Kindle and SureSignal - or how to find your Kindle's phone number

SureSignal and Kindle

I've got a rather neat femtocell - the Vodafone SureSignal. It extends the 3G signal into my house by way of my broadband.

To stop anyone leaching my broadband, you need to register "approved" phone numbers with the SureSignal.

So - given that the Kindle has a Vodafone SIM card - how do we find the Kindle's phone number and register it with the SureSignal?

There are three ways you can find your Kindle's phone number. None of them are "easy".

  1. Ask Amazon
  2. Open your Kindle, remove the SIM card, place the SIM in a phone, dial the USSD code *#100#
  3. IMSI->MSISDN translation

Confused? Read on.

Asking Amazon

This got me nowhere. I send them an email and they asked to phone me back. The tech support there are very friendly and helpful - but they simply didn't know how to find out the phone number.

Opening The Kindle

If you have nerves of steel - and I don't - check out this disassembly guide. You risk damaging your expensive new toy and voiding your warranty.

Hack it 🙂

Kindle IMSI and IMEI

Click For Bigger

To get this diagnostic information do the following.

  • Turn the Kindle on and unlock it.
  • Press Menu
  • Press Settings
  • Hold down the Alt key
  • While holding down Alt, type Y Q Q
  • Ta da!

Make a note of the IMSI, IMEI and SIM number (ICCID).

The Tricky Part

Find someone at Vodafone who is willing to do an IMSI->MSISDN translation. (IMSI is the internal number, MSISDN is your 07 phone number).

You could try your luck calling 191, or emailing customer services. They may (genuinely) have no idea what you are talking about. See if you can get escalated to someone technical who will be able to look up the number for you.
It is likely that they'll ask for the IMEI (device serial number) or ICCID (SIM card serial number) to verify that the device is yours.

I'm indebted to my Anonymous Mole who kindly performed this for me. No, I won't reveal her name. Or his. Or its. One of the joys of hacking is social engineering your way to someone who can help you.

Adding It To The SureSignal

The first time I tried to add it to the SureSignal - I got this error.
Sure Signal Error

So, I dropped an email to Vodafone asking them to manually add the phone number to my account.

Sadly, this was the reply I got.
Finally, 07407591890 isn't a number that's held on our account systems and so cannot be added to the Sure Signal. After doing a search, it appears to be held with an airtime provider called Amazon, although I can't seem to find any contact details for them.

After a bit of prompting, explaining that the SIM was in a Kindle, I got back this.
Unfortunately, although the number is in essence a Vodafone number, it isn't on an account that is held on our account system, which is required for the number to be added to a Sure Signal. I can also confirm that MVNO numbers cannot be added to a Sure Signal either, for the same reason.
So, no adding Kindles - or any other MVNO SIM to a SureSignal 🙁

Hang on! Isn't this UTTERLY pointless?

Why, yes. Yes it is.
The 3G version of the Kindle comes with WiFi. The WiFi connection allows you to download converted Kindle documents for free. The 3G connection will charge you for the data transfer.

All things considered; it's better to just use WiFi where you can.

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3 thoughts on “Kindle and SureSignal - or how to find your Kindle's phone number”

  1. Damian Powell says:

    Why, no. No it isn't!

    Okay, I'm being cheeky, but there is definitely a good reason for getting a 3G Kindle onto a SureSignal. Even when the Kindle has successfully connected to the WiFi, I find it still tries to connect to the telephone network, even when it's asleep. I can hear this if I have it next to my speakers because I get the usual diggedy-diggedy-dig-dig-dig noise. In an area like mine the Kindle will never get a signal without the use of the SureSignal and so it runs the battery flat in no time. If I could disable the 3G independently of the WiFi, then all would be good - I could take advantage of the syncing without having to worry about the Kindle running out of steam. If I'm honest, I wish I'd gone for the WiFi-only version.

    1. thefourthage says:

      This is a somewhat belated response, and your old K3G may well be defunct, but you can quite easily disconnect the 3G receiver from the motherboard and put it in a nice dry matchbox. It'd take about fifteen minutes if you haven't been there before. (Check any disassembly guide; the modem is a smaller silver rectangle at the top right hand corner, left of the black/red speaker cable).


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