Three's unfair lockup

Internet on the Train

As many of you know, I have a Nokia E65 from Three mobile.

Lately I’ve been enjoying the device and its unlimited Internet access by dialling through it from my Thinkpad X61. I’ve only just started using this cool feature, as Three were giving me scary mixed messages… I went into a store and they told me I would get charged extra for using Internet from my laptop. I think there might have been confusion WRT the Three USB dongle which I think most people are supposed to get “mobile laptop” Internet access via Three…

I want my mobile unlocked as I want to be able to use my mobile abroad with PAYG SIM cards from local Telcos. Example: I visit Israel. It’s insanely expensive to call local friend’s mobiles. It’s much cheaper to buy a PAYG SIM card in Israel and use that instead.

Why is it locked, especially since I’m on a contract? AFIAK Vodafone contract mobile phones are unlocked. You basically pay for the Three X-series phone in the very long 18month contract, which you can’t end without paying the whole contract off!

I called up Three and they told me they could unlock the phone for 20GBP. However in that case it will stop working with the Three network. WTF? I was asked a couple of mobile phone shops and they think like me, that’s bullshit. They also need one month’s notice for doing so. So basically if I want to follow Three’s unlock policy with my phone, I need to call a month before my contract expires. Unlock it. Then switch to a mobile operator which allows unlocked 3G mobiles like Vodafone. Isn’t that insane?

Another INSANE and incredibly annoying thing 3 UK has done is made the E65 impossible to upgrade. Nokia E65 sold by Three in the X-series program do not get firmware updates. I am not sure if you can change the Three specific product code to be a more generic Nokia E65 as others have ended up with a bricked phone.

I like the Nokia E65, but if Three has locked it and disallowed updates then it’s a unfair waste of money to me. :( It’s my phone and I want to exercise rights over it.

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