How To Unlock Your Huawei USB HSDPA Modem

I inherited a Huawei USB HSDPA modem last year.  Since it was locked to a specific telecommunications company, I checked to see if I can have it unlocked.  Apparently, for most Huawei modems, you can.

Huawei E220 HSDPA modem courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

When my best friend bought his new netbook last year, it came with a free Huawei USB HSDPA modem.  Since he didn’t feel the need for it last year, he decided to give it to me.  The modem was locked to a local telecommunications company.  Since I wanted freedom to choose what telco to use when connecting to the internet, I checked to see if I can have the modem unlocked.

Turns out that it’s possible to unlock most Huawei modems.  In Metro Manila, we have a go-to gadget place called V-Mall Greenhills.  This is where one would usually head off to when in need of sales and services for their computer and mobile needs. I read from somewhere on the net that the usual price for unlocking the USB modem in V-Mall is anywhere between PHP 300 (approx. USD 6.50) to PHP 450 (approx. USD 10).  A bit expensive.  So I checked out Sulit.com.ph, an online advertising site.  Turns out there’s a LOT of people offering to unlock USB modems at a much lower price than in V-Mall.  This particular provider stood out for me.  Mainly because he took the time to clearly explain how the unlocking process is done.

From my experience, my unlocking procedure began with a simple text to the unlocker provider.  I gave him the model number and IMEI code of my modem.  He then attempted to generate the unlock code for the modem.  If it didn’t work, I don’t pay a thing.  But it did work.  So the provider sent me details on how to send the payment.  Payment was as simple as sending load to a particular number.  Once that’s done, he sent me the unlock code.  To complete the unlocking procedure, I insert a SIM card from a different telco into my modem.  I plugged the modem into the USB port of my computer and ran the modem’s dialer software.  The software then asked for the unlock code which I type in. VOILA! I have an unlocked modem!

Was it worth it?  Yes.  Now I’m able to choose which telco to use to connect to the web, depending on how good their signal is from wherever I may be.

The dialer with the different telco settings

Of course, to use said telcos’ SIMs, I had to enter their connection details in the dialer.

Click on Tools » Options... to enter the settings of your desired telco.

Create the new telco profiles under Profile Management.

If you’re in the Philippines and would like to know the settings I used for Globe Broadband (postpaid and prepaid), SmartBro (prepaid), Smart Buddy and Sun Broadband (prepaid), just use contact me and ask.

REMINDER: Some Huawei USB modems may not be unlockable.  In particular, the Huawei E1552 Redbox versions can’t be unlocked.  To check, just insert a SIM from a different telco into your modem, plug it in to your computer and run the dialer software.  If it doesn’t ask for an unlock code, then your modem can’t be unlocked.

Special thanks to Bobby Timonera for giving me the idea to write about this. :D

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