D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption

WP7–Unlocked Samsung Focus + Rogers = Not Too Bad

Friday, November 26, 2010 11:08 PM

I finally got around tonight to getting my sim card from Rogers (Canadian 3G cellular telco)*. I bought my Focus unlocked from Expansys, so I get to avoid the annoyance that is cellular contracts.

So here are some things you need to know about setting up your unlocked phone with a different provider, specifically (obviously) Rogers:

You will require to hard-reset your phone.

After putting in the SIM card, I looked *everywhere* for a setting that would let my device see my SIM card. No dice, displayed that no SIM was detected. I pinged some peeps on Twitter and looked online, and all pointed me to the same conclusion: a hard reset is required to have the phone recognize the SIM card (If there’s another way without a hard reset, please leave a comment! But regardless, this did work for me).

The thing about a hard reset is that it reverts your phone to its factory condition, meaning that all data is lost. So make sure you’ve backed up your pics, videos, files, etc. For applications, once I was logged in to my Live ID I had no problems re-downloading them (although I’m not sure if the marketplace saw this as counting as a new device – there’s a limit).

You will need your carriers APN settings.

Once my phone resetted, I was instantly connected to the Rogers cellular network – no extra steps required for this! But Data, now that’s a different story.

What is an APN? From Wikipedia:

Access point name (APN) identifies an IP packet data network (PDN), that a mobile data user wants to communicate with. In addition to identifying a PDN, an APN may also be used to define the type of service, (eg connection to wireless application protocol (WAP) server, multimedia messaging service (MMS)), that is provided by the PDN.

When you go to the Cellular option in the Settings area on the phone, there’s a button at the bottom saying “Add APN”. When you click this, you need to enter in the Rogers APN info. What is the Rogers APN info? I found this blog post that shows the values for using a T1 Android phone on the Rogers network, and they work for the Focus as well. You just need the APN, Username, and Password (and yes they all look like sample data – internet.com, wapuse1, wap…really?! – but yes, that’s what they are!). Voila, this will get you internet.

What about Messaging?

I don’t have an answer for this yet. This is the only thing that I don’t have working. The obvious action would be to add the APN for Media Messaging (listed in the blog I mentioned above). The problem is that it seems WP7 only allows for one APN to be entered at a time, you can’t add multiple. So need to dig a bit deeper on this one. Others are experiencing the same thing as well, and on different makes…its a WP7 OS issue, not a device issue.

In Closing…

This process wasn’t anywhere as nasty as I thought it would be, other than the feeling that I need to take a shower because I’m back on with Rogers (Canadians have a strong Tolerate-Hate relationship with our telcos). But who knows, maybe Rogers will surprise me. I do like that I’m not on a contract, even if I paid more up front for the phone. Interestingly, Rogers is selling the Samsung Focus without any plan for $699.99! Even with the shipping fee, its cheaper at Expansys.

Once I get messaging working, I’ll let you know!




Feedback

# re: WP7–Unlocked Samsung Focus + Rogers = Not Too Bad

Wait...599? Interesting...I wonder if Rogers is doing region specific pricing. When I got my Rogers SIM card, they had the Focus on display...list price was $699 without a contract though!

Also, I didn't need an unlock code for my phone (bought from Expansys). Settings changes yes, but no unlock code.

D 11/27/2010 10:32 AM | D'Arcy from Winnipeg

# re: WP7–Unlocked Samsung Focus + Rogers = Not Too Bad

I did the same as you (unlocked focus from expansys), but I went with Telus rather than Rogers. BTW, everything works, including messaging after I set the apn. 11/27/2010 1:59 PM | Blair Leduc

# re: WP7–Unlocked Samsung Focus + Rogers = Not Too Bad

Sorry, spoke to soon, just realised that I never did try to send a multimedia message, and no dice.

11/27/2010 2:35 PM | Blair Leduc

# re: WP7–Unlocked Samsung Focus + Rogers = Not Too Bad

Your messaging don't work because you haven't changed your sms center yet. Go to messaging and hit the three dots on the right bottom corner and go to settings, you'll see it there 11/29/2010 7:43 AM | urur

# re: WP7–Unlocked Samsung Focus + Rogers = Not Too Bad

@urur That number is correct, I can send SMS messages, just not MMS messages. 11/29/2010 12:41 PM | Blair Leduc

# re: WP7–Unlocked Samsung Focus + Rogers = Not Too Bad

Can wait for mine 12/1/2010 2:21 AM | dee

# re: WP7–Unlocked Samsung Focus + Rogers = Not Too Bad

I'm looking to buy a smartphone and was comparing Focus to iPhone 4.

I'm a bit confused by this thread - it appears that iPhone beats Focus hands down, so why would I buy Focus then?

Do you guys know something I don't?

I would really appreciate the insight :-)
12/5/2010 5:14 AM | Alex

# re: WP7–Unlocked Samsung Focus + Rogers = Not Too Bad

Alex: The issues we're talking about are mainly carrier issues and revolve around getting an unlocked phone to work on a different network (in this case, an AT&T unlocked phone with Rogers).

However functionality wise, while there are some gaps with WP7, we know that Microsoft will be actively patching those and bringing it up to par with the features of the iPhone (i.e. Copy/Paste will be part of the next update coming in early 2011).

Best thing to do is find people who have both and play around with them, then decide from there. So far, still very happy with my Focus though.

HTH!

D 12/9/2010 12:24 PM | D'Arcy from Winnipeg

# re: WP7–Unlocked Samsung Focus + Rogers = Not Too Bad

Hi.. I have bought unlocked ATT Samsung focus .. I am able to make phone calls but for some reason phone is unable to connect with fido data network WIFI works great it's only cellular data
i have correct APN settings
internet.fido.ca with fido fido
same settings works great on my HD7
can you help me with focus what did you do make the data connection work 12/28/2010 6:55 PM | Arshad

# re: WP7–Unlocked Samsung Focus + Rogers = Not Too Bad

Hey, how do make hard reset??? 3/2/2011 1:15 AM | ISF

# re: WP7–Unlocked Samsung Focus + Rogers = Not Too Bad

To get mms working.

Go to the marketplace and download the "Network profile" app. See if in the app your network gets detected, if it does select it. I have mms on my Focus :) 3/3/2011 10:04 AM | Josh

# re: WP7–Unlocked Samsung Focus + Rogers = Not Too Bad

No MMS functionality on unlocked samsung focus really pisses me off... come on samsung, straighten out!

http://geekswithblogs.net/dlussier/archive/2010/12/01/142952.aspx 4/9/2011 12:20 PM | Disapointed Samsung User

# re: WP7–Unlocked Samsung Focus + Rogers = Not Too Bad

you can still get the device unlocked....i got my code here: http://www.unlockcellphonecode.com/product_info.php/code-for-unlocking-att-cingular-mobile-cell-phone-p-77

4/10/2011 11:06 PM | jerry

# re: WP7–Unlocked Samsung Focus + Rogers = Not Too Bad

tengo, un samsung focus !917 cuando le pongo la targeta, mesale error y salir o solo para yamadas de emergencia, no mesale, poner el codigo,haaa le puedo poner la misma targeta de at&t mi telefono es de at&t le e puesto otra targeta y no mesale nada solo para yamadas de emergencia y aseptar. 8/29/2011 11:14 AM | lorena

# re: WP7–Unlocked Samsung Focus + Rogers = Not Too Bad

Anyone still having this problem, Josh's solution above worked for me: "Go to the marketplace and download the "Network profile" app. See if in the app your network gets detected, if it does select it."

MMS works on my unlocked Focus 9/27/2011 4:50 PM | User

# re: WP7–Unlocked Samsung Focus + Rogers = Not Too Bad

I have a WP7 Samsung Focus I had an AT&T contract with. 3G speeds were as fast as WiFi ... Then I switched to AT&T prepaid with a data plan... SUPPOSEDLY with the same 3G just less data. I did this, even though AT&T's prepaid cost more than some other companies. I also made my decision based on many hours research online on performance of phone after unlocking... Like only getting 2G speeds... WELL...if you ever thought there was a difference in quality of prepaid vs. contract .. There is!!! And it took over an hour on phone with AT&T tech dept. To pin this guy down and make him admit the truth ... Gophone is only 2G... PERIOD !!!! I am almost done with my first month of it and I want to switch ... Who can I switch to (prepaid) unlocked or not in my area.. Southeastern VA. 10/16/2011 5:41 PM | Fitz

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