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Posts Tagged ‘vodafone’

Andy goes for a long walk, and finds his Local Mobile Phone Masts!

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Never a boring day, today I went searching for my nearest mobile phone masts. The only trouble was I could see them, but had a few difficulties, in finding the access road leading to the actual base transmitter mast sites. I left my car, and went walking up a hill, across fields, and found the base transmitter mast sites, took some photographs below of the sites, and then walked back down the access road from the site, only to find, it was miles from where I left my car. A lovely warm day, and fantastic views, across the Vale of York.

The O2 and T-Mobile transmitter sites, are just inside the Kilnwick Percy Golf Course, as you can see in the photographs, graffiti artists, have already “tagged” the site, it wasn’t me!

In one of the pictures below, I highlight with a red circle, where I live in the distance.

I found evidence of an O2 and T-Mobile transmitter mast, and a Vodafone transmitter but could not see any visible documentation, for mobile company 3. (Three). I suspect one of the antenna on the transmitter mast must belong to 3 (Three).

The reason for my visit, was to check, if I could “beam” a 2.4GHz WiFi signal back to my house, to check line of sight. I could, so I have clear line of sight to errect a new 16 dbi Yagi antenna, to improve my 3G UMTS/HSPDA signal, and improve and hopefully get a better download speed using wireless technology.

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ZTE MF627 Unlock Download

Saturday, November 13th, 2010

Important: Re-flashing of the ZTE MF627 USB Modem MUST be done on Windows XP ONLY. If you try it on another OS, you’ll brick it! (break it!)

This is the procedure I’ve now done many times.

1. Download this file from here. This contains replacement firmware, and will replace the software on the USB modem.
2. The file is a RAR archive (similar to a ZIP). So you’ll need an extraction tool to handle this file and extract the contents. e.g. winrar.
3. Extract the contents of the above file to a directory e.g. c:flash.
4. DO NOT USE A USB HUB FOR THE FLASH UPGRADE. (you’ve been warned!).MAKE SURE YOU’VE GOT PC ATTACHED TO A UPS OR USE A LAPTOP CONNECTED TO MAINS. (Enough credit in your electricity meter etc). THE FLASH UPDATE ON AVERAGE TAKES APPROXIMATELY 18-20 MINUTES TO COMPLETE, SOME COMPUTERS CAN TAKE UP TO 46 MINUTES. THIS IS A VERY LONG DANGEROUS TIME, IF IT FAILS IT WILL BRICK YOU USB MODEM. (aka stuff it!). It’s also probably a good idea to stop all other Windows XP application as well!
5. Install the software that comes with the USB modem dongle. After inserting the USB modem into your Windows XP computers’ USB port, Windows XP will do the plug N play thing, and install all the drivers, it will then Autorun the software installation and install the 3Connect GUI.
6. Unplug, and re-insert the usb modem, to check drivers are correctly loaded.
7. Select Start->Control Panel->System->Device Manager, Expand the modems section, you should see a ZTE modem.
8. Run FlashUpdate.exe in the c:\flash directory. (don’t worry that the update states is for the MF626, if you query the modem using Hayes AT commands, you’ll see this is a MF626, it’s just the MF627 is a black/green version OEMed for ‘3′)
9. The updater scans serial ports looking for the modem, when it finds the Diagnostic port, the Download Button un-greys. (you may need to maximize the application to see the Download box).
10. Wait for approximately 20 minutes. (see above) It will eventually announce when it’s completed and the Cost it took in minutes!
11. In the first few seconds, it disables autorun, and resets the modem, and waits 50 seconds before it re-appears again on the USB bus, so don’t be tempted to flash under VMware! So you should here it disconnect and re-connect to the PC (bing bong Windows XP sound!).
12. Your 3 ZTE MF627 USB Modem dongle is now been unlocked from 3 and you can put any network’s data SIM in it.
13. You’ll need to install different Connection Management software in the c:flash directory.
14. Once that’s been installed, create a new Profile for your Network Provider.

Not that this is a big issue, but I’ve noticed that using another SIM (other than 3), the light always stays in ROAM mode (solid/flashing red) rather than Green = GPRS, Blue = 3G/HSDPA.

The Telstra/3Connect connection manager software is able to correctly tell, whether you are connected at GPRS or 3G/HSDPA. You can still use your 3 SIM correctly with the 3 Connect software after flashing, but the 3Connect software will only work with a 3 SIM.

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 (ZTE MF627) 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!).

UPDATE (12 Dec 09) :- I originally thought that using a non-3 (three) SIM caused the ZTE MF627 to flash RED. This is not the case, RED Simply means GPRS mode!

For details on software please make a 10 GBP donation via PayPal and by return I’ll send you the software to unlock your MF627. The donation pays for the hosting of this website, and thousands of hits and free information I’ve provided on unlocking Three Mobile Modems.


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NEWSFLASH! Evicted from The Orange Shop, 16/17 Coney Street, YORK TODAY!

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

I went into The Orange Shop, 16/17 Coney Street, YORK today at approx 14:00 to make an enquiry about the iPhone 4 32GB Black on an Orange Contract. I was greeted by a Sales Person called Mark.

He was quick to explain to me, that Apple fix the prices of the iPhone 4.0 32GB Black, and Mobile Airtime companies cannot set the price of the phone, he asked if I wanted it on Pay As You Go or Contract, I replied I was interested in a Contract, he told me the cost of the phone was £319, and monthly costs of £35, for 18 months.

tesco-mobile-logoI told him the monthly cost was tool high, and I mentioned Tesco Mobile at £20 a month,

and in his next breath Mark said

“if you go with Tesco Mobile you’ll get no signal, because Orange have more transmitters across the country than Tesco Mobile

Personally, when a Sales Person resorts to this sort of tactic to make a sale, it make me suspicious, I always remember a old friend/work colleague, when I worked in Sales, hundreds of years ago, when dinosaurs ruled the earth, telling me NEVER disrespect the competitor to make a Sale.

When Mark told me this, I gave him my mobile phone, and asked him to tell me what current network it’s on, it happens to be Orange (he didn’t know this before I handed him the phone, he didn’t even bother to ask me). I then reminded Mark, that I’ve probably been with Orange as a Customer, longer than he’s been an Employee, which now is about approx 11-12 years, and I don’t have reception at home with Orange, but I do with O2, Tesco Mobile, Vodafone, T-Mobile and 3! So I don’t think what he’s saying is valid and I don’t like the way he’s slagging off the Competition, at this point he asked me to LEAVE THE SHOP! He then started stating I’m now SLAGGING him off!

I pointed out as I left the Shop, I was surprised they were happy to lose a potential sale, and told him I would make him famous, and Tweet later about this incident! I don’t know why Mark lost his rag with me, and I hadn’t even had my Red Bull for the day!

So Happy Sales Mark……..

Looks like I’ll be joining Tescos Mobile then…..so much for 11 years Customer Loyality! (not that Mark would know, he didn’t ask the question!)

PS Mr Orange/Mr Tescos if your reading this, iPhone 4 32GB Black on Contract in the post would be very nice Free of Charge!

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Unlocking a 3 USB Modem (ZTE MF627)

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Important: Re-flashing of the ZTE MF627 USB Modem MUST be done on Windows XP ONLY. If you try it on another OS, you’ll brick it! (break it!)

This is the procedure I’ve now done twice!

1. Download this file from here. This contains replacement firmware, and will replace the software on the USB modem.
2. The file is a RAR archive (similar to a ZIP). So you’ll need an extraction tool to handle this file and extract the contents. e.g. winrar.
3. Extract the contents of the above file to a directory e.g. c:flash.
4. DO NOT USE A USB HUB FOR THE FLASH UPGRADE. (you’ve been warned!).MAKE SURE YOU’VE GOT PC ATTACHED TO A UPS OR USE A LAPTOP CONNECTED TO MAINS. (Enough credit in your electricity meter etc). THE FLASH UPDATE ON AVERAGE TAKES APPROXIMATELY 18-20 MINUTES TO COMPLETE, SOME COMPUTERS CAN TAKE UP TO 46 MINUTES. THIS IS A VERY LONG DANGEROUS TIME, IF IT FAILS IT WILL BRICK YOU USB MODEM. (aka stuff it!). It’s also probably a good idea to stop all other Windows XP application as well!
5. Install the software that comes with the USB modem dongle. After inserting the USB modem into your Windows XP computers’ USB port, Windows XP will do the plug N play thing, and install all the drivers, it will then Autorun the software installation and install the 3Connect GUI.
6. Unplug, and re-insert the usb modem, to check drivers are correctly loaded.
7. Select Start->Control Panel->System->Device Manager, Expand the modems section, you should see a ZTE modem.
8. Run FlashUpdate.exe in the c:\flash directory. (don’t worry that the update states is for the MF626, if you query the modem using Hayes AT commands, you’ll see this is a MF626, it’s just the MF627 is a black/green version OEMed for ‘3′)
9. The updater scans serial ports looking for the modem, when it finds the Diagnostic port, the Download Button un-greys. (you may need to maximize the application to see the Download box).
10. Wait for approximately 20 minutes. (see above) It will eventually announce when it’s completed and the Cost it took in minutes!
11. In the first few seconds, it disables autorun, and resets the modem, and waits 50 seconds before it re-appears again on the USB bus, so don’t be tempted to flash under VMware! So you should here it disconnect and re-connect to the PC (bing bong Windows XP sound!).
12. Your 3 ZTE MF627 USB Modem dongle is now been unlocked from 3 and you can put any network’s data SIM in it.
13. You’ll need to install different Connection Management software in the c:flash directory.
14. Once that’s been installed, create a new Profile for your Network Provider.

Not that this is a big issue, but I’ve noticed that using another SIM (other than 3), the light always stays in ROAM mode (solid/flashing red) rather than Green = GPRS, Blue = 3G/HSDPA.

The Telstra/3Connect connection manager software is able to correctly tell, whether you are connected at GPRS or 3G/HSDPA. You can still use your 3 SIM correctly with the 3 Connect software after flashing, but the 3Connect software will only work with a 3 SIM.

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 (ZTE MF627) 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!).

UPDATE (12 Dec 09) :- I originally thought that using a non-3 (three) SIM caused the ZTE MF627 to flash RED. This is not the case, RED Simply means GPRS mode!

For details on software please make a 10 GBP donation via PayPal and by return I’ll send you the software to unlock your MF627. The donation pays for the hosting of this website, and thousands of hits and free information I’ve provided on unlocking Three Mobile Modems.


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Unlocking a 3 USB Modem (Huawei E220)

Monday, May 4th, 2009

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.

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