Unlocking GSM Cell Phones: ATT Blackberry Pearl 8100

In days gone by it was nearly impossible to get AT&T (Cingular) to unlock a phone for you.  Unlocking of course means that you can use your quad-band GSM cell phone on the other global networks you may encounter while traveling abroad by purchasing local SIM cards.  Rates on these SIMS can be very low (sub $.10/min) and include a local phone number. Also, inbound calls are free of charge.

Of course this has always been something AT&T did NOT want to happen because they’d miss out on their often usurious international rates.  Rates have been coming down and $.99/min is not uncommon these days but you’ll pay $.99/min inbound and outbound while likely paying some sort of monthly fee to get the rate down to that level. 

But I have great news.  I’ve just received my UNLOCK CODE and instructions on how to activate it on my Blackberry Pearl 8100 from AT&T’s customer service department with one simple call to 611!

I asked the guys at the local store and they said, "We can’t do it, but customer service will handle that for you".  I was shocked to even hear that much support.  Imagine my surprise when  I call, I ask, I get. 

Bravo AT&T.  I’m more loyal now that ever.  You know odds are, that if I’m traveling for a short period of time, I’ll probably STILL use your service/SIM and pay you the rates you ask for.  I’m simply into have the option to do otherwise. 

No more paying $20 for a code from someone on ebay.  Have at it y’all.

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5 thoughts on “Unlocking GSM Cell Phones: ATT Blackberry Pearl 8100”

  1. Thank you for your post… I was looking for ways to get my device unlocked and for a long time was hitting a brick wall with the in-store staff. I called AT&T per your post and truth be told, they were extremely polite and accomodating with getting me directions and instructions for unlocking my blackberry pearl phone. One caveat though, I have to subscribe to the AT&T International feature which costs $5.99/month after which I can use the phone. Also there are per minute rates of $0.99 per minute in addition to the monthly charge. I am a bit surprised, as I thought that if I purchase a local SIM card and insert it in my phone, I would begin to use the phone locally and not incur these high per minute cost.
    Have you experienced this? Alternatively would it be that if I were to insert a local SIM card with pre-purchased minutes paid in local currency, I would be able to use the phone to make local country specific calls at a much lower per minute rate?
    I appreciate your insight and thank you for this post.

  2. No problem.
    The whole point of unlocking is to allow your phone to utilize foreign sims when you travel.
    That should preclude you from having to use ANY ATT international services or plans. I’ve done this before…and used a local SIM purchased in Panama so you should be fine.
    The only BIG bonus to using the ATT international services is that your USA based friends/relatives/business contacts can reach you at the same local number. If you’re lightly using the phone, this option could be the best and worth paying the $.99/min for most “typical” places you’ll visit. The local SIM is great if you are spending weeks or more in a location and have a lot of local business to attend to…or if you need to be “reachable” by the locals.
    I hope this helps.

  3. I called AT&T (611) today to get the unlock code for my Blackberry Pearl 8100. When I got connected, the customer service person said they couldn’t unlock my phone, but they would sell me International Service. When I read them the original post and the first comment, she started to read something. Then she said she had to give this request to technical support and they could approve or deny it. She took my e-mail address and gave me a case ID number and said it might be 7 days before I heard something.
    Hopefully this will work. I tried to get an unlock code from Uniquephones.com over two weeks ago and sent them $49.99 by PayPal and they’ve never sent me anything. That was a big ripoff!!!!!!

  4. I called AT&T (611) today to get the unlock code for my Blackberry Pearl 8100. When I got connected, the customer service person said they couldn’t unlock my phone, but they would sell me International Service. When I read them the original post and the first comment, she started to read something. Then she said she had to give this request to technical support and they could approve or deny it. She took my e-mail address and gave me a case ID number and said it might be 7 days before I heard something.
    Hopefully this will work. I tried to get an unlock code from Uniquephones.com over two weeks ago and sent them $49.99 by PayPal and they’ve never sent me anything. That was a big ripoff!!!!!!

  5. I called today and got an unlock code and detailed directions with no problem. In fact, they recommended it to me when I asked about int’l roaming, without my even having to ask! Fantastic.

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