Is your phone unlocked? Sure you might know the passcode, and it may
be rooted or jailbroken.But does your carrier prevent you from inserting
a SIM card from one of its rivals? Is your smartphone (or mobile
internet-capable tablet) locked to one single carrier?aluminum die casting alloys
If so, it’s carrier-locked. But what if you want to use a SIM card from
another carrier (or network)? The answer is that you’ll need to unlock
your phone. Here’s what you need to know.Until 2014, that is, when
President Barack Obama signed into law the Unlocking Consumer Choice and
Wireless Competition Act. Following this short-term action (which
itself followed a declaration of the illegality of phone unlocking in
2013), a decision was eventually made by the FCC to put the power to
decide in the hands of the consumer.
As such, it is now legal to unlock your smartphone. This brings
certain benefits to you, not least the option to switch providers as
soon as your contract allows it. Just remember that you cannot overcome
the GSM/CDMA limitations of your device. A SIM card from one GSM network
can replace another, but such a SIM can’t be used on a device that sits
on a CDMA network.
However, it is a good idea to get this done before you leave your
carrier. Trying to unlock it after your contract has expired (it doesn’t
happen automatically), when your carrier no longer cares about
retaining your custom, might just leave you high and dry.If you’re in
the US, you’ll also need a completed contract/payment plan. In the UK,
you don’t need to have finished your contract, but you’ll still be
paying for it.
All three options are simple enough, but note that you should put
time aside for this task. Whether you’re speaking to the carrier
directly, or using a third part approach, unlocking your smartphone can
take a while.