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Update – No carrier – Samsung’s regio-Lock

NoNetSamsung appears to hate it’s customers. There’s no other explanation than
that after recent plans have been revealed that upcoming updates of the
firmware include a nasty region lock of foreign SIM cards. So you won’t be
able to pop in a local SIM to avoid roaming fees in certain countries.

Due to some user reports, it seems that european models of the Galaxy Note 3 and (after the new update) the Galaxy S4 are no longer working with regional SIMs from “blacklisted” countries. So while being in Thailand for example, you won’t be able to use a local thailandian SIM card as it is simply locked out.

Numerous users have already reported that this process limits the right of the user to use any SIM card of their choice and also illustrates a sort of SIM lock. A thing, Samsung didn’t want to happen in the past. Their official statement is that this “lock” shall prevent stolen smartphones to be sold easily in other countries. But as there’s no option to opt out countries by the user himself, Samsung has truly some hard way to make the people believe it’s for their own safety.

The only way to circumvent this is to root the device and apply a custom ROM software such as Cyanogenmod however users doing this are most likely loosing their warranty. Also it is reported, that cyanogenmod does not support all features of the phone, such as the stylus or the NFC technology. Also issues with the camera have been reported.

There’s an XML file holding the blacklisted countries but editing this file may fail as it is said that the file itself is sort of hackproof by being counterchecked with a hash value. Any change to this file will alter this hash value and thus render the file useless. So rooting and editing the file by hand is also not an option!

The only way to dodge the “SIM lock” is to avoid automatic updates but also bears the risk of a vulnerable OS and probably loss of newly implemented functions and bugfixes.

Whatever has Samsung driven to do this, they will face a lot of users being pissed off as this “feature” may render their smartphone useless on travel. Useless because most travellers are not willing to pay the ultimatively high roaming fees of their providers and thus not being able to use the smartphone in a normal fashion.This is for sure no good advertisement for Samsung and it’s now up to Samsung to do something efficient against this reputaion loss…

October 4, 2013 Netspark - 1592 posts - Member since: May 9th, 2011 No Comments »

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