Unlocking G1 for Vodafone UK

I was lucky enough to get a G1 for Christmas last year, as true for all new G1’s in the UK the phone was sim-locked to T-Mobile. This is a quick guide to how you can unlock the phone for use on Vodafone UK, you’ll be up and running in 5 minutes flat!

With the phone my girlfriend had given me an ghost-sim to do the unlocking. The chip is a thin pcb with a single microchip in one corner. The ghost-sim is designed to live between the contacts on your sim card and the contacts on the phone. Although the ghost-sim is very thin the microchip is quite big. This means that to get a good fit you will need make a couple of small cuts on the sim card.

unlock-chip sim-cut


You have quite enough space at this end of the sim card before you get anywhere near the contacts on the back, so no need to worry about that! Once you have cut the sim card you can now slide it together with the ghost-sim into your G1, put the battery in and switch it on. The ghost-sim will unlock the phone from the minute the phone is switched on but by default the phone only knows about T-Mobile Access Point Names, so you’ll have to add some settings to get the phone working on Vodafone.

When the phone comes on you should see the “Login to your Google account screen”, press the phones’ menu button, the “New APN” menu will popup. Select it and enter the following settings for Vodafone UK.

Name: Vodafone

APN: wap.vodafone.co.uk

Username: wap

Password: wap

Leave the MMC and MNC settings with their default values (234 & 15).

All other settings should be left blank otherwise you will not be able to connect, this caught me out! Save the new APN by using the menu button again. You should now be able to get a 3G connection and login to your Google account. All services other than MMS (some extra settings are required for this) should be available to you. I have been using my G1 for a couple of weeks now without any problems.

This was written from memory so if I have missed a step let me know and I’ll update.




~ by Tim on 6 January 2009.

14 Responses to “Unlocking G1 for Vodafone UK”

  1. hey…thanks for the useful info….but i still don’t seem able to get connected. My bro got a free one of these from work, and he gave it to me. Do you think the fact that i already set everything up using WIFI means i cannot do it using the 3G network? I added the info you gave me into the APN directory but it didn’t seem to make a difference.

  2. Hi Anton

    I am a little confused about how far you have got and what exactly you have setup over wifi? Have you successfully logged into your Google account? Have you got passed the sim lock?

    If you have unlocked the phone via the code or ghost-sim method the phone should automatically connect to your network provided you have put the correct APN information in.

    I am assuming that you are trying to use your phone on Vodafone?


  3. Thanks for getting back to me tim,
    my bro works for google and they were given unlocked phones to start off with, so there was no problem reading the phone with my initial Vodafone card, but it didn’t recognise the 3g network. I successfully logged into my Gmail account over wifi, and my phone is all synced and everything.
    I just re-set factory setting and followed your instructions from the beginning, but it didn’t log into gmail and i just did it again over wifi.

    thanks for your help


  4. Hmmm…

    Well I really didn’t spend too much time looking into setting this up as it was pretty quick for me.

    Sometimes if you have an old sim card you may have some trouble using a 3G connection. Have a look at this post in the Vodafone forum, http://forum.vodafone.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=1439&st=40&#entry79976. I wonder if there is something stupid at Vodafone’s end where you have to have 3G enabled on your account?

  5. hey tim,

    thanks so much for your help….my sim is about 4 years old, so i contacted vodafone and they are sending me a new one…maybe that will help.

  6. i’m on! vodafone tech support gave me some different codes….i don’t have them with me but I’ll post them up later.

  7. Great! I’d be interested to see what they said.

  8. Well…..here is the info I imputted
    APN- internet
    Username- web
    Password- web

    That’s it!

  9. I have corrected some of the settings in the post – they now work! Thanks to Anton for testing them for me 🙂

    It appears that you can use 2 different APN settings either the ones outlined in the post or the ones provided by Anton. The Internet APN settings do not work for me but the WAP APN settings do and visa-versa for Anton. I think this is down to some account settings at Vodafone.

  10. Hi!

    I’ve done what you’ve both said (seperatly) and I still don’t get 3g, just Gprs!

    Is there anything anyone can suggest?


  11. Hi Tim,
    Thanks for the posting, it is indeed helpful. I bought my unlocked G1 phone in NYC and I am using it in Netherlands with a Vodafone prepaid SIM with unlimited data plan. Internet works perfectly over 3G and no problems.
    However, I see that my prepaid credit drains our quite fast (5 euros a day or so), when I contacted Vodafone, they said that HTC fone is trying to download some updates by sending messages every few mins which are costing 30c per msg. When I called HTC, they are clueless. I am stuck with a great phone with a prefect 3G data, receive calls and send SMS, but I can’t add any more credits and make calls!

    I was wondering if others have experienced similar problems?

    Appreciate any help, otherwise I have to another card just to make calls!!

    Thanks in advance

  12. Hei..
    I want to know if it can work in India wit the same procedure.. On a vodafone…

  13. I received a lot of complaints about vermms.vodafone.es here in my blog at http://www.zecce.com/vermms-vodafone-es-vodafone-spain//

    By right, ff you’re using Vodafone MMS, you can simply download and view the MMS pictures, sent by your friend.

    Anybody encounter the same problem here?

  14. Cheers for this – just unlocked my G1 and the 3g was the only thing I had to do some wrangling to get working until I found this entry.

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