pearl by following these steps.
1. Power on your phone, and go to the home screen.
2. Press the Tools icon.
3. Press the Settings icon.
4. Scroll through the settings until you get to SIM Card. Select SIM Card.
5. The phone displays your phone number and SIM ID number.
6. Press the keys on your keypad associated with the letters MEPD. (You don’t need to hit keys multiple times to choose a specific letter – just press the key that shows that letter.)
7. The phone shows that network locking is active.
8. Press the keys on your keypad associated with the letters MEP then press and hold the Alt key while pressing the 2 key.
9. Enter the unlock code that you were given.
10. Press Enter.
11. Power off your phone, remove battery, reinstall battery, and then power it back on.