Cell Phones

Galaxy A5 sim locked to Canada?

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  • Dec 25th, 2019 12:57 am
[OP]
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Galaxy A5 sim locked to Canada?

I have a Galaxy A5 from Canada and I'm in Greece and I'm getting this weird message to enter a Sim network unlock. The phone is unlocked by default, (bought at Walmart in Canada in 2018) why am I getting this message? A cellphone store employee here told me it's locked to Canada and I've never heard of that before. This is not the sim lock PIN that comes with every prepaid sim card here fyi.

Can anyone help me figure this out and is there a solution. Is this phone really locked to Canada?

It accepts all different carrier sim cards in Canada.
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Oct 29, 2008
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I guess you are using a local prepaid SIM. Take a look on SIM frame plastic. The lock/unlock code should be print on it.
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St.Genis wrote: I guess you are using a local prepaid SIM. Take a look on SIM frame plastic. The lock/unlock code should be print on it.
Omg seriously? I will give that a try and see. Yes using a local prepaid sim.

The electronics store employees don't know how to fix it here either.
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  1. not a sim or carrier lock, it's a region lock
  2. Samung phones are unique AFAIK in the region locking. Best analogy is the DVD region locks
  3. There are only two possible remedies...either use the phone on any carrier in the Americas (AFAIK region is the entire Americas, but might be Canada/US worst case scenario), and conduct a call lasting a minimum of five (5) minutes. The only alternative is to root the phone, and run an app or script once rooted. I don't even know if you can root that A5
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XeniaOnatopp wrote: There is another thread about this a few years ago. Samsung A5 will lock to the first sim card it sees. You'll need to contact Samsung Canada to get it unlocked.

https://forums.redflagdeals.com/need-un ... 5-2143568/
That's before the free unlocks, in which case one could request the unlock code from Samsung.ca.

I suspect OP just bought the phone in Canada and was hoping to start using it in Regional Indicator Symbol Letters Gr out of the box, without using it here first.
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audit13 wrote: Is it possible the phone is region locked? I thought this was a thing of the past.

https://www.coolblue.nl/en/advice/samsu ... of-it.html
It's what I'm suggesting. DVD region locking should be a thing of the past too, but it's still around.
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titaniumtux wrote: That's before the free unlocks, in which case one could request the unlock code from Samsung.ca.

I suspect OP just bought the phone in Canada and was hoping to start using it in Regional Indicator Symbol Letters Gr out of the box, without using it here first.
I disagree. The OP was using the phone here, took it overseas and wanted to use local prepaid SIMs. But because the A5 was produced prior to the mandatory CRTC unlock policy; as such it locked to the first SIM card it saw and now won't work with other SIMs. Samsung Canada should be responsible for unlocking the OP's phone.
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XeniaOnatopp wrote: I disagree. 1. The OP was using the phone here, took it overseas and wanted to use local prepaid SIMs. 2. But because the A5 was produced prior to the mandatory CRTC unlock policy; as such it locked to the first SIM card it saw and now won't work with other SIMs. 3. Samsung Canada should be responsible for unlocking the OP's phone.
  1. we don't know this. We only know that it was purchased at Walmart Canada. Why do you assume it was used here?
  2. YMMV. I had some A5's tht required an unlock code, while others had "NU" on the box meaning no "unlock code" required
  3. Providing the carrier unlock code if that's what's required, then yes. If it's a region lock that's the issue, I doubt Sammy will budge

Worst case scenario, Galaxy A5 probably doesn't cost much even in Greece now, but I do empathize and am aware of the annoyance. Until OP responds with more info, no need to assume it's a carrier lock or that OP used the phone in Canada prior to leaving for Greece.
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titaniumtux wrote:
  1. we don't know this. We only know that it was purchased at Walmart Canada. Why do you assume it was used here?
  2. YMMV. I had some A5's tht required an unlock code, while others had "NU" on the box meaning no "unlock code" required
  3. Providing the carrier unlock code if that's what's required, then yes. If it's a region lock that's the issue, I doubt Sammy will budge
1. The phone was bought in 2018. I doubt that he left a phone unopened and bring it to Greece a year later.
2. The OP is active in other threads regarding transferring to other carriers in Canada.
3. When Costco was selling the A5 there are big bold letters on the webpage, warning customers that it locks to the first sim card, and needs to calls Samsung Canada for unlock code. That ad is long gone now but there are plenty of evidence: https://productioncommunity.publicmobil ... td-p/91015
4. Even if the OP did what you said - bring the phone over to Greece without opening it. CRTC's unlocking policy mandates all previously-locked phones that are sold in Canada to be provided unlock code free of charge.

My advice to the OP is the same regardless: contact Samsung Canada.
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Unfortunately this didn't work. Using a code on the prepaid sim card.

I used it in Canada with different carriers and it was unlocked there. Now here in Greece it is locked. I know it's a cheap phone but I wanted to use it here or give it to a poor relative.

I'll try contacting Samsung Canada. What a pain.

Thanks for the extra info about this. I knew I could count on my RFD family to help me!
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titaniumtux wrote:
  1. not a sim or carrier lock, it's a region lock
  2. Samung phones are unique AFAIK in the region locking. Best analogy is the DVD region locks
  3. There are only two possible remedies...either use the phone on any carrier in the Americas (AFAIK region is the entire Americas, but might be Canada/US worst case scenario), and conduct a call lasting a minimum of five (5) minutes. The only alternative is to root the phone, and run an app or script once rooted. I don't even know if you can root that A5
I'm curious why this would be a remedy. Are you saying that if I make a 5-minute call in Canada on the phone that somehow it's going to unlock this region lock?
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kotoula wrote: I'm curious why this would be a remedy. Are you saying that if I make a 5-minute call in Canada on the phone that somehow it's going to unlock this region lock?
Yes, it will. It's mentioned on Sammy's forums - example used is S8 purchased in Switzerland but to be used in India.
All current Samsung phones come with an active regional lock when first bought. Assuming it's not also locked to a specific network, using a SIM from the same regional origin as the phone for at least 5 minutes of total talktime will disable the regional lock and allow you to use a SIM from any other region from then on.
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titaniumtux wrote: Yes, it will. It's mentioned on Sammy's forums - example used is S8 purchased in Switzerland but to be used in India.
Ok so I need to get a canadian sim card into this phone, and then while in Greece make a call in Greece with it? I don't even know if that's possible. The only Canadian sim we have with us is the 711 speakout sim we got for my husband because he wanted to keep his canadian number as he plans to return to canada once or twice a year. I only have $25 on that sim, but I wonder if it even makes calls from another area.

I will check out that forum and read more about this because it is completely new to me.

Thanks!
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kotoula wrote: Ok so I need to get a canadian sim card into this phone, and then while in Greece make a call in Greece with it? I don't even know if that's possible. The only Canadian sim we have with us is the 711 speakout sim we got for my husband because he wanted to keep his canadian number as he plans to return to canada once or twice a year. I only have $25 on that sim, but I wonder if it even makes calls from another area.

I will check out that forum and read more about this because it is completely new to me.

Thanks!
Not entirely sure, but the device might have to connect to Canadian/North American cell towers. I never confronted the Sammy region lock head-on, and I always made sure to make a phone call on a Samsung for at least five (5) minutes locally before letting it go offshore to prevent this issue.
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All,

Canadian Samsung phones are not "region" locked as is the practice in Europe.

It is possible the A5 was old stock, produced before the CRTC mandate.

OP,

Log onto a live chat session with Samsung.ca. Let them know you have an A5 that was purchased in Canada and that you need the unlock code. They'll provide you the 8 digit code and you should be good to go.
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[OP]
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titaniumtux wrote: Not entirely sure, but the device might have to connect to Canadian/North American cell towers. I never confronted the Sammy region lock head-on, and I always made sure to make a phone call on a Samsung for at least five (5) minutes locally before letting it go offshore to prevent this issue.
So are you saying that if I had made a 5 min call in canada with the A5, it would have disabled the region lock? I had no idea this was even a thing, (region locks on samsung phones). What a pain.
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WorldIRC wrote: All,

Canadian Samsung phones are not "region" locked as is the practice in Europe.

It is possible the A5 was old stock, produced before the CRTC mandate.

OP,

Log onto a live chat session with Samsung.ca. Let them know you have an A5 that was purchased in Canada and that you need the unlock code. They'll provide you the 8 digit code and you should be good to go.
Thanks, I will do this and report back.
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kotoula wrote: Thanks, I will do this and report back.

Ok wow I got the phone unlocked just as you advised @WorldIRC ! Thanks for the help I was really flummoxed by this and tech support in the electronics stores here couldn't help me really.

Samsung.ca live chat was fast and efficient. I gave him the IMEI and he gave me the code in a minute or two.

Thanks RFD family! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!!

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