SIM Unlock for International GSM/WCDMA [SPH-L720]

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autoprime

Recognized Dev / Inactive Recognized Contributor
Jun 23, 2010
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Sprint Galaxy S IV SPH-L720 SIM Unlock Method




Background

Sprint's new world-roaming GSM locked phones do not use an "unlock code" like typical GSM devices. Instead they are unlocked OTA... and only when Sprint allows this. Sprint cannot be relied on as the only method of unlock for multiple reasons. Some people have been "unlocked" by Sprint yet international SIM still do not work. Others own this phone but aren't using it on Sprint. For these reasons, a manual SIM unlock is needed. This post will explain how to do just that.



Requirements

1. A Sprint GS4 on the MDC or MDL baseband. MF9 baseband will NOT work with this method. Downgrade baseband(modem) to MDC via Odin or Heimdall with THIS FILE. Thank you sxtpdevelopers.com and Rwilco12 for the file/hosting. You can go back to the MF9 baseband/modem after the SIM unlock by flashing THIS .TAR.. thank you noobnl for that. If the modem downgrade/upgrade doesn't stick.. try powering off completely then booting into download mode.. instead of rebooting directly into download mode. Sometimes this helps. I promise it is possible to go from MF9 -> MDC -> MF9

2. Samsung USB Drivers. Most of you should already have these. You can grab them HERE.

3. Windows PC or a Windows virtual machine.


Directions

Press the "Click to Show Content/Spoiler" button below to display unlock directions.


It should not matter what SIM card is in your phone while doing the unlock. I usually unlock while a GSM SIM is inserted.. but it should also work if no SIM is in.. or the Sprint SIM is in.

1. After confirming you are on MDC/MDL baseband.. set your phone to diag mode.

Stock: Open the phone app and enter dialer code ##3424# then select Qualcomm USB Setting and select the last option, DM + MDM + ADB and hit OK. BE SURE TO SET BACK TO MTP+ADB WHEN THIS IS ALL DONE.You may be asked your for SPC/MSL code prior to the menu opening. You can get this from Sprint or by doing the following... Open ##3282# menu and hit Edit. Enter 123456 and it Ok.. you will be told it is incorrect. Now open terminal emulator and type in "getprop ril.MSL" without the quotes and you should have your MSL.

AOSP: Connect phone to computer. Enable USB Debugging in the Developer options. Open command prompt/terminal.
Enter adb shell. Then type su hit enter.
Confirm # then type setprop sys.usb.config diag,acm,adb then hit enter. This mode disables itself after you reboot the phone.

CNmiSMo.png



2. Now that you are set to diag mode it is time to install the Sprint S4 Unlock Tool, download HERE. pw on unlock tool zip = meanngreen04
@meanngreen04 was awesome enough to package my unlock method into a 1-click app. Show him some thanks.

If you do not have .net 4.5 installed on your machine you will be prompted to install it.

Confirm your phone is set in diag mode.

Press the Unlock button in the tool. Wait for for it to reboot. All done. You are now unlocked!!

fgzUdny.png



To confirm you are unlocked without having to leave the USA and using an international SIM card: on the stock rom you should be able to put ANY GSM SIM card into your phone, power up the phone and check device settings to see the ICCID displayed. Prior to unlock the ICCID would be displayed as unknown. You will also notice the "Invalid SIM" message finally gone. On AOSP roms the only way to confirm without leaving the USA would be to use a 3rd party SIM app to read the ICCID... and that will only work if the phone is set to GSM. Again, even though we can NOT use our GS4 on ATT/T-MO.. we can still use ATT/TMO SIM cards to test the unlock.

I have been trying to get AT&T and T-Mobile SIM cards to get a signal... but that is for another thread/project. No promises.

Didn't work?
Try again. Make sure everything is confirmed working every step of the way. From diag drivers being installed correctly.. to diag mode being set.. to confirming you are on MDC or MDL baseband. Remember this will not work on MF9 baseband.

Make sure "PDA" is selected in the initial ##3424# menu.... not CDMA Modem.

To confirm drivers are installed properly check Windows Device Manager. Under the "Ports(COM)" section you should see 2 Samsung serial ports listed. If you do not see these... drivers are not installed or phone is not set in diag mode properly.

Some members have reported setting "DM over UART" in the *#9090# menu. This is something I've personally never had to do. The default setting with my phone is "DM/DUN over HSIC"

Last but not least... have you tried turning if off and on again?

That should cover all issues. Outside of those... USB cable could be bad... Windows PC could be messed up... phone hardware could be bad.

Questions asking for help unlocking without posting screenshots of (1)Device Manager confirming 2 samsung serial ports...(2) ##3424# menu.. and (3)baseband settings will be ignored.



Donation Link if you want to say more than thanks.
 
Last edited:

PapaDocta

Senior Member
Jun 4, 2004
1,370
150
so if on MF9.. i need to flash the MDL modem? i tried under MF9 and no go..

also after doing these commands i can reflash the MF9 modem and it will work?
 

autoprime

Recognized Dev / Inactive Recognized Contributor
Jun 23, 2010
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so if on MF9.. i need to flash the MDL modem? i tried under MF9 and no go..

also after doing these commands i can reflash the MF9 modem and it will work?

yes, the OP states all of this. per the requirements.. you must downgrade to MDL or MDC. after the unlock you can reflash the MF9 modem. I provided a link to MDC modem in the requirements section. you don't need to flash an entire stock odin tar... just the modem.

if you do a ##786# reset you may wipe the unlock. I suggest doing a ##72786# reset instead, this will keep the unlock.
 
Last edited:

PapaDocta

Senior Member
Jun 4, 2004
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still no go for me.. downgraded the modem to MDC as per the OP and still i get the invalid sim card message and no connection when switching to GSM/UMTS..

and wifi is stopped from working as well!
 
Last edited:

autoprime

Recognized Dev / Inactive Recognized Contributor
Jun 23, 2010
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still no go for me.. downgraded the modem to MDC as per the OP and still i get the invalid sim card message and no connection when switching to GSM/UMTS..

Did you confirm the downgrade to MDC stuck? You can view this is phone settings. There were more than a few times the downgrade wouldn't stick even though the flash was successful. Baseband must say MDC.


If you are in the USA... you will not get a connection if you set GSM/UMTS. The only way to get a connection is by using a non-ATT/TMO SIM and being outside the country. To confirm in the USA... set the device to the normal CDMA/LTE mode and view the ICCID settings. Although if you're still seeing the invalid sim message then indeed it did not take.

Double check in settings to see of MDC is indeed your baseband.

Other than that.. there's not much more to it. As I stated at the beginning of the directions.. I usually would perform the unlock with the GSM sim card already in(but still set to CDMA/LTE mode)... but having the Sprint SIM in instead should still work.

wifi is stopped from working as well!

If you are on an MF9 rom and still on the MDC modem, this is why. Reflashing back to MF9 modem after you sim unlock will fix this.
 
Last edited:

PapaDocta

Senior Member
Jun 4, 2004
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i am located outside the US right now and i have a GSM card inserted as well... see the image attached


Did you confirm the downgrade to MDC stuck? You can view this is phone settings. There were more than a few times the downgrade wouldn't stick even though the flash was successful. Baseband must say MDC.


If you are in the USA... you will not get a connection if you set GSM/UMTS. The only way to get a connection is by using a non-ATT/TMO SIM and being outside the country. To confirm in the USA... set the device to the normal CDMA/LTE mode and view the ICCID settings. Although if you're still seeing the invalid sim message then indeed it did not take.

Double check in settings to see of MDC is indeed your baseband. Also confirm with the DFS Log windows that the password was sent correctly and you see the blue "Device unlocked". Then send the 2 commands.. one by one. confirming in the log window that you see "request" and "response" after each time you send the command.

Other than that.. there's not much more to it. As I stated at the beginning of the directions.. I usually would perform the unlock with the GSM sim card already in(but still set to CDMA/LTE mode)... but having the Sprint SIM in instead should still work.
 

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PapaDocta

Senior Member
Jun 4, 2004
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should it matter if i'm on CDMA ,CDMA/LTE or GSM mode when doing the commands?
 

PapaDocta

Senior Member
Jun 4, 2004
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150
thank you so much... it worked with the 7 commands

here is my pledge to the bounty thread

Confirmation number: 01342418N25249408
 

autoprime

Recognized Dev / Inactive Recognized Contributor
Jun 23, 2010
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thank you so much...

here is my pledge to the bounty thread

Confirmation number: 01342418N25249408

interesting. thank you for runnin thru that with me.

and thank you for the bounty donation!! much appreciated!!

I will adjust the OP now. Glad I dont have to download the full MF9 tar lol.
 
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PapaDocta

Senior Member
Jun 4, 2004
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thank you for this method and i have flashed back to MF9 and all are working great and the invalid sim card message has went away :)

---------- Post added at 01:18 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:07 PM ----------

final question..

how long will this unlock stick for? meaning if an update after the MF9 comes out, will be able to remove the unlock?
 

autoprime

Recognized Dev / Inactive Recognized Contributor
Jun 23, 2010
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thank you for this method and i have flashed back to MF9 and all are working great and the invalid sim card message has went away :)

---------- Post added at 01:18 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:07 PM ----------

final question..

how long will this unlock stick for? meaning if an update after the MF9 comes out, will be able to remove the unlock?

You will be able to update roms fine while retaining the unlock.
 

cerj

Recognized Themer
Nov 1, 2012
6,261
12,078
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Auto I had to stop in and thank you. Your wealth of knowledge was really appreciated in the E4GT forum, by myself and others. And i appreciate your thread of codes for our GS4. But with this you have gonna above and beyond. Thank you

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Xparent Skyblue Tapatalk 2
 

pvinodnayak

Senior Member
Feb 10, 2012
736
187
Udupi
I followed exactly the way you explained, my baseband is MDC, I can see the operators under gsm/manual.
5yma9ytu.jpg


y4uhy6yd.jpg


Does not connect.
Will try again, do I need to be only complete MDC/MDL? Or just Modem only?

Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk 4
 

autoprime

Recognized Dev / Inactive Recognized Contributor
Jun 23, 2010
2,642
11,912
I followed exactly the way you explained, my baseband is MDC, I can see the operators under gsm/manual.

Does not connect.
Will try again, do I need to be only complete MDC/MDL? Or just Modem only?

Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk 4

what does the sim error at the top of your screen say? "invalid sim" ? or something else?

set phone into cdma mode.. and follow every single step exactly. confirm the logs in DFS to make sure that the password unlocked you.. and that you sent all 7 CMDs after the unlock.

You only need to be on MDC/MDL baseband.. not the entire rom. Post # 10 in this thread confirms it also works. He was on an MF9 rom/baseband... downgraded baseband only... then entered password and 7 commands in DFS. after teh 7th command, reboot phone. after reboot you should be unlocked.

The true test to see if you are unlocked on a Stock Rom is to keep the phone set in CDMA/LTE mode(not GSM/UMTS) then view the Device settings > status... and see if ICCID is displayed or not. If you see an ICCID then it is reading your sim and you are not unlocked. The "invalid sim" message at the top of your phone will also disappear.
 
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obender

Senior Member
Jan 19, 2007
253
9

Sprint Galaxy S IV SPH-L720 SIM Unlock Method
This thread is best viewed in desktop mode.



Background

Sprint's new world-roaming GSM locked phones do not use an "unlock code" like typical GSM devices. Instead they are unlocked OTA... only when Sprint deems this allowed. Sprint cannot be relied on as the only method of unlock for multiple reasons. And some people have been "unlocked" by Sprint yet international SIM still do not work. For these reasons, a manual SIM unlock is needed. This thread will explain how to do just that.

Post #10 confirms this method working. Read through the first page if you have any issues.

This is for International SIM lock! AT&T and T-Mobile USA are still hard blocked on the device itself.



Requirements

1. A Sprint GS4 on the MDC or MDL baseband. MF9 baseband will NOT work with this method. Downgrade baseband(modem) to MDC via Odin or Heimdall with THIS FILE. Thank you sxtpdevelopers.com and Rwilco12 for the file/hosting. You can go back to the MF9 baseband/modem after the SIM unlock by flashing THIS .TAR.. thank you noobnl for that. If the modem downgrade/upgrade doesn't stick.. try powering off completely then booting into download mode.. instead of rebooting directly into download mode. Sometimes this helps. I promise it is possible to go from MF9 -> MDC -> MF9

2. Samsung USB Drivers. Most of you should already have these. You can grab them HERE.

3. Windows PC or a Windows virtual machine.. You will be running CDMA Tool DFS. Be sure to grab DFS and not iDFS.


Is the free DFS enough or should paid version be used?​
 

autoprime

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    Sprint Galaxy S IV SPH-L720 SIM Unlock Method




    Background

    Sprint's new world-roaming GSM locked phones do not use an "unlock code" like typical GSM devices. Instead they are unlocked OTA... and only when Sprint allows this. Sprint cannot be relied on as the only method of unlock for multiple reasons. Some people have been "unlocked" by Sprint yet international SIM still do not work. Others own this phone but aren't using it on Sprint. For these reasons, a manual SIM unlock is needed. This post will explain how to do just that.



    Requirements

    1. A Sprint GS4 on the MDC or MDL baseband. MF9 baseband will NOT work with this method. Downgrade baseband(modem) to MDC via Odin or Heimdall with THIS FILE. Thank you sxtpdevelopers.com and Rwilco12 for the file/hosting. You can go back to the MF9 baseband/modem after the SIM unlock by flashing THIS .TAR.. thank you noobnl for that. If the modem downgrade/upgrade doesn't stick.. try powering off completely then booting into download mode.. instead of rebooting directly into download mode. Sometimes this helps. I promise it is possible to go from MF9 -> MDC -> MF9

    2. Samsung USB Drivers. Most of you should already have these. You can grab them HERE.

    3. Windows PC or a Windows virtual machine.


    Directions

    Press the "Click to Show Content/Spoiler" button below to display unlock directions.


    It should not matter what SIM card is in your phone while doing the unlock. I usually unlock while a GSM SIM is inserted.. but it should also work if no SIM is in.. or the Sprint SIM is in.

    1. After confirming you are on MDC/MDL baseband.. set your phone to diag mode.

    Stock: Open the phone app and enter dialer code ##3424# then select Qualcomm USB Setting and select the last option, DM + MDM + ADB and hit OK. BE SURE TO SET BACK TO MTP+ADB WHEN THIS IS ALL DONE.You may be asked your for SPC/MSL code prior to the menu opening. You can get this from Sprint or by doing the following... Open ##3282# menu and hit Edit. Enter 123456 and it Ok.. you will be told it is incorrect. Now open terminal emulator and type in "getprop ril.MSL" without the quotes and you should have your MSL.

    AOSP: Connect phone to computer. Enable USB Debugging in the Developer options. Open command prompt/terminal.
    Enter adb shell. Then type su hit enter.
    Confirm # then type setprop sys.usb.config diag,acm,adb then hit enter. This mode disables itself after you reboot the phone.

    CNmiSMo.png



    2. Now that you are set to diag mode it is time to install the Sprint S4 Unlock Tool, download HERE. pw on unlock tool zip = meanngreen04
    @meanngreen04 was awesome enough to package my unlock method into a 1-click app. Show him some thanks.

    If you do not have .net 4.5 installed on your machine you will be prompted to install it.

    Confirm your phone is set in diag mode.

    Press the Unlock button in the tool. Wait for for it to reboot. All done. You are now unlocked!!

    fgzUdny.png



    To confirm you are unlocked without having to leave the USA and using an international SIM card: on the stock rom you should be able to put ANY GSM SIM card into your phone, power up the phone and check device settings to see the ICCID displayed. Prior to unlock the ICCID would be displayed as unknown. You will also notice the "Invalid SIM" message finally gone. On AOSP roms the only way to confirm without leaving the USA would be to use a 3rd party SIM app to read the ICCID... and that will only work if the phone is set to GSM. Again, even though we can NOT use our GS4 on ATT/T-MO.. we can still use ATT/TMO SIM cards to test the unlock.

    I have been trying to get AT&T and T-Mobile SIM cards to get a signal... but that is for another thread/project. No promises.

    Didn't work?
    Try again. Make sure everything is confirmed working every step of the way. From diag drivers being installed correctly.. to diag mode being set.. to confirming you are on MDC or MDL baseband. Remember this will not work on MF9 baseband.

    Make sure "PDA" is selected in the initial ##3424# menu.... not CDMA Modem.

    To confirm drivers are installed properly check Windows Device Manager. Under the "Ports(COM)" section you should see 2 Samsung serial ports listed. If you do not see these... drivers are not installed or phone is not set in diag mode properly.

    Some members have reported setting "DM over UART" in the *#9090# menu. This is something I've personally never had to do. The default setting with my phone is "DM/DUN over HSIC"

    Last but not least... have you tried turning if off and on again?

    That should cover all issues. Outside of those... USB cable could be bad... Windows PC could be messed up... phone hardware could be bad.

    Questions asking for help unlocking without posting screenshots of (1)Device Manager confirming 2 samsung serial ports...(2) ##3424# menu.. and (3)baseband settings will be ignored.



    Donation Link if you want to say more than thanks.
    8
    Try the steps below for potential of unlocking Domestic GSM. Please note I have successfully connected with NET10 (AT&T) microsim. In addition, I was already unlocked for international use via Sprint OTA. I also ran the sim unlocker software. All credit goes to OP and those that have contributed to this thread.

    1) Insert Microsim

    2) Run sim unlocker program as described in beginning of this thread.

    3) Enter "ServiceMode" menu by entering *#0011#
    UMTS Main Menu
    1 Debug Screen -> 6 Phone Control -> 1 DRX Control = GSM DRX: ON / LTE DRX: Enables RX0 and RX1
    1 Debug Screen -> 6 Phone Control -> 2 Fake Security Control = ON
    1 Debug Screen -> 6 Phone Control -> 3 Nas Control -> 1 Ciphering Control = OFF
    1 Debug Screen -> 6 Phone Control -> 3 Nas Control -> 2 Integrity Control = ON
    1 Debug Screen -> 6 Phone Control -> 3 Nas Control -> 3 Sim Class Control = UMTS
    1 Debug Screen -> 6 Phone Control -> 3 Nas Control -> 5 RRC(HSPA) Contrl -> 2 Change Revision -> 5 Release 8 (HSPA+)
    1 Debug Screen -> 6 Phone Control -> 3 Nas Control -> 7 NAS Avoid Security Control = 2 Security_check: OFF
    1 Debug Screen -> 6 Phone Control -> 3 Nas Control -> 8 BIP Block = 2 BIP Unblocking: set 1

    4) Reboot after entering options in step 3. Go back to "ServiceMode"
    UMTS Main Menu
    1 Debug Screen -> 6 Phone Control -> 5 Simulation -> 2 SW Watchdog <--hit this 6 times
    1 Debug Screen -> 6 Phone Control -> 5 Simulation -> 3 HW Watchdog <--hit this 6 times
    (Manually reboot phone)

    5) Go to Phone Settings -> Mobile Networks -> GSM -> Maually Search for networks

    6) APN Settings
    If you are using AT&T and/or TMOBILE branded sim you can do the following:
    1) Install "HiAPN Global" from playstore
    2) Select "Click to AutoSet APNs" then reboot

    If you are using prepaid sim cards that require specifc APN Settings then do the following:
    1) Edit build.prop (Must be rooted)
    2) Install NovaLauncher from playstore
    Launch NovaLauncher and create APN Settings shortcut by doing the following:
    a) Long press on home screen and select "Shortcuts"
    b) Select "Activities"
    c) Select "Settings"
    d) Finally select APNs
    After shortcut is created, go into APNs and add/edit APN info. At that point you can go back to TouchWiz or stay with NovaLauncher

    7) Install "Tellinfo" from play store. (This app allows you to seamlessly switch back and fourth between Sprint CDMA and GSM (WCDMA) on the fly. No need to reboot
    1) Run Tellinfo app and select Device Information
    2) Scroll down to "Set preferred Network Type" and choose
    a. WCDA Only to connect to GSM Networks
    or
    b. CDMA auto (PRL) to connect back to Sprint network.
    5
    still no go for me.. downgraded the modem to MDC as per the OP and still i get the invalid sim card message and no connection when switching to GSM/UMTS..

    Did you confirm the downgrade to MDC stuck? You can view this is phone settings. There were more than a few times the downgrade wouldn't stick even though the flash was successful. Baseband must say MDC.


    If you are in the USA... you will not get a connection if you set GSM/UMTS. The only way to get a connection is by using a non-ATT/TMO SIM and being outside the country. To confirm in the USA... set the device to the normal CDMA/LTE mode and view the ICCID settings. Although if you're still seeing the invalid sim message then indeed it did not take.

    Double check in settings to see of MDC is indeed your baseband.

    Other than that.. there's not much more to it. As I stated at the beginning of the directions.. I usually would perform the unlock with the GSM sim card already in(but still set to CDMA/LTE mode)... but having the Sprint SIM in instead should still work.

    wifi is stopped from working as well!

    If you are on an MF9 rom and still on the MDC modem, this is why. Reflashing back to MF9 modem after you sim unlock will fix this.
    4
    thank you for this method and i have flashed back to MF9 and all are working great and the invalid sim card message has went away :)

    ---------- Post added at 01:18 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:07 PM ----------

    final question..

    how long will this unlock stick for? meaning if an update after the MF9 comes out, will be able to remove the unlock?

    You will be able to update roms fine while retaining the unlock.