T-Mobile killing service to unlocked Storm devices?

By Adam Zeis on 10 Jun 2010 10:28 am EDT

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Tips have been flying in one, and it looks like a good number of you are having all kinds of issues. It appears as if T-Mobile may be denying service to many Storm users, resulting in mass chaos. While the Storm isn't a T-Mobile device, an unlocked Storm has no problems working on T-Mobile service (with a few tweaks), but now it appears that the devices aren't functioning properly on the network at all. Users are reporting that they have no data service, and calls to customer service result in no help at all or hearing "your device is not supported". We're not totally sure whats going on with all of this, but if you are trying to use your unlocked Storm on T-Mobile, leave a comment and let us know if its working for you and/or what your story is. Hit up the forums for more discussion.

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

T-Mobile killing service to unlocked Storm devices?


I spent HOURS upon HOURS on the phone with T-Mobile, RIM, and Verizon Wireless, trying to get the 9550 to work- and I am not a noob. The tech support at RIM is HORRIBLE. Both level 1 and level 2 techs have absolutely no clue what they're talking about. In conversation ruling out things it could possibly be, one level 2 tech told me Telus was a CDMA only company. (For those unfamiliar, it's not) Then another rep told me you can NOT have a CDMA account and GSM account at the same time. I know this is untrue, as I've done it before. When I asked while there is a "global" setting, and totally caught him off guard. The same goes for T-Mobile. After telling one rep I can make and receive calls, but get no data, they asked me if the phone was unlocked...............................................

I'm OUTRAGED. T-Mobile, I can SORT OF understand, but RIM?!?!?! WTF guys!

Anyway- the conclusion from RIM was that Verizon was still provisioning the phone. We even called Verizon who found no record of a current account for the phone. It's a total clusterfuck. A lot of people on the forums see that I'm a diehard BlackBerry fan, but this has totally let me down. I can't believe the people that RIM has chosen to represent their company fail to posses the proper knowledge to get this situation sorted. I believe the ones that would really know, are sitting in some lab somewhere. And there's probably only 2 of them.

***********WAKE THE HELL UP RIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!***********

312 you are right on point here. T-Mobile does do what they can to get devices to work on their network so people can use whatever device they want on their network. If they cannot get it they will give you the settings and then refer to the manufacturer. That is all anyone can ask of them as stated elsewhere here, they do not know the phone as they do not sell it

=======THE PLOT THICKENS=======

Just got my 9650, and am having the same issue. On the phone with T-Mobile now, waiting to get transfered to RIM. At least this time they can't tell me the phone is still provisioned on another carrier, because I just took this out of the plastic. :)

Follow up:

Apparently T-Mobile has a "Master Ticket" opened on this issue. They've provided no "fix" for this yet, and simply say they have a "non-supported device outage".

I will be moving all 8 of my lines to another carrier if they don't figure this out in the next couple of days. What a let down.

This would be very unlike T-Mobile... if it is true, they better enjoy their status at 4th place carrier. Pissing on the customers you do have is not good for business.

You are using a phone the carrier doesn't support. You went out of you way to unlock it and tweak it to work, and you are surprised when carrier tries to disable it?

WTF is this! Of course people are gonna be upset! What kind of company does this to their customers who unlock their phones? I mean, even Apple didnt do shit to those who jail breaked their device.

Its like buying a car, and then the manufacturer rendering it useless because you went out of state/country with your car without their permission!

This isn't true because if you jailbreak your iPhone then hook it back up to Apples iTunes, it goes back to the default settings, meaning you have to jailbreak it again. To me that's Apple fighting jailbreaking.

Not even close, but good try. It's more like, buying a car that runs on 87 octane, and the car not being able to run on 93.

TMO has always been very welcoming to unlocked devices. They have often gone out of their way to assist customers fully activate a device that isn't in their linuep, I've seen it first hand. So yes, this would be a complete reversal and a shock to many.

So what if the carrier doesn't support the damn phone. If it works on their network, they shouldn't have to disable it. They're getting money every month from us because we're on their network. Shouldn't matter what type of phone we're using.

i say its there network and they can do what they want.

because look at the support side they wernt trained to support a device they dont carry

First I feel for Shacknews.

Second your thought on it there network is partially true. Keep in mind T-Mo promotes using Unlocked Phones. If you don't want that then quit selling SIM cards. I looked at leaving VZW in January. I had a Tour at the time which was unlocked. So I called T-Mo to inquire about service. They told if you have a GSM phone and its unlock we can do unlimited for cheap and send me a SIM card free of charge.

Like others have said if they start blocking these phones it will keep them number 4.

T-Mobile is probably not doing this intentionally. They are just changing their network. If they change their network and you're using a device not built for their own network, of course they aren't going to go out of their way to support it. If it was one of their own blackberry devices, then it would be a problem, but it's a device built for another carrier so if it doesn't work, then it's not their problem.

Couldn't have said it better myself. While it would be really crappy of T-Mobile to go out of their way to hamstring non-supported devices, they're also under no obligation whatsoever to go out of their way to make sure that their network updates don't clash with them. And the customer service/tech support people have their hands completely tied here. They're not trained on them, so there's no way that the company will allow them to offer any kind of support for devices that T-Mobile doesn't cover.

Mines is working fine I'm actually posting the comment using it, but if T-Mobile did stop support would just give me an excuse to get android.

I can't imagine they're doing this intentionally. From multiple past experiences, they do an excellent job of supporting non-T-Mobile devices... to the point where in one case, they walked me through downloading a Legacy program through Cydia for my girlfriend's iPhone 3G to get MMS and FlexPay working...

Just my 2¢

^^ Clueless. Thank you for wasting bandwidth. I'm amazed at the mentality of some people. Just cause they have no need or want to do something, therefore no one should be able to.

No wonder I am not able to get on the internet. My wife has the same phone as she is. And actually Tmobile does have Storm on their UK website so I figure they do have support for it. Well good thing for two things, thanks to me for having an iPhone, and Verizon here I come.

My buddy has an unlocked Storm and started having these issues a couple days ago. None of his data services are working. I use a 9700 but my back up phone is a Storm, so I brought it to work and swapped his SIM card...no luck. But with mine it worked. Ive used T-Mobile cust service before for an unlocked iPhone & my Storm, had no problems.

Sounds more like a technical issue than a policy change. Not affecting all Storm users. Not affecting other non-supported phones like my Bold 9000. Their EM+ plans are basically Bring-your-own plans...

At least your guys company let's u even turn on a phone from another carrier. VZW is crazy about that kind of stuff.

TMO is the worst phone company I have ever dealt with, I would never recommend anyone using their service. I signed up with them because the cost was cheaper than AT&T at the time, they assured me being in oklahoma I would not have any problems using their services and for 2 months they were right, then out of the blue I wasn't receiving services at home nor at work as I did the previous 2 months. I couldn't figure out wth the problem was, called TMO cust service, they had me doing all kinds of trouble shooting. Then, I had to drive to norman to get a SIM card which is about an hour away from my home. Still nothing, They sent me a replacement phone after going through the several steps. I got the phone still nothing, I got sick of dealing with TMO, got online did some research and found out that AT&T had ending their contract with TMO as far as roaming goes and that was the reason why I was no longer getting services. I was HOT! long story short after lots of cussing TMO cancelled my contract with no charge, I ended up paying for a unlock code because they were being asses and would not issue it to me right away. My first experience with them was HORRIBLE and I tell everyone I know about it and tell them to stay away. I'm with AT&T and loving it... so, this story does not surprise me at all!

The only phone I've seen T-mobile deny network access to were the people who were on the sidekick prepaid plan with a unlocked/jail broken iphone. Tmo doesn't care what phone you have, they want your service $$$$. If you bring ur own phone to them that's no out of pocket cost to them. Every discount a carrier provides on a phone is a loss to them, with intent to make it back on service. The EM and EM+ plans prove that. And while tmo doesn't have direct support for storm they have good bb people and they have a non tmo device dept, that specializes on trying to get ur unlocked phones fully functioning with the network. Sometimes the truth is they don't have to and if the hspa+ upgrades mess up ur tweaks and a few unlocked phones get unsupported, sorry to hear but I'm sure the tech support people will pull their hair out trying to help u.

Last week I noticed my blackberry enabler was not working either I called Tmo and they said it was taken off and wanted me to sign up for the 29 dollar data plan. I blew up and told them no way! once I explained that this would be considered breach of contract they put it back on but gave me a really hard time about it. But today I noticed that my phone now says "Initialization Failed" and now I have no service they are blaming this on a bad sim card and want me to go the store and get a new one. I don't believe this the issue I think it's their network but we will see. By the way I don't have the Storm I have the Bold 9700.

But the rep is right. Initialization failed is a bad sim card. Your sim card has shorted out for some reason.

They're not making you PAY for a new SIM card. A lot of times when phones act up, it's because the SIM has shorted. A few weeks ago when I upgraded my OS, afterwards it wouldn't accept my SIM. It said I didn't have one inserted, when indeed I did. I took it to T-Mo, they put a new SIM card in (for free), & I was up & running. Don't get mad @ T-Mo for suggesting something that may help :).

No I wasn't mad at the sim card part I knew it was free it was the part that they took off my blackberry enabler and were more or less demanding I pay for a data plan just in order for them to send the service books to fix it. That was it.

Bigsike, they discontinued the enabler feature because it is no longer needed as newer devices has the default access fro web2go in the OS where older BB devices did not and most people have upgraded and are no longer using the BB 8700 or older devices. Hope this helps you realize it was not breach of contract but ignorance on your part

Question: why do you have a 9700 but no data plan? If you don't use the phone for data, get a phone that doesn't require data. All carriers req you to have data for data devices.

Question: why do you have a 9700 but no data plan? If you don't use the phone for data, get a phone that doesn't require data. All carriers req you to have data for data devices.

Remember back when OS 5 first rolled out and a whole bunch of unlocked BB T-mobile users (mostly Storm) couldn't make or receive phone calls? that turned out to be a network incompatibility issue that they eventually resolved, quietly in the background.

I suspect this problem is along the same lines. Like others here, I haven't had a single issue with my service and all is well on my Storm 2.

Not at all sure why all US carriersw don't allow other devices on their networks. As another posted pointed out, it's all gravy to the network. All phone plans/data plans include in their cost the value of subsidizing the phone - hence the early termination fee! If you sign up for 2 years on carrier X and they don't have to subsidize your handheld - that's more $$$ in their pocket. T-mobile has always recognized this.

My guess is that depending on the OS you are operating on your devices - there is a now a conflict with T-mobile's build ou of the BB enabler.

People Help yourselves out and start sharing the device and OS builds you're running.

this suxs....last night i noticed my phone was too quiet...well upercase EDGE is there but no data....called CSR this morning and they say the device is not supported and we cant do anything...another one said there is an data outage for the non supported BB's and no estimated time given when it will be back up.

I have been without data services in Providence, RI since Monday night. I called TMobile and they told me at first there were no problems with any towers. the next time I called they told me there WAS a tower down. But for this to be happening all over different parts of the country doesn't sound like a simple tower problem. Tmobile pisses me off! I might just be switching over to Verizon since I cannot be without my Storm 2

just a heads up for storm users on tmobile, go to your mytmobile via via pc and put your device as an 8900 or 9700 and make sure you do register the imei in your account, most of the time that solves the issues, no problems here with a 9000

Wow, I just sold my Storm2. If T-Mobile does this then I will be extremely pissed. I doubt the person I sold it to will want it knowing it can't do data.

I completely understand both sides of the argument. I guess that's one of the risk we unlocked users face when we try to go beyond the carrier.

I did notice my service was unstable and I chalked it up to T-Mobile (which is unconsitent at best sometimes anyways).

But my device seems to working fine and I have been receiving data consistently FOR NOW that is.

Thanks CB for cracking the case!

uNLocked Storm2 on TMobile running Lyricidal's .705 hyBrid, v5.0.0.699 in About Screen.
No problems at all with SMS, MMS, Data or Calls...live in Cali

I have read many of the posts in this forum regarding T-Mobile and the Storm lost EDGE data and BIS. Like everyone else around late Thursday and early Friday my phone went haywire and I lost all connection to BIS. Furthermore, everyone told me to reconfigure, wipe clean, downgrade and resend service books to my phone. To no avail the phone still had no BIS connection as well as no HRT or EDGE. Like many I spent about an hour and a half on Tuesday morning talking with T-Mobile and RIM to figure this situation out.

During the last five minutes of my customer service or lack there of stint, the T-Mobile rep told me: "T-Mobile is currently experiencing this problem with all unlocked Blackberry Storms and Tours" She further noted that "that someone at T-Mobile expired the service book which connects the unlocked phones to BIS thereby causing a problem between T-Mobile and RIM...she ensured me there are working on the problem to get it fixed as soon as possible and offered me a credit for the time I can't use data"

At first it sounded like some bs but after reading the posts and we all began experiencing the problems around the same time...I believe some fool at T-Mobile caused these issues because we all cant have perfect access to BIS one day and the next day everyone's phone is malfunctioning. IDK I may try to wait it our before I make a decision to leave T-Mobile or get another phone.

I was given the same run around. They said there's an outage for all non tmo bb's using the tom service and they're unsure when everything will be up and running again.

They way I see it is, wireless services are just that-SERVICES!!!! Not goods. When I entered my contract with T-Mobile, I didn't enter into a contract of goods (stating that I would be limited or bound to their product); I entered into a contract for their wireless SERVICE!!!! These big wireless corps shouldn't be allowed to set hardware limitations. For the billions upon billions they make per year, we should have more say as the consumer. Instead of just, "you can pack your bags if you don't like it...", we should be able to say, I'm bound to a contract, but everything else is at my discretion. That's like a cable/satellite provider telling me what TV I have to use in my home. Or the electric company telling me what I can plug into a socket. It's not right and the consumer is getting screwed.

It's just extremely frustrating that I got my Storm only 2 months ago and all was working fine until a week ago. Now I seem to just be stuck with no resolution.

The fact of the matter is the phone companies don't make their money off devices sold. They make it on the services they charge for, so they could give 2 craps about what device you have. They care, however, if you change your device and plan to go with it resulting in them making less money. It's in their best interest to work with (pressure) RIM for a fast and easy solution to solve this issue... I could easily go back to a Windows device tweaked for full internet access for $5 a month opposed to what I'm shellin out for my BB plan.....


I'm going on 3 days now without edge service i won't bother calling after this post but i did have to go buy a sim card and thought i would ask and they won't touch the thing of course because it is a verizon phone but they sure had no problem trying to sell me a new phone.

They need to fix this quick and in a hurry or im gonna want my money refunded for the next cycle.

I was having problems with the edge/EDGE for the past few days... then I upgraded my unlocked Storm 9530 OS to the and put wap.voicestream.com as my APN settings. I then did a battery pull and even though my house is a dead zone it's been keeping at least 1 bar EDGE and when I'm everywhere else it's always 3 and above. My data and everything is working... So I don't know what's going on on T-Mobile's part... I hope that it's something to do with the system and not them trying to shut down unlocked devices... their phone selection isn't the greatest to be shutting down alternatives like this to their customers.... I know me personally feel like I have slim pickings. By the way I'm in the Detroit, Michigan area if that helps anyone!

My Storm 2 is operatering perfectly with no problems! However I am using the 9520 T-Mobile UK version. If this is true I don't think I'd be flowing so smoothly.

T-Mobile does not have a way to disable devices, it is determined by service books and they are provided by RIM. I f the carrier does not sell a particular device, lets say the Storm, they do not have service books for that device. Data then does not work. However sometimes there are service books that can allow some data to work but is never guaranteed

is this article about all Storm devices or just 1st generation?

"While the Storm isn't a T-Mobile device..."

In my country (Croatia), T-Mobile has an exclusive on Storm 2 (9520).

I sstarted having issues on May 28th after a reported outage in my area, since than, I get the bounce between Tmobile and RIM support and the statement I'm using an unsupported device, an offer to tget a $10 credit for my trouble.

It's happening to all non t-mobile blackberries, not just storms. there's an easy fix for it, use a tmob bb. I have an 8900 and have no problems.

So far so good. The only odd thing is that i get "edge" instead of "EDGE" on my Tour 9630. I also have some issues clicking whenever I use the BB browser. I do not have this problem with Opera Mini.

Other than that so far so good.

"edge" in lower case is the indication you are not getting the BlackBerry data service. It should say "EDGE".

When this happened to me a few days ago T-Mobile went way out of their way to do whatever possible to get my S2 working even connecting me with RIM twice, yet to no solution. I'm 99.9% possitive it has nothing to do with T-Mobile. They have always been GREAT to me and all my lines. I have been with them for 7 years and get great service from them at fractions of the cost of other carriers. As a side note, anyone that does have a S1 or S2 still working, in my experience my data was doing just fine until around the 5th or so and it stopped working after I power cycled it. I believe that is the culprit. Cause when it reboots it needs to re-register but when it sends the registration message it gets nothing in return. It has nothing to do with service books I assure you it is the host routing table. After the device reboot it is not registering and that is the problem. I have the sevice books and I reloaded them with no solution. I believe this issue is caused by RIM and one of their recent updates but yet they have no clue why. I never got the "not our phone, not our problem" from t-mobile they actually gave me a credit for a whole months worth of data for my inconvenience. My solution was to go to a T-Mobile store, get myself a myTouch 3G Slide, and never look back. So long Blackberry it was fun while it lasted, but I believe this was a blessing in disguise. My android is blazing fast, no lag, great free apps, no wifi issues, and I don'thave to hard reset it everyday or load a shrunk hybrid operating system to make it function good enough to not want to throw it against the wall. I admit I was very upset and highly against it but after having the phone a couple days it was the best thing that ever happened to me. So whoever was the cause of this happening I would like to say Thank You. So long Crackberry and hello Android Forums.

Got home today to find the Storm on edge I went into options>mobile network> then disabled data services waited a few minutes then cut it back on. Been running on EDGE for 3 hours now. Id really like some legitimate answers from TMO.

I did this and got it to say EDGE, but my phone required me to turn the data service off, do a battery pull then turn it back on. It says EDGE but the phones not registering.

Pretty much lost.

My wife's 9530 has been working fine, she even thinks its faster than before since everyone else is having "Problems"

what the heck!!!!!!!! ive been out of data for a whole.. week been on the phone with over 10 reps.. n they have no clue..what to do ... yikes... im runnin my bb storm 2 .. its beeen working pretty good till monday n that was it.. this is pretty annoyin.. i wonder if this is gonna be fixed soon.. ive only had this storm 2 for 2mths.. n damn problems .. i had the first storm 9530 for bout a yr n no issues like this.. cmon tmobile.. step it up!! i dont wanna have to go lookin into a new bb so soon.. jeez

ive lost all the host routing table.. im thinkin something was up with the phone.. i downgraded... wiped.. re-install os.. n still nothing.. damn the more i try the more im fed up of it...

...Or start to think that RIM might have sorted things out enough for me to seriously consider coming back there is something that goes wrong. Is it mostly Verizon BlackBerry devices on T-Mobile that don't work right now?

I was seriously considering another Storm II, the 9520 version, but have concerns now.

My Nexus One and HD2 don't seem to have any problems so maybe I should leave BlackBerry alone. I just miss BBM a little.

I work for t-mobile and use a Storm 2 myself and Im having no service issues what so ever. There are no rumors about killing service to any handset..

i am a tmobile dealer and i was actually surprized when i saw this and i was helping a customer with this issue yesterday when i notice the edge symbole wasnt in capitolization and there wasnt even a browser in the menu and i called customer service and they couldnt help me and told me to call blackberry direct

EDGE (data) is back for me, one thing I have noticed is that when I don't have a blackberry device picked as my phone on my online account I loose the EDGE and only get edge.
So today when I went to pay my bill I noticed that it was not showing a blackberry and so I added a Curve as my phone and BAM! my EDGE was back on my Storm 2 9550 and I resent the service books just for safe measure.. Been going EDGE strong for about 8 hours now.

Its something to try. :)

I have had my 9550 unlocked and fully functional on t mobile's network since Jan 29,2010 successfully...until yesterday morning. All of a sudden no data, mms. host routing is missing, will not register to the BIS server and no pin to pin. I have called t mobile only to hear that it is Verizon who has blocked and re-locked my phone. (not true) RIM says that there is no reason why it should not work and that it is provisioned correctly.I have an open ticket with RIM and continue to try and find some sort of resolution. T mobile has stated that this issue started June 9 and they have no eta. I can not get service books or host routing. If there is any knowledgeable person out there with insight and not criticism for using an unlocked phone on t mobile's network I am open to any hints and suggestions.

If any one suggests that you wipe your phone from T Mobile or RIM ... I WOULD NOT DO SO!! Just my 2 cents. I was better off before the wipe that RIM suggested. at least I had EDGE and host routing table and service books!!

I have used blackberry's and Iphones for years, and never had any problem at all. In fact my wife is still using iphone. (and it does not reset to default settings when connnected to itunes- not sure where that comes from). But regardless, just because someone decides to use a different blackberry than what they sell does not say that they can just shut off certain services! I pay them for the Service, not the phone!! Either way, it needs fixed! I'm sure if they can't fix it, there will be someone else out there that finds a work around. Kinda naive to think that the best and smartest people are working for them!.
Hopefully it's just a service book issue, and will be resolved soon.

People we have to understand that T mobile runs on GSM network technology which allow any phone that can transmit in the same frequency with that technology to work, that the advantage of it, you can move to any other country and use your phone with any other carrier as soon as you are using their SIM card and their service that's why they call GSM a Global Networks and that's why its so popular, means T Mobile should not block the phone if they don't sell it because it will be going against the technology and the customers who have a different tastes than their marketing people who choose the phones they will sell.

I have a Tour 9630 with T Mobile and stop working the BB services since 06/18/10, I hope they can fix the problem otherwise I will be looking to switch to another carrier that can support my phones.

I was without data for almost a week. I got frustrated and when I was in the Host Routing Table, I hit the Register Now function about 10 or 15 times right in a row and all of a sudden it kicked in. Full EDGE and back to normal on everything. I had to reboot and do this again, but it did the same thing and it has worked repeated times. I have been on EDGE all day today and man does it feel good to be back.

I reset up blackberry as if I recently bought and unlocked my 9530. I deleted my desk top manager and literally started fromn scratch using the forum on how to get all features to work on t-mobile. I am working for the first time in over a week. Thanks for all the posts. I hope that this works for someone else.

Yesterday i put my t-mobile sims card in and my blackberry STORM and instantly start working. I have all data, i am constantly on EDGE. Everything is good!! the only thing is I had to change my os to get the constant EDGE.

Just so everyone knows, the reason data does not work on unsupported blackberry's is not the carriers' fault.
Blackberrys have settings in the phone called 'service books', these service books are sent from RIM and tell the phone how to use data: access the internet, use email, use mms, etc. RIM will provide the carrier with service books for the models of phones that they sell, so when you have an UNLOCKED unsupported blackberry, there are not always the proper service books that CAN be sent to the phone because of RIM restrictions. Sometimes your carrier can find a work around and force a different model's service books through, but they cannot guarentee ANYTHING works on an unsupported device.