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New provider tactic? Not SIM locked to provider, but SIM locked to device!?

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By yujin-nashi, Junior Member on 13th August 2019, 11:15 AM
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9 months ago I switched providers from NTT docomo (where I still used a SIM lock free iPhone) to SoftBank (where I got a new Pixel 3, and first time in many years that I got a phone + SIM).
But like how the whole nature of planned obsolence works, gradually going from best phone ever to falling apart to boiling my blood.

First the USB-C port of my phone stopped working (so I am now forced to use wireless charging and SFTP on a local network), then the FeliCa chip started becoming instable (which is fine, I can still switch back to a dedicated SUICA card where the FeliCa chip works for a decade), then I was forced to set up a finger print to use Google services (later on turned out to be just a policy issue in Google Apps, I already fixed that) which only makes my phone more insecure (random unlocking if accidentally unlocking the phone within 5 seconds or when the scanner touches the skin of my lag through my pants), but after I turned off finger print authentication my phone started to randomly unlock itself whenever I get extreme weather warnings (and since it's summer, I'm getting multiple times every day).

So I was looking for switching to another phone, and I bought a SoftBank branded Digno flip phone from Amazon, and my SIM card didn't work.
I went to SoftBank have them take a look, the guy was searching using my IMEI for 30 minutes only to tell me that the Digno problem is a very rare case and that Aquos flip phone doesn't have this problem because Digno is too old (released before 2015).
So I bought the Aquos flip phone that he recommended me, but again my SIM card didn't work.
I started to question it, and put my SIM card into my SIM free iPhone: didn't work.
Then I put it in an Aquos smartphone which I bought specifically as a SIM free phone: didn't work.

I went to SoftBank again (this time to a different store because I didn't have much time) and explained the situation.
The guy then told me that I must have my phone registered at SoftBank for the SIM to work.
Then I asked how I can do that, he said that I must purchase a phone via SoftBank instead of Amazon, or otherwise let a totally different SIM card get issued.

By this I'm not complaining or asking to hack the system, I only want to ask if anyone knows about such a tactic? Did anyone experience it too (in Japan or overseas)? And is it normal for a phone provider to lock your SIM card to a specific phone?
And while we're at it: if I flash my phone with a custom ROM, will this render my phone to be unusable with this SIM card as well?
 
 
14th August 2019, 02:59 AM |#2  
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Looks like you are down with a string of strange events and bad luck.

Softbank seems to be a d*ck and I would change a provider if I am you. It is illegal in my country, malaysia, to lock devices to network. But you can easily just register your phone imei to Softbank if you really like the coverage they provide.

As for phones I can't comment on that as I never used pixel, aquos or any of the phones you mentioned but the fingerprint able to unlock by touching your legs through your pants sounds like a hardware failure and I would bring the phone in for repair.

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14th August 2019, 04:45 AM |#3  
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In my experience Docomo works really well within the Yamanote area of Tokyo, but I cannot afford living there and my work is just outside of that area.
And I already had home internet from SoftBank, which were the 2 reasons why I went with SoftBank, plus its coverage works really well (even when I go to a mountain village north from Sapporo, which I did yesterday, I still have really good coverage).
Their SIM only plans were also really good, I really feel like an idiot that I took a SIM + phone set this time…

My friends (I have them despite my username) also recommended me to go with au, but I didn't like what they covered (can't remember what exactly, but I remember it was somewhere among those lines).
But would be nice if our politicians would make this illegal too, once big companies obtain too much power, it's never going to be enough for them.

Edit:
I only want to add that the only time I had a bad coverage with SoftBank was when watching fireworks at the Edo river, but I'm not sure whether it's because I was near a big river or because the part of the river has a 3 point prefectural border (between Tokyo, Chiba, and Saitama).
14th August 2019, 01:41 PM |#4  
Quote:
Originally Posted by yujin-nashi

9 months ago I switched providers from NTT docomo (where I still used a SIM lock free iPhone) to SoftBank (where I got a new Pixel 3, and first time in many years that I got a phone + SIM).

But like how the whole nature of planned obsolence works, gradually going from best phone ever to falling apart to boiling my blood.



First the USB-C port of my phone stopped working (so I am now forced to use wireless charging and SFTP on a local network), then the FeliCa chip started becoming instable (which is fine, I can still switch back to a dedicated SUICA card where the FeliCa chip works for a decade), then I was forced to set up a finger print to use Google services (later on turned out to be just a policy issue in Google Apps, I already fixed that) which only makes my phone more insecure (random unlocking if accidentally unlocking the phone within 5 seconds or when the scanner touches the skin of my lag through my pants), but after I turned off finger print authentication my phone started to randomly unlock itself whenever I get extreme weather warnings (and since it's summer, I'm getting multiple times every day).



So I was looking for switching to another phone, and I bought a SoftBank branded Digno flip phone from Amazon, and my SIM card didn't work.

I went to SoftBank have them take a look, the guy was searching using my IMEI for 30 minutes only to tell me that the Digno problem is a very rare case and that Aquos flip phone doesn't have this problem because Digno is too old (released before 2015).

So I bought the Aquos flip phone that he recommended me, but again my SIM card didn't work.

I started to question it, and put my SIM card into my SIM free iPhone: didn't work.

Then I put it in an Aquos smartphone which I bought specifically as a SIM free phone: didn't work.



I went to SoftBank again (this time to a different store because I didn't have much time) and explained the situation.

The guy then told me that I must have my phone registered at SoftBank for the SIM to work.

Then I asked how I can do that, he said that I must purchase a phone via SoftBank instead of Amazon, or otherwise let a totally different SIM card get issued.



By this I'm not complaining or asking to hack the system, I only want to ask if anyone knows about such a tactic? Did anyone experience it too (in Japan or overseas)? And is it normal for a phone provider to lock your SIM card to a specific phone?

And while we're at it: if I flash my phone with a custom ROM, will this render my phone to be unusable with this SIM card as well?

It isn't a matter of "locking the device to the SIM", it is a matter of the device being registered on the service providers network using the device's IMEI number and the SIM card number being registered as being used with that device, both of these numbers must be registered together in your service account, that is how the network recognizes your device and how it knows to send service via that SIM to your device. When you switch to another device, the new device must be registered on the network and the SIM must be registered as being used with that device.

It's similar to registering your car and registering a license plate on that car. The car is registered to identify it as your car and the license plate is registered to identify that the license plate is for your car and not someone else's.

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16th August 2019, 04:45 AM |#5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Droidriven

It isn't a matter of "locking the device to the SIM", it is a matter of the device being registered on the service providers network using the device's IMEI number and the SIM card number being registered as being used with that device, both of these numbers must be registered together in your service account, that is how the network recognizes your device and how it knows to send service via that SIM to your device. When you switch to another device, the new device must be registered on the network and the SIM must be registered as being used with that device.

It's similar to registering your car and registering a license plate on that car. The car is registered to identify it as your car and the license plate is registered to identify that the license plate is for your car and not someone else's.

Sent from my SM-S767VL using Tapatalk

If it's true, then I'll try it out.
Somehow confusing if employees of the same ISP working at different branch stores tell me totally different things. (´;ω;`)
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