Make Cingular work on old AT&T Phone

I thought this post might be helpful for anyone googling how to make their old AT&T phone work with Cingular.  This is not guaranteed to work, and even though I was able to achieve it, it isn’t 100%, there are flaws!  P.S. I have no idea why this works, and maybe it only works with my phones, but you can try!

I currently have a Samsung X427 on Cingular.  It is nearly identical to the Samsung X426 I had with AT&T but I really really love the X426.  It rings louder, there are more ringtones, and it is lighter.  Plus it isn’t covered in scratches like the X427 that I bought off of Craigslist when my piece of crap Motorola that Cingular gave me died. 

Last night I was cleaning out one of my cupboards and came across my old phone.  I haven’t been able to let go of it, even though I have stuck my Cingular SIM card in it hundreds of times, hoping one day it would work.  Nope, it always just says “wrong sim card”.  Well I decided to try, just one last time before throwing it out.  I was amazed and delighted when it worked.  I was so excited until I turned the phone off, turned it back on, and I got that horrible “wrong sim card” message.  “But it worked before!” I cried.  I had even checked my voicemail, placed a call, and changed my ringtone.  Bastards!

So I turned the phone on and off a hundred times, praying it would work again.  It wouldn’t.  I was sad and determined because it DID WORK.  I have now (so far) perfected a method. 

  1. Insert AT&T SIM Card into the AT&T phone and turn the phone on.
  2. Wait for it to finish searching, until it says “emergency calls only” – this will only work if you have an old AT&T Sim card that is no longer active, i.e. you have no service with AT&T.
  3. With phone ON, plug it into the charger (I don’t know if you have to do this but I did).
  4. Remove Cingular SIM Card from your Cingular Phone, and have it close-by.
  5. Ok, this is the tricky part and you have to be quick! I mean really quick!  Remove the battery from your AT&T Phone, remove AT&T card, replace with Cingular Card, replace battery.  (The trick is to do this fast enough that your phone does not shut off).
  6. If you were quick enough, the phone should still be on and you will see a message that says “Please Wait”.  If you were not quick enough, the phone has shut off.

For me, if the phone did not shut off, it will say “Please Wait”, then it searches, then it synchs up with Cingular.  If the phone did shut off and I have to turn it back on, it says “wrong card”.

As I said, this technique worked for me.  It tricked the phone by switching cards really fast.  I have no clue why this works, but the phone seemingly works perfect, I can access my voicemail, make calls, send text messages, etc.  However, when I shut the phone off, and turn it back on it does not synch back up to Cingular.  Basically I can  never shut my phone off again, the battery can never die, or I must carry the AT&T card with me at all times just in case, and use that method described above.  Works for me, I never shut my phone off or let it die.  In the case that it must be restarted, I can easily carry the AT&T card around with me. 

Yay.  Maybe this will help someone.  And if anyone who is knowlegable about cell phones cares to explain why this strange method works, please feel free to comment and enlighten me!  I am somewhat confused, but happy!  Only one weird thing seems to happen.  Each time I have done this, after a few minutes a “message sent” notification shows up on my phone.  I can’t find anything in my text-messages outbox, so I have no idea what it is sending a message to.  I just hope it isn’t sending off some old text messages I had saved when I last used this phone.  So if you happen to get some odd text message from me, I probably meant to send it to you in like 2005.  Yeah.

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