How do I Unlock a Phone?
GSM phones are designed to be used with any network. However, some service providers electronically lock their phones when giving out special offers, gifts or discounted prices so that one has to stick to the particular provider. This can be to your disadvantage since you may have to pay very high roaming charges when you take your phone out of their network and use it elsewhere in the world. Fortunately, sim locked phones can be reversed. The copyright office gave the greenlight to unlocking GSM phones recently so it is now very possible to unlock your own phone. You can now easily and quickly unlock your phone so you can use it with any GSM service provider and SIM, anywhere in the world.
Techniques for unlocking a phone vary between phone models and phone carriers. The techniques outlined below are some that you may use to unlock your phone. You will first need the following information:
- Your mobile phone number.
- The network (and country) to which the phone is locked.
- The manufacturer and model number.
- The phone's IMEI number. This is a 15 digit serial number, which you can find by typing *#06# on your phone's keypad.
1. Unlocking your phone using a phone unlocking service company.
There are several companies that offer these services at a small fee and the unlocking will be done for you easily and quickly.
2. Unlocking your phone using equipment
Some companies also offer unlocking equipment and products that are either phone specific or that can be used to unlock any type of phone. These products are normally very useful but are sometimes quite costly.
3. Unlocking your phone with help from your operator
You will need to call your service provider and tell them that you would like to unlock your phone. The service provider may ask for a few weeks notice. They may also charge you an 'unlocking fee' depending on the circumstances that you got the phone under; for instance, they may need you to have stayed on that particular network for a minimum period of 12 months if you were on a post paid plan. The mobile provider will then provide you with a code that you will need to type into your phone and the phone will unlock immediately.
4. Unlocking your phone without help from your operator
But what happens if your operator refuses to help you unlock your phone due to 'policy' or you just want to unlock the phone by yourself?
- Use of phone unlocking forums - One way is to look for your phone's unlock code by searching through mobile forums
- Use of software to unlock your phone - Another way is by calculating the code using a data cable and some special software. You have to make sure that the code you get is for your phone model otherwise it will not work.
Once your phone is unlocked and moved to a different network, you'll have to reprogram the phone's data settings so you can access the Web and send and receive picture messages. It is important to note that there are a number of phones that cannot be unlocked at all.