Some mobile carriers set an MEP (Mobile Equipment Personalisation) lock on their BlackBerry devices so that they can restrict the device to be usable with their SIM card only. Usually they are willing to release this MEP unlock code after the contract has finished. This article describes the steps required to unlock the MEP lock.
Different BlackBerry models require different steps to unlock.
First, confirm if your BlackBerry is really locked or not:
If you have a BlackBerry 10 device, go to Settings, select Security and Privacy, and then SIM Card. Under Phone Network Lock section, if you see the word “Unlocked” under Network then it means your phone is not locked. Otherwise you should see the Unlock Phone button.
If you have a BlackBerry 6 or 7 device, go to Options, select Device, Advanced System Settings, SIM Card. At that screen type “MEPD” (case doesn’t matter) on your keyboard. NB: You won’t see anything as you type. Then a menu called Personalization will pop up. Look for the line that says Network. If your device is unlocked, it should say “NetworkDisabled” or “NetworkInactive”. If it says “NetworkActive”, it means the phone is locked.
Now, this is how to unlock:
1. First you need to check the IMEI number of your BlackBerry. IMEI number is a unique identifier which is used by mobile carriers across the world to identify your device.
- If you have a BlackBerry 10 device, go to Settings, then select About. From the Category dropdown menu select Hardware. Your IMEI number (a 15-digit number) will be shown below the PIN.
- If you have a BlackBerry 6 or 7 device, go to Options and then select Device. Tap on Device and Status Information. The IMEI number (a 15-digit number) should appear below Signal and PIN.
2. Next, you need to obtain the MEP unlock code (a 16-digit number) from the mobile carrier who issued the phone. MEP unlock code is linked to the IMEI number so you have to provide your carrier the 15-digit IMEI number.
3. Once you have obtained the MEP unlock code from your carrier, you can proceed to unlock the phone.
- If you have a BlackBerry 10, go to Settings, select Security and Privacy, and then SIM Card. Scroll down and press the Unlock Phone button. Enter your code and press OK. Remember you only have 10 tries to unlock it. Exceeding that your phone will be permanently disabled.
- If you have a BlackBerry 6 or 7 device, first, disable all network connections. Go to Manage Connections. Tap the Turn All Connections Off button. Then, go to Options, select Device, Advanced System Settings, and then select SIM Card. Type “MEPD” (case insensitive) while on the SIM Card page. NB: You won’t see anything as you type. Then, a new menu called Personalization will appear. NB: If you have previously done this step to prove if the phone is locked or not, you will see the Personalization menu straightaway on the SIM Card page. (Note: If your BlackBerry model is equipped with SureType keyboard you will need to type “MEPPD”.) Next, type “MEP[Alt]2” or “MEP[Alt]4”. The Alt key is to get the number. (Note: If you are using the SureType keyboard you will need to type “MEPP[Alt]2” or “MEPP[Alt]4”.) A hidden menu will open up. Enter the MEP unlock code provided by your carrier and click enter, then you should see the message saying “Code accepted”. Note you have a maximum of 255 tries. Beyond that your phone will be locked permanently.
Once you have unlocked the BlackBerry, you can re-enable the network connections and check if it works with the new SIM card.
If you need to unlock your phone and your mobile carrier does not give you the MEP unlock code for whatever reason, you will have to seek a third-party unlocking service. Be sure to check the service charge and make sure it is a trusted service provider. Some of these providers may require you to hand your phone to them. Some may just need the IMEI number.