If you are one of the nearly 200 million American cell phone users, you probably signed a contract to get a steal of a deal on your phone. While this contract might be fine and dandy if you stay in the same town or city, travelers risk high roaming and per minute fees if they venture out of service area. This is where unlocking your cell phone comes into play. So how will you know if your phone is locked? And how do you unlock it if it is?
Cell phones providers AT&T/Cingular and T-Mobile are GSM (Group Special Mobile) and can technically be used worldwide if unlocked. Sprint, Nextel and Verizon are not GSM providers and cannot be unlocked. If you have a SIM chip in your phone, then it is GSM and you can perform a mobile unlock on your cell.
Once you’ve determined your phone number and account are tied to your SIM chip, not your actual phone, you can then perform the following test to see if your phone is locked:
• Borrow an activated SIM chip from a friend using a different wireless service provider
• Install the borrowed SIM chip in your phone and turn it on
• Try calling your friend’s phone number from a LAN or other mobile phone
• If it rings on your phone, it is unlocked.
• If your mobile with the borrowed SIM does not have service or issues an error message, your phone is locked.
Once you have determined your cell is locked, there are two basic techniques to perform a mobile unlock. You may have to try both of them to accomplish a mobile unlock.
Some phones may be unlocked by entering a code into it. The code is usually unique for your particular phone based on the IMEI (serial number) and provider. The phone’s IMEI is usually found in the battery case. Don’t confuse this number with the SIM number, they are separate. You can search online for an online “unlock code calculator”, then will enter your IMEI and phone model.
Other phones need software to “talk” to their operating system to unlock. You typically connect your phone to your PC, run a software program and flash your phones memory. We can sell you cables and software programs for your phone for a mobile unlock.