How to unlock a Blackberry phone (says Activation required / wont work with other SIM cards)


It’s doesn’t make any sense having a Blackberry that can work with only one SIM card or carrier. If you’re comfortable with this then what happens when that carrier starts misbehaving or adopts less pocked friendly tariff plans? In this guide, we’ll be answering your Blackberry unlocking related questions and explaining how to unlock a Blackberry (just like for iPhone @ ).

What does it mean to unlock a Blackberry?

Unlocking a Blackberry means making a branded Blackberry able to work with other SIM cards / carriers in addition to the one it was originally programmed to only work with.

Why wont my Blackberry work with other SIM cards?

If the Blackberry doesn’t work with any SIM card at all then read . If however, it works with only one carrier / network / type of SIM card then the Blackberry is locked.

Why do carriers lock Blackberries to their networks?

Some Blackberries are PROMO offers by certain carriers. They usually release these Blackberries with bonus data plans or installmental payment options. For this reason, they lock such phones down to only their network for a fixed length of time. Some carriers also brand and lock some Blackberries to their networks as a customer loyalty boosting stunt.

I can’t recharge or check my account balance on my Blackberry, why?

This is characteristic of an unlocked branded Blackberry. To check your account balance or recharge in this case:

  • Dial your service provider’s customer care line (e.g MTN is 180, Airtel is 121)
  • When the call connects, ensure you clear all numbers you might have typed on the screen
  • Now, dial the USSD code for either recharging, subscribing for a data plan or checking your balance (eg *556# for MTN account balance) then press the green button
  • The code will be executed and you should get the necessary prompts once successful
  • Note that this issue will usually stop occurring after you subscribe for BIS

What do I need to unlock a Blackberry?

All you need is your Blackberry’s IMEI and the carrier it is locked to. To check the IMEI, once you remove the Battery, you should see the IMEI under the phone OR type Alt + aA + H OR dial *#06#.

How can I unlock a Blackberry?

To unlock a Blackberry, simply post your Blackberry’s IMEI and the Network it is currently locked under the Phone and Accessories section at our forum and a Hovatek representative will send you your unlock code No. Once you supply the correct unlock code then your Blackberry is unlocked for good. (see ) . You could also head over to to get a free unlock code

My Blackberry says “Activation Required” after unlocking(Requires MSL/SPC). What do I do?

Please note that activation required message does not affect your ability to get phone service. This message occurs on Blackberryies that have both GSM and CDMA capabilities. Your phone is basically telling you to activate your phone on the CDMA network that the phone was originally locked to. Since you unlocked the phone and most likely want to use it on another carrier you probably want to get rid on this message. Follow the instructions below:

Verizon (9630, etc): Enter ##000000 into your phone and press Send. The “CDMA Service Edit Screen” will pop up. Edit the “Mobile Directory Number” to reflect your mobile phone number (include the full country code with the phone number). For example: Change 00000003256 to 16135556666. Click the menu button and select save.

Will upgrading the OS cause the Blackberry to get locked again?

No, it wont.

I forgot my Blackberry’s security code, how can I unlock it?

Simply get your phone’s IMEI then post it under the Phones and Accessories section at our forum requesting for your Master Unlock Code and a Hovatek representative will assist you. Alternatively, you can keep entering wrong PINs then follow the prompt to wipe the phone once trial limit has been exceeded