mrhyperlinkukplain Get a free Giffgaff Sim

Unlocking a 3 USB Modem (Huawei E220)

I purchased two Pay As You Go 3 USB Modems a few months ago from Sainsbury’s reduced from £49.99 to £12! I thought they would come in handy if I needed to go mobile with my notebook. My Orange High-speed circuit-switched data (HSCSD) data card is a little slow these days. I can surf the internet with a speed of 14.4kbit/s or if I use two time slots (bonded) can achieve a blistering speed of 28.8kbit/s, this is over the GSM network.

3 USB Modem Huawei E220 `

3 USB Modem Huawei E220 `

The 3 (http//www.three.co.uk) USB Modem is manufactured by Huawei. The model number I’ve purchased is the Huawei E220 HSDPA USB Modem. This model is often called the ‘pebble’, because it resembles a pebble, and is a small ‘dongle’ type device which connects to your computer using a USB cable.  Some folk may be put off by this model in favour of the newer “chewing-gum type sticks” modems available.

The issue I have is that 3’s Pay As You Go data tariff involves “topping up” with £10, but this does not roll over to the next month, if a portion remains unused, you need to top-up again. For £10 you are given a data allowance of 1GB. I don’t find this suitable for my use, I’m only going to use this device . occasionally. A much better tariff for me is the ASDA Mobile Pay As You Go Tariff, Calls - 8p per minute, Texts - 4p per text, Data - 20p per 1MB. ASDA mobile phone tariffs are a steal. But unfortunately, you cannot just use an ASDA SIM Card in a mobile phone which is locked to the other vendors network! I tried the ASDA SIM Card in the 3 USB Modem, and although it recognises the PIN number, it states “invalid SIM”. This is because the 3 USB Modem is SIM Locked to the 3 Network.

Luckily there are software programs that can over-ride this lock. I’ve used the following procedure to over-ride the lock in a 3 USB Modem (Huawei E220) and replace the 3 SIM Card with an ASDA SIM Card. Your mileage may vary, and I will not be held responsible if this procedure fails, and turns your 3 USB Modem into a brick (breaks it!).

  1. Remove SIM Card from USB Modem.
  2. Connect USB Modem to computer.
  3. Download DC-Unlocker Client v1.00.0267 from authors-site or here.
  4. Install the above software on your computer where you have installed the 3 USB Modem.
  5. Start the DC-Unlocker Client on your computer.
  6. Click Buy Credits. You’ll need to register with the DC-Unlocker website, and purchase 15 credits. (15 Euros) to unlock the E220.
  7. Input your username and password into the DC-Unlocker Client, it should verify your details and confirm your credits.
  8. Do not change any other settings. Make sure select manufacturers - Huawei datacards is selected, and select model is set to automatic.
  9. Click the Magnifying glass.
  10. With no SIM card installed the following will appear

DC - Unlocker 2 Client 1.00.0267

Detecting card :

selection :
manufacturer - Huawei datacards
model - Huawei E220
application port - COM4
diagnostic port - COM5

Found modem         : E220
Model               : Huawei E220
IMEI                : 35xxxxxxxxxxxx8
Firmware            : 11.117.09.01.156
Dashboard version   : HOST01.11.118.01.19.156_MAC11.201.05.00.156
Serial NR.          : Exxxxxxxxxxxxxx6
SIM Lock status     : Locked (Card Lock)

  1. Click Unlocking, Unlock
  2. The following output will confirm lock staus
  3. Unlocking, please wait …
    Card successfully unlocked !
  4. Credits left : 0
  5. Click the Magnify glass again, the following will appear

DC - Unlocker 2 Client 1.00.0267

Detecting card :

selection :
manufacturer - Huawei datacards
model - Huawei E220
application port - COM4
diagnostic port - COM5

Found modem         : E220
Model               : Huawei E220
IMEI                : 3xxxxxxxxxxxxx8
Firmware            : 11.117.09.01.156
Dashboard version   : HOST01.11.118.01.19.156_MAC11.201.05.00.156
Serial NR.          : Exxxxxxxxxxxxxx6
SIM Lock status     : unlocked

  1. The USB Modem is unlocked.
  2. Exit DC-Unlocker.
  3. Remove USB modem from computer.
  4. DC-Unlocker client works for me with the above firmware.
  5. If you re-insert your 3 SIM Card and connect to computer, the 3 software should still function.
  6. To use another SIM to connect to internet requires the Uninstallation of the 3 software and the installation of generic Mobile Partner Software from here.
  7. Install the Mobile Partner Software from above.
  8. After installation, and only after a successful installation connect the USB Modem.
  9. Plug ‘N’ Pray should install new drivers for the USB Modem.
  10. Start Mobile Partner and create a new Profile for ASDA, ASDA uses the Vodafone network, but doesn’t use the Vodafone APN!
  11. Open Mobile Partner application, choose Tools - Options - Profile Management - Click New
  12. Create a new profile. e.g. ASDA or Vodafone
  13. Select APN - Static - APN name is asdamobiles.co.uk
  14. Authentication - Access number - *99#
  15. username and password - web/web.
  16. You could create a Three Profile, details are APN - APN
    3internet. Username and password - leave blank. 
  17. Hopefully you be able to click connect and use the Internet via ASDA mobile network.
  18. I think the generic version of Mobile Partner is a much better application than the “noddy” 3 USB Modem application.
  19. The above procedure may work with different providers.

Post to Twitter

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,