Ok, so I'm sure SONY and pretty much every1 is getting sick of this topic....
But i went to the AT&T's website and according to them: "...internationally you would have to contact the PS manufacturer directly to see if they can assist you with this issue." (LINK)
Now i'm from South Africa, and my PS Vita is US bought, i know the PS Vitas imported to SA work on Vodafone sims, but mine just wont work.
I also heard rumors that PLAYSTATION might be bringing out a patch to unlock the Vita so its compatible with other broadband networks, but as of now I still see no result.
I really wish for a solution, and since AT&T is stating that this is a PLAYSTATION matter, I'd really like to hear from them what it is I should do.
Thanks for Reading
I seriously doubt that Sony has any plans to unlock the US 3G Vita. The 3G function of the Vita is of little use without the support of specific carriers, and given the low volume of Vita's sold so far, I doubt that any carriers in the US would be interested in investing in supporting the platform without exclusivity. The 3G hardware in the Vita is only compatible with the networks of AT&T and T-Mobile in the US to begin with. Unlike virtually every other country, the US does not have a 3G wireless standard. There are three incompatible wireless broadband networks in use here. In addition, the Vita uses proprietary SIM cards, so you can't just swap in another carrier's SIM card, even if the Vita was unlocked. A carrier would have to work with Sony in order to support the Vita in anything other than roaming mode (which would require that you had a contract with an approved provider). The 3G Vita is the same everywhere except for the SIM card, but Sony never intended US 3G Vitas to work internationally, except in roaming mode on AT&T compatible networks; and probably has no interest in doing so.
This web site is for North America only, so the customer support here can do nothing for you in South Africa. It certainly has no control over carrier contracts. Sony doesn't sell Vita SIM cards separately, and the Vodafone SIM is only included with European Vitas. The only way that you will every be able to use your Vita with a South African 3G network is if that network supports your existing SIM card, and that isn't likely. There is nothing that Playstation support can do about that, even in Europe. It either works, or it does not. The hardware won't change, and it isn't Sony's problem to solve. If you bought the Vita from the US, even though you live in Africa, then you probably did that because it was less expensive here. Sony isn't going to encourage people in South Africa to avoid buying the Vita version that was intended for them, by helping them to get the US version working on South African 3G networks. That doesn't make any business sense for Sony. It isn't in the interests of the manufacturer to assist you with this issue, even if there was something that it could do.
In the US it's an AT&T SIM, CAN it's a Rogers SIM, UK it's Vodafone, JP it's DoCoMo. US, CAN, and JP Vitas are locked, but a search on unofficial sites might provide better answers on unlocking your Vita.
Technically all SIM cards are proprietary. The card interface is standardized, but switching carriers invariably requires switching SIMs. EU Vitas are unlocked because EU anti-trust law prohibits locked devices. US, Canadian, and Japanese law allows locked devices, so Vitas sold in those countries are locked to the SIM cards for the exclusive providers.
PS Vita memory cards are completely proprietary (for example). Instead of going with a more common, standard storage device (SD cards), Sony created their own. They're the only company that makes them, and they have total control over every aspect of them.
I had the same issue up here in Canada, Where i'm too there is no Rogers Service at all. I called Sony to get my Locked PSVita unlocked and they would not help me. I was pretty ticked off. But i figured out a way to get my vita set up with Telus which has service around where i live. I had to order a iSmart sim card unlocker or tricker from Hong Kong on ebay. It worked like a charm, i can now use my vita's 3G service with Telus. It was only $2.50 and it was well spent for what it does. Figured i'd let you know it's possible. Take Care.
The PCH-1101 can be unlocked, just like the PCH-1100 (but considering it's a Japanese PS Vita, the only 3G network that would work on that would be SoftBank, but then again, that doesn't work outside of Japan) You'd need a iSmartSim, it's a device available on eBay which can be had for $4.04 after shipping!. Most sellers that stock it are from Hong Kong, but those sellers are friendly and nice to deal with. One that I would recommend can be found at this link I-Smart SIM Unlocker
The device claims to Unlock all devices, I have used 2 of those, one in iPad, one in PS Vita, both worked well, even though it claims to work only on phones, and every single phone, PS Vita obviously counts as one.
Insert the SIM, and when asked for the APN, choose "smart" without the ",". If you are not asked, remove the SIM card, turn off Wi-Fi and Mobile Network, then update to AT LEAST 1.69, and then enable both and insert the SIM card. Ignore any messages about DataConnect from AT&T, or, if all fails, back up your Vita in Content Manager Assistant with your PC, and then contact eBay and ask them to refund the item as it is "Not as described", but you only have 30 days from the day of purchase to complain, so hurry!
This has been verified by many to work on Japan Vita's to be able to use a docomo sim card; as well as using US Vita's locked to AT&T with Vodaphone for use in other countries.
It should also be able to unlock a US Vita for use with T-Mobile however I have not found any one that can confirm this.