The Samsung Galaxy Note II is a smartphone noted for its combination of a large display and software optimized for an integral self-storing stylus.

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Remove embedded sim card in Sprint's version of Samsung Galaxy Note II

Unfortunately, Sprint decided to lock and embed their international sim card in the device. Is there a way to open the case and take out the sim card so that when going overseas anyone can use local international plans instead of Sprint?

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This question was migrated from http://meta.ifixit.com/Answers.

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hello!!! i have a note3 which is cdma sprint can any one please help me to make my note get unlock pleaseeeeeeeeeeeee

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Hey! I hope this has been resolved already, and if anyone is still struggling to figure out a solution to this, I'd recommend trying out http://www.unlockyoursim.com :) It worked for me. Hope this helps!

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So there is no way to make it prepaid through sprint or maybe straight talks bring your own phone plan ?

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CDMA phoned are locked to their respective carrier permanently due to how they work and there's never a "real" way to fully unlock them. You are going to need to program the phone to start, which most of the CDMA carriers will not give out. They don't do this, for multiple reasons. This is your major issue trying to "unlock" these phones. The only way to really do it, is to use the MSL to reprogram these phones for each individual carrier. You are stuck doing this every time you want to switch. So, yes and no. Yes, it's possible to reporgram one of these phones. No, you can't unlock it, due to the issue with the MSL. Every time you want to program the phone, you need this MSL, even if you flash a unlocked baseband to the phone, since the CDMA phones have the SIM card and carrier information on the phone. Sprint is the absolute worst with unlocking. The FCC lets them lock the SIM slot(Verizon was prevented from this on their 4G LTE phones. Sprint wasn't.) and they refuse to unlock ANY phone they supply. They will make you go through the !&&* their support is before they even do it, and will torture you as hard as they can to make you give up. Is it possible? Yes. Easy? Yes and no. Is it easy to get the MSL, which you need? No.

This is in contrast with a GSM phone, which use a SIM card. You can change the SIM cards, as that's how the communications are handled. The only thing the phone is essentially does is acts as a radio. As such, it's practical to unlock these phones. The reason these can unlock(and usually are) is due to the way they work. As I said, they're just cellular radios. The SIM card handles the rest, and the phone doesn't handle it outside of being a radio since a lot of the functions of the SIM card aren't visible to the phone, and are encrypted. All you need is a SIM unlock code to deal with these, for the most part.

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So is it not possible to get inside of the plastic in the back to find the embedded sim card and maybe take out the solder?

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I understand what you mean, but if you look around on Sprint forums and other sites, people like me want the ability to use foreign sim card. This isn't about unlocking GSM for the US carriers. CDMA might be old but it's fine for voice and text.

The Sprint software on the phone can easily be hacked to change settings for GSM, but the main issue is finding the SIM card slot so that it can be replaced when overseas. Sprint made a terrible decision to do this with all their "World phones".

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Correct, but apparently (and I think this is a load of BS) they did this in response to unlocked phones being bought on contract, shipped overseas and then the contracts being cancelled just so foreigners can have the phones. Despite this stupid policy on their part, it'd be great to see ifixit or someone else take this phone apart to show us how to remove the embedded sim card. Anyone? Please? :)

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Actually, they do this because too many people have discovered that prepaid is a lot cheaper. You get more for less with prepaid than you do with an account but without the insurance. People would get a phone under contract and then discover how high their bill was compared to their friends who were using prepaid sim cards.

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Yes you can I did it I'm using a sprint phone as I speak or while I'm typing this my provider ultra mobile and its gsm uses a sim card its possible many things have loop holes if your smart you can figure it out almost everything Is possible

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The Note II has both CDMA and GSM capabilities. It is a "global phone" as termed by CDMA providers such as Verizon and Sprint. Unfortunately Sprint decided to embed the SIM card unlike Verizon which has their SIM slot accessible. This means Sprint users are forced to pay Sprint's rates when travelling abroad instead of just popping in a pay-as-you-go SIM card from another country to save money on rates. Stupid Sprint.

Also, the Verizon Note II comes unlocked. My friend tested it by popping in a Tmobile SIM card and he was able to make phone calls using the Tmobile number on this Verizon Note II.

Here is a thread on XDA detailing the possibility of switching out some parts to convert the Sprint Note II to have an accessible SIM slot:

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthre...

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not entirely true.

check it out.

YES CDMA phones can't be switched. Duh. But the Note II is capable of GSM too... the embedded sim is nothing more then a normal sim card.

check this thread at XDA. Solder in a dual SIM, load up the software and your good to go. Well... as long as you can get the battery cover back on.

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthre...

Update

CDMA phones don't use SIM cards at all. Unless the are world capable (international) phones. In that case, it uses CDMA on the sprint network, and the GSM for when traveling abroad (unless your in the rare location of the world that serves CDMA). You're correct that it doesn't use any sort of physical chip accessible to the customer to connect to the network. It uses a serial number of each specific phone to permit access.

That's why on sprint and Verizon you have to contact them with the ESN or MEID to switch the phone service. Even then the ESN has to be registered with that specific network. Sprint to Sprint and Verizon to Verizon.

On t-mobile and at&t you can just flip flop your SIM.....

World capable phones on Sprint (or Verizon i guess) can do both flavors if you play your cards right. Its just the matter of what phone you have and what you plan on doing. If its a International capable phone, its pretty much just a matter of software. Either getting your cell phone carrier to unlock it or unlocking it yourself.

So for the instance of our Note II, Sprint was kind enough to not use a physical SIM card that could be removed and replaced with a new carriers sim card. No, the decided to embed the little guy making it nearly impossible to switch out. That way you CAN'T (easily) switch out the SIM to your carrier of choice. Sprint will say its in an effort to prevent international phone fraud. Which doesn't really make sense but that's beside the point.

I'll be getting my Note II next week and plan on doing a test run of soldering a dual SIM connector and putting in the SIM switching software. Its possible. Its been done before. If you do decide to do it, its not going to be for the faint of heart, it would take some physical meddling of the innards.

check this.....

Done with the Motorola Photon Q

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthre...

Developing for the Note II

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthre...

Sim switching (dual SIM)

http://www.magic-sim.com/

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CDMA phones in europe and asia are available with RUIM or removable user identity modules. Same as SIM cards but different software loaded.

There are phones available there with 2, 3, or 4, possibly even 5 card slots with 1 or 2 of them for CDMA.

Verizon and Sprint don't want that in north america. It's about control and mone, not preventing fraud or other such bs.

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has anyone tried to use a CDMA with a RUIM card in the U.S. ?

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True, CDMA phones do not work on SIM technology; however, all LTE caable CDMA phones have an embedded SIM with a unique hard-coded ICCID that the network uses for LTE authentication. If the hard-coded ICCID belonged to a phone that was reported lost or stolen, it gets blacklisted just like an ESN/IMEI would.

It is not an actual SIM card. It is a surface mounted chip, one of those small black rectangles on the board, with no visible soldering joints. Because of this, it requires hot air rework to be removed (hot-air pencil). A regular soldering iron won't cut it.

It is a litttle smaller than one square cm, and will say something like:

<letter and some numbers>

<first 10 digits of the ICCID>

<last 10 digits of the ICCID>

XX NEX

I literally, not 5 minutes ago, swapped one from one of my Sprint Galaxy s3's to another.

The donor is a 16gb with some water damage, and had an embedded SIM with a clean ICCID. The target is a fully functional 32gb board that I bought used, but the embedded SIM has a bad ICCID (so no LTE). Swapped the bad one with my original good one, and now I have working LTE on the 32gb.

Look into surface mount soldering/desoldering. Basic tools will set you back at least 60$.

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just to let everyone know the sprint sph l900 can use a GSM sim all you have to do is take the sd modual out and replace it with a Sim + Memory Card Reader Tray Slot Holder Flex For Samsung Galaxy Note 2 N7100 and select GSM under modile networks. I just need a way of getting reed of their damb apps.

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What is a sad modual an how do you remove

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Just to add, as far as the Unlocking of the device Sim/Network, if it pertains to an older model phone, I have found that you can contact Sprint through their online chat and the I got the unlock information in a matter of 10 mins. As well, through AT&T there is an online form to fill out, quoted 5-7 days, but received my email in only a few hours. As long as it's not the newest device, they will honor the unlock. Cheers

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Not all CDMA Carriers are this way, for example all Verizon smart phones come from the factory unlocked for use with all carriers(including iphones). You can unlock a sprint phone by obtaining a code from sprint but they don't like to give them out unless you're a good long time customer, however even unlocked most sprint phones still have very little usability with other carriers other than the iphones. An unlocked sprint iphone can be used on any carrier. I hope this helps.

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