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All That You Wanted To Know About Cell Phone Locking

by kelvin.c Categories: Support Information
Most high-end phones sold in the United States are ‘carrier locked,’ i.e., you may use the phone only through the carrier’s SIM card and cannot switch service providers without unlocking the phone. To an outsider, this may seem confusing – why does the carrier lock your phone? How do you get the phone unlocked? Is this done for free? Read further to know more about device unlock:

Why do carriers lock cell phones?

Given the fact that most cell phone manufacturers, including Samsung and Apple, introduce an updated version every year, upgrading to the latest phone can be expensive. To counter this, network companies have come up with a smart solution. They offer the phone for a subsidized price, provided you agree to stay with them for a minimum of 2 years. So, for just $199 (plus insurance and other add-ons) you could buy the latest iPhone or Galaxy, rather than pay $700 or more. Network carriers also lock phones to prevent them from being used outside the US. Without a carrier lock, people would buy them for cheap in the US and sell it for a much higher value in countries where they are expensive.

Why should you unlock your phone?

It’s great to buy the latest iPhone at a heavily discounted price, but what happens when you have to use the phone on a trip abroad? Phone carriers recover their investments over the course of the contract and through expensive roaming charges. You can save hundreds of dollars by unlocking your phone and using a local SIM card from the country you are traveling to. Some people switch carriers because of an unresolved dispute with their current provider. If you have purchased a refurbished phone or have been gifted a used phone, you cannot use your SIM card unless the phone is unlocked.

How to unlock a cell phone?

To unlock a phone, you have to contact the service provider. But before you apply, make sure that you have completed the contract period or paid for the phone in full. The phone shouldn’t have been reported lost or stolen. Network carriers do not have a uniform policy regarding unlocking. For example, you cannot make more than two t-mobile unlock requests within 12 consecutive months. You may also contact third-party unlocking companies like for device unlock codes. All we need is the IMEI number, along with details of the make and the model, and the cell phone carrier.
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