Unlocked or not?

Search This thread
Nov 2, 2022
19
2
I got a Metro by T-Mobile phone unlocked on eBay and while the phone no longer rejects MVNO sims, it won't connect to any network either. It still connects when I put the Metro sim back in but it won't connect with sims from Lyca, Tello or Hello Mobile, all T-Mobile MVNOs. The phone is a TCL 30 XE 5G (T767W) and I bought two of them new and they both have the same problem. I'm new to the T-Mobile network and I don't know if I'm missing something. I've never had this kind of trouble on Verizon or AT&T. Has anyone else run into a problem like this? I appreciate any help anyone can offer.
Thanks!
 
Nov 2, 2022
19
2

Droidriven

Senior Member
Jan 27, 2014
15,889
11
5,489
NC
Verizon Samsung Galaxy S III
HTC Thunderbolt
According to that site my phone is unlocked but it still won't connect to any network unless the original Metro sim is installed.
Maybe you need to enter service menu and change your radio settings or maybe you need to flash a different modem for your specific model number.

I know you said you bought them new but can you confirm that their IMEI is intact?
 
Nov 2, 2022
19
2
Maybe you need to enter service menu and change your radio settings or maybe you need to flash a different modem for your specific model number.

I know you said you bought them new but can you confirm that their IMEI is intact?
Thank you for your reply! Both phones were shipped to me from Metro by T-Mobile. The phones were able to connect with an MVNO sim when I set the radio to 2G only mode but that option disappeared when the phones updated to Android 12 and now they can't connect at all. Even before the update, the phones would frequently disconnect and I had to set them back to 2G only mode to get service back so there was always something wrong. I'm pretty good with computers but I've never flashed a phone before and I've been suspecting that I would have to do that with these phones. I'll be happy to check their IMEI numbers if you could let me know what I'm looking for. I'd also like to learn more about flashing a new modem as you mentioned above that sounds like it might address the problem. And if you wouldn't mind letting me know where I could find the service menu?
Thanks in advance!!
 

Droidriven

Senior Member
Jan 27, 2014
15,889
11
5,489
NC
Verizon Samsung Galaxy S III
HTC Thunderbolt
Thank you for your reply! Both phones were shipped to me from Metro by T-Mobile. The phones were able to connect with an MVNO sim when I set the radio to 2G only mode but that option disappeared when the phones updated to Android 12 and now they can't connect at all. Even before the update, the phones would frequently disconnect and I had to set them back to 2G only mode to get service back so there was always something wrong. I'm pretty good with computers but I've never flashed a phone before and I've been suspecting that I would have to do that with these phones. I'll be happy to check their IMEI numbers if you could let me know what I'm looking for. I'd also like to learn more about flashing a new modem as you mentioned above that sounds like it might address the problem. And if you wouldn't mind letting me know where I could find the service menu?
Thanks in advance!!
After they updated, have you tried booting into recovery and wiping the cache partition(not factory reset)? Sometimes, after updates, wiping cache is necessary to remove conflicts between previously existing data and the new update.

If you are getting a connection of any kind then your IMEI is fine.

Flashing a modem is sometimes necessary but it can have risks if you flash the wrong thing.

I'm not familiar with TCL devices or how they are flashed. Typically, to flash a different modem requires downloading a firmware that has the modem that you want/need then extracting the modem from the firmware then flash the extracted modem onto the device.

Methods to access service/radio menu different from device to device, I don't know how it is done on TCL devices. Most of the time it is done by using your dialer and dialing a specific code, if there is a dialer code for your device, you should be able to find it with a Google search for:

"TCL 30 XE 5G dialer menu code"

Or

"TCL 30 XE 5G service menu"
 
Nov 2, 2022
19
2
After they updated, have you tried booting into recovery and wiping the cache partition(not factory reset)? Sometimes, after updates, wiping cache is necessary to remove conflicts between previously existing data and the new update.

If you are getting a connection of any kind then your IMEI is fine.

Flashing a modem is sometimes necessary but it can have risks if you flash the wrong thing.

I'm not familiar with TCL devices or how they are flashed. Typically, to flash a different modem requires downloading a firmware that has the modem that you want/need then extracting the modem from the firmware then flash the extracted modem onto the device.

Methods to access service/radio menu different from device to device, I don't know how it is done on TCL devices. Most of the time it is done by using your dialer and dialing a specific code, if there is a dialer code for your device, you should be able to find it with a Google search for:

"TCL 30 XE 5G dialer menu code"

Or

"TCL 30 XE 5G service menu"
I was able to find my phone's service mode or engineering mode (hope they're the same thing) and get service back by setting the phone to 2G only mode again but that doesn't solve the problem of it losing service when LTE or 5G are turned on. Are there any other settings I could try changing?
 

Droidriven

Senior Member
Jan 27, 2014
15,889
11
5,489
NC
Verizon Samsung Galaxy S III
HTC Thunderbolt
I was able to find my phone's service mode or engineering mode (hope they're the same thing) and get service back by setting the phone to 2G only mode again but that doesn't solve the problem of it losing service when LTE or 5G are turned on. Are there any other settings I could try changing?
Can you use the service menu to find out which bands/frequencies and network type the current modem/radio is using?

Can you find out which bands/frequencies and network type that your carrier network is using?

Compare them to see if they are compatible.

Or, try calling customer support for your carrier, there may be something they need to do in their system from their end to get your device to connect.
 
Nov 2, 2022
19
2
Can you use the service menu to find out which bands/frequencies and network type the current modem/radio is using?

Can you find out which bands/frequencies and network type that your carrier network is using?

Compare them to see if they are compatible.

Or, try calling customer support for your carrier, there may be something they need to do in their system from their end to get your device to connect.
What do you mean by network type?

There are a lot of options to choose from, several of them list bands. Is there a specific menu I should look for?

The carrier I have the phone on is Tello which is a T-Mobile MVNO. I've also tried Lyca and Hello Mobile both are also Tmo MVNOs and all three had the same problem. The phones are from Metro by T-Mobile so everything should be compatible. Tello customer service has tried to help but they can't figure it out.
 

Droidriven

Senior Member
Jan 27, 2014
15,889
11
5,489
NC
Verizon Samsung Galaxy S III
HTC Thunderbolt
What do you mean by network type?

There are a lot of options to choose from, several of them list bands. Is there a specific menu I should look for?

The carrier I have the phone on is Tello which is a T-Mobile MVNO. I've also tried Lyca and Hello Mobile both are also Tmo MVNOs and all three had the same problem. The phones are from Metro by T-Mobile so everything should be compatible. Tello customer service has tried to help but they can't figure it out.
But, are the bands that are presently available on the device within the range of bands that your carrier uses? Do the network and the device use the same bands? If so, you shouldn't need to flash a different modem, if not, you may need a different modem.

Did you boot into recovery and wipe the cache partition to remove any potential conflicts caused by updating to android 12?

Are you certain that the SIM(s) you are trying to use is/are valid and active? If they have been previously deactivated, they won't work

Don't skip through my posts and only answer part of my questions. Let's cover the bases without skipping an answer to a question. Otherwise, it could lead to a wild goose chase that could have been avoided by answering everything I ask.
 
Nov 2, 2022
19
2
But, are the bands that are presently available on the device within the range of bands that your carrier uses? Do the network and the device use the same bands? If so, you shouldn't need to flash a different modem, if not, you may need a different modem.

Did you boot into recovery and wipe the cache partition to remove any potential conflicts caused by updating to android 12?

Are you certain that the SIM(s) you are trying to use is/are valid and active? If they have been previously deactivated, they won't work

Don't skip through my posts and only answer part of my questions. Let's cover the bases without skipping an answer to a question. Otherwise, it could lead to a wild goose chase that could have been avoided by answering everything I ask.
Sorry about the confusion. I did wipe the cache and in the past I've done a full factory reset from recovery mode it didn't help. And this problem already existed before the update to Android 12. It started the moment I changed sims. The phones only ever worked right with the original Metro sim and still do. That's why I wasn't sure if they were unlocked right but they don't reject other sims either.

The sims are active and have never been deactivated and now that I can force the phones back into 2G mode again, I can make and receive calls and use 2G data.

As for the bands I'm finding in the service menu, this is where it gets weird. They're all selected, there must be over a hundred bands turned on including bands I know this phone doesn't support.

I have confirmed the phone supports all the same bands that Tello uses. Tello uses the same bands as T-Mobile.
 

Droidriven

Senior Member
Jan 27, 2014
15,889
11
5,489
NC
Verizon Samsung Galaxy S III
HTC Thunderbolt
Sorry about the confusion. I did wipe the cache and in the past I've done a full factory reset from recovery mode it didn't help. And this problem already existed before the update to Android 12. It started the moment I changed sims. The phones only ever worked right with the original Metro sim and still do. That's why I wasn't sure if they were unlocked right but they don't reject other sims either.

The sims are active and have never been deactivated and now that I can force the phones back into 2G mode again, I can make and receive calls and use 2G data.

As for the bands I'm finding in the service menu, this is where it gets weird. They're all selected, there must be over a hundred bands turned on including bands I know this phone doesn't support.

I have confirmed the phone supports all the same bands that Tello uses. Tello uses the same bands as T-Mobile.
Ok, thanks for confirming.

It is weird, everything seems to be in place. Have you made sure your APNs(Access Point Names) are set correctly for the network?

I can't be certain that you have all of your network and radio settings set correctly because I have no idea what settings you have, what the options are or if there are any tucked away somewhere that isn't obvious.

If everything is right on your end, it may be something on their end that they need to get right.
 
Last edited:
Nov 2, 2022
19
2
Ok, thanks for confirming.

It is weird, everything seems to be in place. Have you made sure your APNs(Access Point Names) are set correctly for the network?

I can't be certain that you have all of your network and radio settings set correctly because I have no idea what settings you have, what the options are or if there are any tucked away somewhere that isn't obvious.

If everything is right on your end, it may be something on their end that they need to get right.
Yeah, the APN was the first thing I checked and Tello confirmed it too.

I can send you screenshots of the service menus if that would help.

Tello is now saying the phone might not be "fully unlocked" I don't know what that means. Is there more than one way to lock a phone? Did T-Mobile come up with another way of locking their phones? A screen in the settings menu does warn the phone is still locked and it isn't yet eligible to be unlocked but it accepts the sim and connects to 2G at least. Could Tello be on to something here?
 

Droidriven

Senior Member
Jan 27, 2014
15,889
11
5,489
NC
Verizon Samsung Galaxy S III
HTC Thunderbolt
Yeah, the APN was the first thing I checked and Tello confirmed it too.

I can send you screenshots of the service menus if that would help.

Tello is now saying the phone might not be "fully unlocked" I don't know what that means. Is there more than one way to lock a phone? Did T-Mobile come up with another way of locking their phones? A screen in the settings menu does warn the phone is still locked and it isn't yet eligible to be unlocked but it accepts the sim and connects to 2G at least. Could Tello be on to something here?
There are couple of different kinds of "unlocked"

There is SIM/carrier unlock and there is bootloader unlock. They two completely different things and have nothing to do with each other.

Have you tried going through the carrier unlock process yourself to confirm it has been done correctly?
 
Nov 2, 2022
19
2
Generally, there is a website that you go to to get an unlock code.

Google search:

"TCL 30 XE 5G (T767W) SIM unlock"
My understanding is that Metro phones can't be unlocked with a code. Instead, they're unlocked by a preinstalled carrier app when the phone becomes eligible for an unlock, which my phone isn't. In my case, I bought an unlocking service from eBay which had me hook up my phone to my PC via USB for the unlock. Is there another way to check?
 

Droidriven

Senior Member
Jan 27, 2014
15,889
11
5,489
NC
Verizon Samsung Galaxy S III
HTC Thunderbolt
My understanding is that Metro phones can't be unlocked with a code. Instead, they're unlocked by a preinstalled carrier app when the phone becomes eligible for an unlock, which my phone isn't. In my case, I bought an unlocking service from eBay which had me hook up my phone to my PC via USB for the unlock. Is there another way to check?
You got scammed, whether they did it on purpose or not is another question. They probably didn't rob you on purpose, it is just a matter of there never being any kind of guarantee that a 3rd party unlocking service works on every device. You took that chance when you chose to go that route.

If there is an app that is supposed to be used, why is your device not eligible to unlock via the app? You will have to use the official unlock method if/when it is eligible, hopefully the 3rd party unlock service hasn't done anything that conflicts with the official method.

I suggest that, in the future, don't make gambles or look for shortcuts when buying devices without being 100% certain that you are buying from a reputable source that guarantees their products and services. It is best to buy directly from the carrier/manufacturer or from Swappa. I wouldn't buy from eBay unless I could confirm that there was a legitimately proven unlock method for the specific model number that I'm considering purchasing before I actually purchase the device.

If you can return the device and get your money back, I suggest you do it or report it to eBay to see if they will protect your purchase since what you got is not what you agreed to purchase.
 
Nov 2, 2022
19
2
You got scammed, whether they did it on purpose or not is another question. They probably didn't rob you on purpose, it is just a matter of there never being any kind of guarantee that a 3rd party unlocking service works on every device. You took that chance when you chose to go that route.

If there is an app that is supposed to be used, why is your device not eligible to unlock via the app? You will have to use the official unlock method if/when it is eligible, hopefully the 3rd party unlock service hasn't done anything that conflicts with the official method.

I suggest that, in the future, don't make gambles or look for shortcuts when buying devices without being 100% certain that you are buying from a reputable source that guarantees their products and services. It is best to buy directly from the carrier/manufacturer or from Swappa. I wouldn't buy from eBay unless I could confirm that there was a legitimately proven unlock method for the specific model number that I'm considering purchasing before I actually purchase the device.

If you can return the device and get your money back, I suggest you do it or report it to eBay to see if they will protect your purchase since what you got is not what you agreed to purchase.
I got the phones new from Metro not eBay. The only thing I got from eBay was the unlocking service which cost me $8. And I didn't pay anything for the phones either as they were free with the purchase of one month of Metro service. So there's really no point in returning the phones and I'm not gonna bother opening a case with eBay over $8.

Metro won't unlock the phones until I've paid for six months of their service.

A quick search on eBay comes up with multiple sellers offering unlocks for my specific phone model locked to Metro. I've been thinking about just trying to get the phones unlocked again by another seller but everything and everyone seems to be telling me the phones are already unlocked so I don't know what I should try next. Is there a way to check if the phones are really unlocked?
 

Droidriven

Senior Member
Jan 27, 2014
15,889
11
5,489
NC
Verizon Samsung Galaxy S III
HTC Thunderbolt
I got the phones new from Metro not eBay. The only thing I got from eBay was the unlocking service which cost me $8. And I didn't pay anything for the phones either as they were free with the purchase of one month of Metro service. So there's really no point in returning the phones and I'm not gonna bother opening a case with eBay over $8.

Metro won't unlock the phones until I've paid for six months of their service.

A quick search on eBay comes up with multiple sellers offering unlocks for my specific phone model locked to Metro. I've been thinking about just trying to get the phones unlocked again by another seller but everything and everyone seems to be telling me the phones are already unlocked so I don't know what I should try next. Is there a way to check if the phones are really unlocked?
You've already used methods to check if it is unlocked. Obviously, the service you paid for didn't work, you can't get your money back for that, those services don't come with any guarantee. As I said, you can take another chance and try another 3rd party service that also is not guaranteed or you can wait and do it the official way. I'm betting the unlock service is a waste of time and money and you'll have to wait and do it the right way. That is the cost of blindly taking a shortcut.
 

Top Liked Posts

  • There are no posts matching your filters.
  • 1
    Please post the codes or what you use to get into the mode that you talk about where you can select bands and such please.
    *#*#3646633#*#*
  • 1
    Hello I am having the same issue with a Samsung Galaxy A13 5G Model SM-A136U Purchased at Metro and unlocked BY METRO using their standard policy (Phone connected for more than 6 Months) it is unlocked according to the settings but when trying to make a call it does not go through. It actually works if I force to 2G but internet is practically unusable.
    Any Ideas? Anyone willing to troubleshoot?
    Thanks
    I'm willing to help anyway I can but I haven't found a solution either. I'm starting to believe this is some kind of problem with the T-Mobile network itself that seems to have started two or three years ago and only seems to affect unlocked phones, and not just the ones from Metro. I believe it has something to do with the latest version of the sim cards used by T-Mobile MVNOs. As I have a five year old unlocked Verizon phone that works just fine with an older sim from a T-Mobile MVNO but a new sim from the same MVNO in the same phone doesn't work and exhibits the same symptoms as my new Metro phones. In all cases a 2G connection is always possible but only if you can set the network mode to "2G only" or "GSM only" trying to connect to LTE leaves the phone without any service of any kind. Does your phone lose service when you turn on LTE?
    1
    Please post the codes or what you use to get into the mode that you talk about where you can select bands and such please.
    *#*#3646633#*#*