Tuesday, August 01, 2006

MovilListo SIM Test (or how NOT to design a SIM app)

Listo means "ready" in Spanish. Movil is Mobile. So you have ReadyMobile. I tested out the generic white SIM card that came with my Siemens a56 phone to see how it would work (or not) with the other phones I have sitting around. GSM phones, mind you. All unlocked. And I found out that just because it's GSM and isn't Tracfone, doesn't mean that it will work right in other phones.

Siemens s56 (Cingular branded, unlocked)
I could not get into the main menu of this phone with the SIM card in. It would search for the network for awhile, then go to !T-Mobile (I was informed by the Cell Guru that this means that it can't connect to the network). I had the option of picking another network, but nothing else ever worked either. I could get to some phone options by way of the left softkey, but that was about it. I neglected to test the up\down side keys and the voice key, but it doesn't really matter. You can see that data counter (left key) but that's the end of your options besides the aforementioned left softkey. When I dialed a number I was presented with either one or two options. Cancel or OK, with Cancel showing up more often than OK. The Call button did nothing. The Cancel button took me back to the standby screen. The OK button...took me to the standby screen. Even 911 didn't work. And when I tried to call the phone I was greeted with dead silence, yet was still charged for airtime on my Tracfone. In other words, the call connected...to nothing. Bleh. Oh, and the phone would not seem to turn off until I disconnected the battery. But maybe I'm impatient.

Nokia 6010 (T-Mobile branded, unlocked)
I have used the Movil SIM in my former 6010, from Cingular and also unlocked, to some degree of success. Most phone features would work. You could even receive calls. But hitting call on any number would white out the phone's screen so you had to turn it off and back on again. For address book stuff the SIM was not ready and trying to display your own number gave the white-out effect. This time white-out could be cancelled out of when viewing one's own number, but also this time the phone simply would not register on any towers...at all. Any calls made would just sit there at the "Calling..." stage. No white-out but no progress. And still no ring on an incoming call. Just silence on both ends. And the backlight oddly turned off on the 6010 right after startup. So the MovilListo SIM was just a little worse than a deactivated SIM of whatever carrier. But the phone only took a few seconds to turn off.

Nokia 3595 (AT&T branded, unlocked)
The 3595 was the exact same as the 6010 in all respects but one: it said that there were no SIM service actions that the SIM card could do so naturally it had SIM service action confirmation set to off. Again, nothing on either end when trying to receive a call. Except on this phone there was a voicemail recording for whatever reason. But that's probably since the SIM hadn't seen a phone that actually had service for so long. And the message recording was only after about 30 seconds.

Nokia 3120 (Cingular branded, unlocked)
Same results here as with the other Nokias. In the name of science, or something like that I dialed the 888 number of the MovilListo phone one last time. THe only difference was that the recording came on, albeit choppily (I'm in a good signal area so it's MovilListo's fault), only 5 seconds after the call "connected".

And that's the scope of my expeeriences with the MovilListo SIM. The only phone it actually works in is the Siemens a56, which seems to have no branding (it's even unlocked!) but comes from MovilListo. Also, network select is blocked on the Nokia phones. Grr. Making this SIM and service a true bummer to deal with. Hey, their closest thing to a color phone is a black-and-white phone with a 4096-color backlight! That's bad. But in the name of cheking out all the options, I trudged through the mud so you wouldn't have to. Now back the decrepit SIM goes into the a56...it would be intersting to test it in an a56 from another source but I don't have one so that's all folks. And back the T-Mobile SIMs go into whatever phones I want.

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