SCALE 2008 recap, and a pre-paid SIM question for the list.

ian douglas ian.douglas at
Mon Feb 11 09:46:56 CET 2008

Hey all,

First piece of good news: Michael was *swamped* at SCALE 6x, answering 
questions from probably hundreds of people asking what an "open source 
phone" was all about. There's definitely a buzz in the industry about 
OpenMoko, and being at SCALE was a definite boost in the exposure of 
what this project is trying to do!
I wrote up a recap article on my blog if anyone's interested, and threw 
in a few badly-taken photos from a camera phone during one of the 
quieter moments. Relevant content about OpenMoko and getting my Neo 
working starts at the 3rd paragraph.

Second piece of good news: my Neo works on both T-Mobile and AT&T now. 
The problems I had with T-Mobile from back in December had nothing to do 
with the GSM modem firmware -- T-Mobile had told me they activated the 
pre-paid $100/1000minute pay-as-you-go SIM card fully, just 
plug-and-play. Turns out they didn't actually activate the *minutes* on 
the card. (My 3G card from AT&T has a serial number on the wiki that 
matches a known working series of cards, but the T-Mobile card never worked)

After T-Mobile activated the minutes, my Neo still wouldn't register on 
the T-Mobile network, even after 4 hours during a recharge session and a 
25 mile drive through very metro areas of Los Angeles to get back to 
SCALE. Once I got back to SCALE, Michael tried the (supposedly now 
working) SIM card in his own T-Mobile phone, which received a call just 
fine from my AT&T cell phone, and only THEN does my Neo connect to the 
T-Mobile network.

So Michael and I discussed posing this experiment to the list to see if 
anyone else has come across something similar to know if my SIM card was 
just "special" (in a bad way), or whether others are experiencing this. 
Keep in mind the following points:

1. I had a pre-paid pay-as-you-go SIM card from T-Mobile
2. Inserting it into the Neo didn't register on the network
3. We placed the SIM in a phone sold by T-Mobile and it received a phone 
4. We put the SIM back into the Neo and it immediately registered on 
T-Mobile's network (usually within a matter of seconds).

If anyone else out there can reproduce this activity, or NOT, when using 
pre-paid SIM cards, we'd sure like to hear from you about it. We're 
trying to figure out if there's still something in the GSM firmware that 
needs to be taken care of, or if my Neo needs to be looked at by the 
hardware team.


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