[photo] Mark Jeftovic

easyDNS CEO, Career Contrarian & AntiGuru

iPhone unlocked on the Fido network using Turbo Sim card

I bought a turbo Sim card on the aftermarket (at a pretty inflated price), from PDAPlaza, it arrived pretty quickly.

I was going to wait for a software unlock but I broke down before the weekend and grabbed a couple turbo SIMs.

There are a lot of docs out there on what to do, I thought I’d post a quick summary of what you need to do to get iphone unlocked on a Canadian network like Fido or Rogers (I guess the point is this works on pretty well any GSM network)

In a nutshell, here’s what you need to do to unlock your iPhone with a Turbo Sim card:

  1. Get an iphone. I had a friend ship up a couple from Chicago via Fedex a few weeks ago and have been using it as a wifi device, without the phone, until now.
  2. Get a turbo sim card. They are manufactured by Bladox, out of the Czech Republic. But the bad news is, since it was discovered these work on iphones, demand skyrocketed and they are perpetually sold out. You may end up having to buy one on the aftermarket. Prices range from $100+ (check craigslist), I got mine from PDAPlaza.ca for $175. On Ebay prices are as high as $600+. It’ll be interesting to see what the software unlock will do to these prices.
  3. Make a note of your IMEI and your ICCID. If your phone has been hacktivated (this means you have activated your iphone without signing up with AT&T and can use everything except the phone), you will find it under Settings -> General -> About if you’ve already activated your phone, or by pressing the “i” icon on an unactivated phone.
  4. Jailbreak and activate your phone, or activate and then jailbreak. The activation, like I said, gets you using the iphone features except the phone, jailbreak allows you to install other applications and mods on the phone (which you’ll need to install the turbo sim stuff). I used this guide for the mac osx to activate and jailbreak with iActivate.
  5. You need to then install ssh, I found two tutorials, this one worked for me, and this one does a good job of explaining how what you are doing to the phone actually works, although after I completed the latter tutorial, I couldn’t ssh into my phone, but I could after following the first one. (it took me a couple go rounds at this, I started from scratch twice, by resetting my iphone to the factory defaults via itunes)
  6. When the tutorial goes through the bit about compiling iPhuck, don’t. I found a binary download somewhere for the mac, although I can’t find the link at the moment. When I do I’ll update this.
  7. I didn’t bother using cyberduck or fugi, I’d just scp stuff over from the mac shell.
  8. Once you’re done that, you’re finally ready to install the turbo sim. There are two methods of doing so, “ISA” and “applesaft”, this is the definitive guide for the applesaft method, I couldn’t find a tutorial for the ISA method. The difference between the two is the ISA method ONLY requires that you have to cut your target sim card to attach the turbo sim, the applesaft method requires you cut both your target sim and the ATT sim which came with your iphone.
  9. The applesaft method basically is you put the turbo sim in with the original ATT sim, and install a turbo sim software bundle, then remove the sim combo, and attach the turbo sim to your intended sim card (in my case, my fido sim, with the corner cut out) and after a power cycle of the phone, away you go. The turbo sim came with a cardboard diagram of how to cut the sim which I used as a defacto template/pattern. Not really my forte (anything bordering on a hardware mod) but I muddled through.
  10. Update: May as well activate the iPhone for the Edge with Fido, so when I’m not in a wifi hotspot I can at least access the internet over GPRS. Under Settings -> General -> Network -> Edge enter:
    • APN: internet.fido.ca
    • user: fido
    • pass: fido

Learn more about Troubleshooting Your iPhone
So now I have a fully functional iphone on fido. I wonder what tomorrow’s big announcement from Apple will be and whether they will address the groundswell of unlocking activity the iphone has generated.

5 Comments to iPhone unlocked on the Fido network using Turbo Sim card

  1. Chris Lundie's Gravatar Chris Lundie
    September 6, 2007 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Looks like Apple remains silent on the issue, although many people should be happy to use a combination of iPod touch + any cheap old phone, rather than importing an iPhone and unlocking it.

  2. dory 's Gravatar dory
    October 11, 2007 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    i just setup my iphone in seconds cause i couldnt use the internet or youtube but i put the stuff u had and now it works .thanks so much

  3. Ewan's Gravatar Ewan
    October 18, 2007 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    I did the same thing using the setting you provided. And I have been charged $250.00 by Fido for using my wi-fi at home. Edge Network Data Sent 765kb and received 4.1 mb. Without what you did I can’t access youtube or safari.

  4. mefisto's Gravatar mefisto
    March 12, 2008 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    I have an iPhone, bought on eBay, it is unlocked, I can make phonecalls, I can go to internet (5 cent/kb) etc. but there is one BIG problem with FIDO, I have prepaid sevice and therefore I can’t use unlimited internet, I just called them asking to change to monthly package so I could go for unlimited internet on it, but FIDO said that “they cannot guarantee that unlimited package will work, as far as iPhone is not a FIDO handset”

    is there any chance in Canada to have iPhone with unlimited internet (EDGE-GPRS)???

    And another question – can I get games and applications installed on iPhone directly from computer, without need to go to internet?

  5. July 11, 2008 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Apparently today is iPhone-day in Canada, and this is one of the smaller line-ups for them, out near my place on the way into work. Bear in mind it has been raining fairly hard all morning and from what I’ve heard, the data pricing on the Rogers iPhone i

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