Unlocking the T-Mobile Web’n’Walk Huawei E220 modem dongle
Hope all those keywords in the title got your attention.
Anyway – this is something I’ve wanted to do for a while, as T-Mobile refused to provide an unlock code, even for a fee (although I’ve heard of others obtaining them). Although there are paid unlocking services out there, I didn’t want to install executables from a dodgy site, providing a questionable service, onto my own computer.
So – I used the manual unlock guide provided here. It’s simple, it’s good, and it works. In short, all you’re doing is:
- Updating the dongle firmware to a known version
- Using a diagnostic tool to download a section of the dongle’s firmware
- Searching that download for the legitimate unlock code, which is stored in the dongle, in cleartext at a particular location
- Using a standard, legitimate unlock tool to enter that code, and unlock the dongle.
And it works… I’ve inserted my Vodafone SIM, and am typing this blog on it right now.
So – now I can use this dongle with a local pre-pay SIM if I’m in another country for an extended period, rather than paying a UK operator’s roaming charges. Of course, my longer-term goal is to rip out the innards from the Dongle, and install them in my Acer Aspire One, making it an “always-on” Netbook.