CELL PHONE UNLOCKING - WHY UNLOCK YOUR WIRELESS PHONE?
When we talk about "unlocked phones", we refer to phones that are not tied down to just one network carrier. This simply means that when you unlock a GSM phone, for instance, you are now able to enjoy GSM providers from anywhere around the world by simply inserting the SIM card using it.
Some types of digital technology are not compatible with others, for instance, GSM is not compatible with CDMA or TDMA or iDEN. A SIM card which is short for subscriber information module is an account card that is removable and possesses a serial number, unique to it for identification by the service provider. A GSM phone is not linked directly to anyone which means that you can insert your SIM in any compatible phone and the phone will act as yours simply because it is the SIM that is identified and not the phone. To that effect, you can now switch providers anytime you like without switching phones except in cases where the phones have been locked by service providers to only work with SIMs provided by that company.
In the US, your phone can either be used with T-Mobile or AT&T which are the only current GSM wireless providers available. In a case where you travel overseas, then you can simply switch the card and insert another SIM card that is used in the country you are in.
Getting service for an unlocked phone is pretty easy. For starters, you order and sign up for service at either an AT&T store or a T-Mobile store or you can do that online. Then, once you get your SIM card, it is quite easy as you only need to put it inside the phone and begin using it.
Do you have doubts as to whether you have a locked or unlocked phone? Well, in that case, simply take a SIM card from another phone that is registered to a different service provider and see if it works. If it shows the other phone number and works, then your phone is unlocked. If however, you get an error message, then the phone is locked.
Always note that if you intend to browse online, then your phone has to have been previously programmed with the Internet settings used by either AT&T or T-Mobile. Getting the settings is easy as they can be gotten from the website of your carrier.
You may wonder why you need to unlock your phone, and I can tell you there are many reasons. Say you want to change your service provider in the US without having to get a new phone or you have already changed phones and still want to keep the other SIM as a backup, then you need to have an unlocked phone.
In a case where you have to travel abroad and are uninterested in paying those exorbitant international roaming fees, then you need an unlocked phone.
Unlocking your phone can be done in two ways. You can do it by inputting an unlock code. This code is unique to your phone. There are some phones that need to have their operating software rewritten to unlock it.
Professional unlocking services are available and will assist you with unlocking it, for a fee of course.