SIM restrictions on unlocked European Note3

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htc6500uk

Senior Member
Apr 23, 2009
373
118
West Midlands - UK
Latest News - Oct 9th 2013 - Clove, who specialise in sim-free/unlocked phones have suggested
that the Russian unlocking service at:
http://puman.ru/?selectlanguage=English
may be a solution for those concerned about the regional lock.
More info in the Clove blog at:
http://blog.clove.co.uk/2013/09/25/samsung-galaxy-note-3-sim-limitations/


Whether or not the Note 3 Verizon (US) "Developer Edition" will be regionally locked remains to be seen,
At least the bootloader will, according to reports, be unlocked.
More skimpy details at the Samsung/Verizon page at: http://www.samsung.com/us/mobile/cell-phones/SM-N900VMKEVZW

More Recent News - Oct 6th 2013 - Chainfire appears to have created an app to
get round region locking for the Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9005 (MI7 firmware) and rooted
You can buy Chainfire a beer (£1.99) by downloading the app from the Play Store at:
http://pkg.to/eu.chainfire.regionlockaway

There is also a thread started by Chainfire at: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?p=46187852 where meanies(!) can download it free.


Recent News (01:30 Oct 3rd 2013)
Android Authority: Galaxy Note 3 region lock is an issue after all, Android 4.4 update may lock older Galaxy handsets http://goo.gl/KjgVwc


Previous news (1st Oct 2013)

A significant number of users still claim they can't use "out of region" sims despite having first used a sim for the region the Note 3 was intended for which is the way Samsung have said is the way to 'unlock' the regional sim lock.

A number of users in this thread who found their Note3 was still region locked despite following the Samsung advice have successfully unlocked their Note3 regional lock using a Russian unlocking web site at http://puman.ru/ Although I am the OP of this thread, I do not have an out of region Sim to test this out myself - so no guarantees but read the posts!

Pics say it all. The Note 3 "unlocked" models are still locked to regions like DVD's and thus not very attractive to globetrotters or international purchasers who are being asked to pay £600 or so for a crippled device.
u5abydaz.jpg

qe3atyge.jpg
9uja6y5e.jpg
 
Last edited:

beasty54

Senior Member
Jun 23, 2007
64
15
Pic says it all. Will not work with USA, Australia etc. sim cards either of course.

Sent from my GT-N7105 using Tapatalk 4

That better not be the case, mine will be delivered today and i'm in the U.S. next week. If it doesn't work out there like my Note 2 does, it's going straight back.
 
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htc6500uk

Senior Member
Apr 23, 2009
373
118
West Midlands - UK
It will only accept European sim cards. As long as your UK mobile opeator has a roaming arrangement with a US carrier, you will still be able to use the phone but you won't have the option of using a sim card from Verizon, Sprint etc.

Sent from my GT-N7105 using Tapatalk 4
 
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tarekkkkk

Senior Member
Mar 27, 2010
489
54
I thought i was right to cancell my order from negrielectronics and order from clove.co.uk and it just feels stupid to be informed about this today.

I cancelled my order from clove and they sent an email for refund... no more ordering from uk or europe.
 

beasty54

Senior Member
Jun 23, 2007
64
15
It will only accept European sim cards. As long as your UK mobile opeator has a roaming arrangement with a US carrier, you will still be able to use the phone but you won't have the option of using a sim card from Verizon, Sprint etc.

Sent from my GT-N7105 using Tapatalk 4

i'm using a sim from https://www.ulyssemobile.com/UK/index.php once i get into the states so i guess i better find out if its going to work.
 

Koguchi9

Senior Member
Feb 22, 2012
133
17
Such a surprise restriction..... I'm waiting for the bad news from handtec.

I wonder what will happen to the Australian sites selling imported note 3's.
 

leewae

New member
Oct 24, 2010
4
0
I am waiting for Handtec to fully refund me, already requested for a refund, this is really foolish of Samsung....
Guess I have to wait for australian stock.
 

htc6500uk

Senior Member
Apr 23, 2009
373
118
West Midlands - UK
Such a surprise restriction..... I'm waiting for the bad news from handtec.

I wonder what will happen to the Australian sites selling imported note 3's.

I daresay there will be frustrated customers. I havr not heard of such a restriction on a "sim-free" "unlocked" device before. All we used to have to worry aboit were the radio GSM/3G/4G/LTE bands.

Sent from my GT-N7105 using Tapatalk 4
 
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beasty54

Senior Member
Jun 23, 2007
64
15
I think this is an absolute disgrace to be honest, why have an unlocked, tri-band phone that wont work when you go on holiday unless you pay the absolutely disgusting roaming prices that UK networks charge?? I'm so annoyed about this, who the hell are Samsung to decide that i cant put a U.S. sim in a phone I've paid over £600 for :mad:
 

tarekkkkk

Senior Member
Mar 27, 2010
489
54
I daresay there will be frustrated customers. I havr not heard of such a restriction on a "sim-free" "unlocked" device before. All we used to have to worry aboit were the radio GSM/3G/4G/LTE bands.

Sent from my GT-N7105 using Tapatalk 4

Logically its all bluff, but im thinking of a way if they could actually do that. I mean restricting the phone not accepting any carrier unless its from europe region that means samsung have full access on europe database or certain information that they could use it on their software.

99% the restriction is being applied from the software side and 99% the pro devs on here will find a way to remove that restriction. But even though ive canceled my order and just called them to confirm my cancellation. Many negative feedbacks will follow up very soon.
 

RavenY2K3

Senior Member
Nov 13, 2006
1,459
438
I wonder why, I do remember reading an article stating Samsung wanted to stop retailers selling a German device in the UK for example.

For those affected, hopefully something simple could be found to alleviate the problem, like flashing a modem from the respective country perhaps (yeah I know, wishful thinking haha).

Sent from my GT-N7100 using Tapatalk 4
 

chrisn0123

Senior Member
May 2, 2008
54
21
Norfolk, UK.
I am really angry about this. This is a BUSINESS phone, so many business users would have a local sim to EACH country they visit!!!

I travel to the USA a lot and always use a local SIM there, which saves thousands! Now I cannot do this?!?!?!

If I cannot unlock this "unlocked/sim-free" phone, then this is certainly the LAST Samsung I will ever buy.
 

riz157

Senior Member
May 23, 2008
2,767
371
London
Luckily got mine from O2 didnt get any such warning on box. Requested unlock code will be issed next few days.

Sent from my SM-N9005 using Tapatalk 2
 
Last edited:

Thor

Senior Member
May 21, 2008
216
63
Dublin, Ireland
I posted about this awhile back and saw the image on this thread confirmed it. Clove.co.uk were the first to post the announcement about the restriction and it truly is a disaster for Samsung to do such a thing with the Note 3. There currently is no law Europe demanding such action so really does question their reasoning for this.

I have already contacted Samsung and I'm awaiting any comments regarding this.

I will update here and my article http://geektech.ie/index.php/europe...ote-3-reported-to-not-work-outside-of-europe/
 

beasty54

Senior Member
Jun 23, 2007
64
15
My note 3 has just shown up, big sim restriction sticker included. Do you guys think its worth keeping the phone and waiting for a software fix to the restriction or should i send it back? I'm just annoyed about that i'm in the U.S. next week and i wont be able to use the £40 sim card i've ordered because its american. I'll also be in the U.S. again next year so while it may only be a small issue, its still an issue. Worst case scenario is that i get the girlfriend to take her iphone and put the sim card in that so i can tether.
 

tarekkkkk

Senior Member
Mar 27, 2010
489
54
My note 3 has just shown up, big sim restriction sticker included. Do you guys think its worth keeping the phone and waiting for a software fix to the restriction or should i send it back? I'm just annoyed about that i'm in the U.S. next week and i wont be able to use the £40 sim card i've ordered because its american. I'll also be in the U.S. again next year so while it may only be a small issue, its still an issue. Worst case scenario is that i get the girlfriend to take her iphone and put the sim card in that so i can tether.

Id say return it to show them we are not abide by their rules and restrictions that's totally a ripoff.
 

calinormy

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2008
578
145
The E.U. wants to eliminate the roaming cost for.all countries across. Maybe has to do with that. Nobody with Note 3 here with a foreign sim card ( non Eu) can try to see what's happening?

Sent from my C6802 using XDA Premium 4 mobile app
 

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  • 21
    give me a N3 and we will see...

    i don't get what all the fuss is about, people in israel keep getting USA phones that are locked and just unlock them to sim free
    no one ever said a thing about it, USA cellphone is locked to a single operator is OK for every one
    now samsung made it locked to all EU operators but did the mistake and called it "unlocked" and not "eu unlocked" or "eu locked" big deal

    i unlocked USA phones and will unlock EU phones, the earth still goes on.... no one died


    why?

    The reason people are nervous is straightforward:

    1) The phones claim to be "Unlocked' - they are not.

    2) There is no evidence that traditional unlock methods will work -
    a) I have discussed this with my source for unlocking phones by code - he unlocks about 100,000 phones a year, and has access to all the databases. He has never heard of such a thing, and is not confident that codes will be available.
    b) Software solutions may or may not be available. Even so, not everybody is technical enough (or wants) to start butchering their phones. Further, we have customers who need these phones unlocked for network-testing purposes. They are aware of the software-unlock methods and do not want that as they claim it messes with the phone's firmware.

    3) No one was informed of this before they purchased the device. Even the largest distributors (10s of thousands of phones - not retailers) only found out about it today.and have no answers

    This is totally different than just purchasing an AT&T phone from the USA and getting it unlocked in Israel. Everybody knows how to do it and where to get it done. However, nobody knows how to do this phone, or if it even can be unlocked as this is a new type of lock that nobody yet understands or has successfully unlocked.

    We also have these phone on our website, and we had to call each one of our customers that pre-ordered and explain the situation. Some didn't mind, and some were really pissed off and cancelled the orders.

    I hope you are correct, and we can all pay our $20.00 and get the code. However, that remains to be seen.

    And, on an OEM, carrier-unbranded device that can cost $900, and claims to be "factory unlocked" but is not, it is just bad business IMHO.


    Dovid Feldman
    On The Go Solutions, Inc
    16
    From my Twitter ...

    Aaaaand.... I just region unlocked my Note 3. FU Samsung.

    ( I locked out my current carrier, tested I could no longer make phone calls, then unlocked it again, et voila )

    I need a tester (with root) who has a SIM card that isn't working in his or her Note3. For verification. Then, app incoming.

    'nuff said !
    15
    There'll be an app release soon enough.

    If you don't want root for other reasons, it is indeed unfortunate you currently need it for this. Rooting (via CF-Auto-Root) does void KNOX warranty (irreversable), however, if you use the unroot option in SuperSU, and flash back a stock kernel and recovery, OTAs will work again. Note that it is possible to root without tripping KNOX warranty using a customized system partition, I'm sure someone has made or will make one sooner or later.

    It is theoretically feasable to do this without root, but a lot tougher to make and maintain, with the information I currently have. I'm certain there is a way to improve this, I just haven't found it yet - and as I'm a full on root user, I doubt I will spend more time looking for it.
    14
    Latest News - Oct 9th 2013 - Clove, who specialise in sim-free/unlocked phones have suggested
    that the Russian unlocking service at:
    http://puman.ru/?selectlanguage=English
    may be a solution for those concerned about the regional lock.
    More info in the Clove blog at:
    http://blog.clove.co.uk/2013/09/25/samsung-galaxy-note-3-sim-limitations/


    Whether or not the Note 3 Verizon (US) "Developer Edition" will be regionally locked remains to be seen,
    At least the bootloader will, according to reports, be unlocked.
    More skimpy details at the Samsung/Verizon page at: http://www.samsung.com/us/mobile/cell-phones/SM-N900VMKEVZW

    More Recent News - Oct 6th 2013 - Chainfire appears to have created an app to
    get round region locking for the Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9005 (MI7 firmware) and rooted
    You can buy Chainfire a beer (£1.99) by downloading the app from the Play Store at:
    http://pkg.to/eu.chainfire.regionlockaway

    There is also a thread started by Chainfire at: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?p=46187852 where meanies(!) can download it free.


    Recent News (01:30 Oct 3rd 2013)
    Android Authority: Galaxy Note 3 region lock is an issue after all, Android 4.4 update may lock older Galaxy handsets http://goo.gl/KjgVwc


    Previous news (1st Oct 2013)

    A significant number of users still claim they can't use "out of region" sims despite having first used a sim for the region the Note 3 was intended for which is the way Samsung have said is the way to 'unlock' the regional sim lock.

    A number of users in this thread who found their Note3 was still region locked despite following the Samsung advice have successfully unlocked their Note3 regional lock using a Russian unlocking web site at http://puman.ru/ Although I am the OP of this thread, I do not have an out of region Sim to test this out myself - so no guarantees but read the posts!

    Pics say it all. The Note 3 "unlocked" models are still locked to regions like DVD's and thus not very attractive to globetrotters or international purchasers who are being asked to pay £600 or so for a crippled device.
    u5abydaz.jpg

    qe3atyge.jpg
    9uja6y5e.jpg
    13
    Health warning: the message below is worrying.

    I spoke yet again to the Samsung UK customer service team (+44 330 726 7864) this afternoon (at 5:40pm GMT) as I had not received the email I had been promised this morning with a statement on the region lock. A different rep spoke to me and had the following news to report to me:

    - the Samsung UK telephone staff have had problems sending out emails today and therefore have not sent out the statement to me - which was fine by me as these things happen.

    - the SIM limitation sticker really is meant to mean what it says - the N9005 is not meant to be compatible with SIMs issued by operators outside the European region - I believe at least some owners are using the Note 3 with SIMs issued by operators outside the EU but the rep was adamant that the Note 3 was not intended by Samsung to be used with SIMs issued by operators outside of the European region, even following first activation.

    - the European region Note 3s are only meant to be compatible with SIMs issued by operators from the European region, and this applies equally after activation - I asked repeatedly her to confirm this which she did each time. I tried practical examples too and it got worse: So if I go to Australia I must use a European region SIM in my Note 3 even if I buy the Note 3 SIM-free for £620? Yes according to the rep. So I asked if I go to Florida on vacation, I have no choice but to use a European region SIM in my Note 3? Yes again according to rep.

    - it makes no difference if here in the UK I buy the Note 3 from Carphone Warehouse, Phones 4U, EE or Clove.

    - I could buy another phone if I wanted to use a SIM from an operator outside the EU in my mobile - the rep volunteered this to me as it never occurred to me that they might seriously suggest such a policy.

    - the rollout of Kitkat is to extend the regional lock to existing SGS3s and Note 2s - I asked if my existing unlocked SGS3 bought unlocked over a year ago is to be subject to the same regional lock if I upgrade. Yes according to rep. So I would not be able to use a SIM from outside the European region in it when travelling? Yes according to the rep.

    - no statement can be sent in an email to me by the Samsung UK telephone team to confirm this in writing.

    - I can email [email protected] with any questions but it might take up to 24 hours to respond. When I pointed out to the rep that I had already done just this, emailing [email protected] on Friday evening (27th) and not had a response in over 50 hours (including after checking my spam folder), I was told that sometimes the email team are very busy and she could not say for sure when I would receive a response to any question.

    I have asked to get a call back from the Tier 2 rep who I spoke to on Friday (27th) but in the meanwhile I can only stand gobsmacked by the apparent madness of this corporate policy. For example:

    - Samsung cannot even implement a draconian region lock policy (if that is what they really intend) properly and consistently - given that some European Note 3s with the European regional lock sticker are reported to be being activated and then successfully used outside the home region with SIMs issued by operators outside the home region - while others are able to activate with home region SIM but not then able to use out of region SIMs when travelling.

    - Samsung (whether through its local offices, PR companies or employees) can brief against itself so that some Samsung offices will say one thing and others possibly within the same office, something completely different, on the same day, and day after day.

    - the utter, utter lack of leadership from Samsung Global (Electronics) to coordinate and communicate their own policy (whether that policy is good or bad is almost irrelevant) clearly, consistently and transparently - or to communicate it at all.

    - complete confusion among retailers, and among Samsung reps talking to retailers, here in the UK as to Samsung's region lock policy, to the extent they are even aware in the first place of the region lock policy and how it operates - which, from first hand exerience, I can say many are not.
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