Sunday, January 04, 2009

Unlocked my iPhone 3G - Already using SIP and IAX - VOIP

I had been monitoring this website regarding the 3G unlock for the iPhone since they had mentioned that they would be releasing a software unlock for the 3G iPhone on January 1,st 2009. True to their word, they did release. Being the geek that I am, I rushed to install .91 of the yellowsn0w and it didn't work so I reverted back to the stock firmware 2.2. Last night though, after half and hour and some useful websites on Google News (yellowsn0w keyword)
 the pcworld site had some great links and after I did this, my iPhone was unlocked!

On the technical side, you will need Quickpwn 2.2.1 from here

You do need to be a bit tech saavy to do this, it was pretty easy and you will need a Mac (I have not tried this on a PC).

After you have done this, when the iPhone boots up, you can use Cydia to download sources and install yellowSn0w. You will also need to get the mobileterminal appplication since you will need to run some command lines.

Reset the network settings, the iPhone will reboot and then turn off the 3G on your iPhone under network settings.

After I installed these, I ran the following Yellowsn0w commands

yellowsn0w -c (keep doing until there is success)
yellowsn0w -q (keep doing until there is success) - for me, my iPhone rebooted and I thought it was dead, but after it came back up, I turned airplane mode on and off and then my phone was unlocked!

Now the fun begins! Why did I want to unlock my 3G iPhone? Well there are a couple of reasons.

1) I'm a hacker - there are severe limitations to the locked 3G iPhone. Forget about the fact that you can't use another cellular provider, actually the software that you can get through the app store is not bad but it was severely limited. Many of the programs that I need I couldn't even find on the app store without paying or even when you pay, they aren't as good as the ones that were on the first version of the jailbroken phones. I can honestly say, some of the software that you get through Cydia is way better than what you can find on the app store, but I also like the commercial applications that are on the Appstore. Of course isn't it always better to have more than to have less? So now I can use the Appstore and I can use the Cydia applications.

2) I travel alot - I need a phone where I can use multiple sims. The whole locked iPhone is really more of a deterrant and annoyance. Most people including myself probably have no problem getting a contract with an unlocked phone, I think it is the carriers that are concerned more than anything. I am currently using Rogers in Canada, and I would continue to use them anyway. Even with my unlocked 2G iPhone I was using them so it's pretty stupid but I am sure there is some protectionist reason for all this. I am sure from a sales pitch side, if they sold the phones unlocked, more people would buy plans and you would kill the grey market and make more money since there would be more iPhones sold. Anyhow, enough ranting, now I can travel and use my iPhone anywhere in the world, I tried my t-mobile card and it works. All you need to do it make sure you disable 3G, pop in the sim, turn on airplane mode and then turn it off and you are good!

3) The iPhone is a Mac - more importantly this amazing creation from Steve Jobs, is the best thing to happen to the tech community since Windows 95 (I guess?). Most people think the iPhone is just a phone but if you did deeper, it is a Unix Computer. Last night I used the mobileterminal to login to our corporate asterisk box without a notebook for the first time. Now I just have to fiddle with the VPN (Cisco VPN).

4) VOIP - when I first looked under the hood of the iPhone, I though VOIP. But of course this is probably what most people thought. I truly believe we are entering a time where the cellular carriers will eventually move to providing more data services. I completed my first VOIP SIP and IAX call on my iPhone yesterday, connecting to our corporate astserisk box (at 1 am) which shows you how excited I am. This means that where ever I am in the office, I will be able to receive calls from my extension and it will ring on my iPhone through the wifi network. The applications I used were siphon and siax. Fring is another program I saw through the app store but it doesn't support local sip connections. After I made my first call, I was pretty excited because I am postive my cell phone bill will go down. As a matter of fact I am going to change my cell phone plan today. I am at the office and home most of the time where I am connected to our corporate and asterisk PBX. More importantly, I now have a true cordless phone that is connected to my corporate PBX that I can use with my contacts. I have all this working perfectly in the corporate setting, so next of course is the final frontier, to get this working on the 3G network. 

Some annoyance with the SIPHON program and SIAX, they are not official apps, they are through Cydia so support is going to be limited. Also the programs seem to need to be running to connect to the asterisk box. This is one of the bad things about the iPhone, seems like every time you leave the program it shuts down. There should be some background or process thread these run it because every time you press home from the SIPHON program or SIAX, you lose the connection to asterisk. So in the meantime if you want to connect to your pbx, these programs need to be running. A small price to pay but we are in the early stages, I am sure this will get fixed.

What's next? - My next set of experiments to get working are getting my SIP and IAX to work through the 3G network and also my Cisco VPN through the 3G Network. Keep reading here for more interesting updates


Rodolfo said...

It works very well over 3G, less delay over Wifi, I you want that Siphon run on background install Backgrounder through Cydia.

Harry Yeh said...

Hey Rodolfo. Which program are you using over 3G SIAX or SIPHON? I wasn't able to get SIPHON to work because I think our provider (Rogers) Blocks RTP over 3G.

I have actually used Backgrounder for running SIPHON and it works great. The only issue is you have to turn the auto lock off, otherwise the WiFi stops working.

Were you able to get SIPHON working over 3G?

indyjones said...

You might find this article interesting about Siphon running over 3G: