Free unlocking for SE handsets found -

A forlorn Techeye reader approached us the other day with a very sick Sony Ericsson handset. He'd got into a real mess and locked the handset. But Aerix Developments came to the rescue and it's now unlocked for free.

The handset owner was a tad unclear as to exactly what he managed to do but reading between the lines he'd been trying to type in a PUK [personal unlocking] code and failed. So the phone was locked.

His next port of call was a local handset reseller who sent him packing with the advice to update the firmware on the handset and then get in contact with Aerix.

Having been bribed with a few beers, this TechEye hack agreed to take over and do as instructed. The handset in question was an SE C902.

A Quick visit to the Sony Ericsson site here provided the appropriate firmware update facility which SE calls 'Update Service'.

To get Update Service to work you need to be holding down the 'C' (delete/cancel) key before attaching the handset to a PC via a compatible USB cable. The handset should also be switched off when you do this.

Sadly this doesn't work if the handset is still locked. So a swift visit to the Aerix site is required. First it's necessary to register (with just a valid email address) and then you need to activate your subscription by opening the URL sent to you via email.

Then voila! You can download the Aerix app for free and unlock as many handsets as you like. A bargain. The package says it is suitable for all SE handsets based on the A2 platform with the exception of the CID53. No idea why that is.

Anyway, if A2 platform is gobbledygook to you, just visit the Aerix web site and it offers a complete list of supported handsets (with pictures).

The trick with using Aerix and the C902, is to have the handset switched off and be holding down the '2' and '5' keys on the handset before inserting the USB cable.

If you've got a live internet connexion, the handset will be completely unlocked. This means you can switch network providers if you so choose.

There's only one tiny-winy probbie with the Aerix app. The company hasn't implemented the 'Support Forum' function correctly so TechEye was unable to report an original error message. We were holding down the C key not the 2 + 5 keys.

The difference for techies is apparently that one boots from EROM and the other from ROM. Now you know.