If you have ever traveled abroad, then you know the pain of paying all those extra bucks to your mobile phone carrier to whom your mobile is locked to. This is not a story worldwide, but a very common thing with folks coming from US, UK, Australia and some other countries where it is hard to find cell phone that are not locked to a specific carrier. IN these nations carriers often lock the devices and make them inoperable with any other carriers for a certain period of time. We will discuss later why they do so. But as of now what we know is that this poses a great problem to people who travel abroad frequently. In doing so they have to stuck with the same carrier from their native country and have no option to use other carrier from the visiting country. This causes a daunting increase in phone bills. I know some may suggest buying a new phone for a new SIM card at the visiting country may seem comfortable, but this comfort may not always be as good on your pocket. In fact this way you might end up spending even more. But what options do we have to avoid such situations? Behold, we are about to discuss this issue that many of our fellow readers might be facing. We will discuss how you can cut costs on international calling and also make use of new laws to your benefit.
Why are phones locked?
The first questions that may come to someone’s mind is that why in the first place the phone carriers lock their devices? Isn’t it illegal? Well no my friend, this ain’t illegal. And carriers in such countries offer smartphone models at subsidized rates, so much so that their prices are decreased dramatically. For example the price of an iPhone that cost around $600 is reduced to $199. And carriers bear all the damage to it.
But no company I s here for a loss. And your carriers also have workaround for this thing. They lock these device to work only with their SIM card for a specific period of time, which may range anything form 6 months to 3 years. This way they have customer attached to their service who will pay them for this period of time and in turn will help them cover up the losses that were incurred due to the subsidized selling of these smartphone handsets.
What is the solution?
And here comes the good part about this article. Now that we know that phones are locked, and why they are locked, but the main reason you came here was to know the solution to all this. Yes we do have it. And not only one but FIVE! And we will tell you all, one by one.
Method 1: Request an unlock code form your carrier for free
Believe it or not, this is by far the best method by which you can unlock your phone. I must add, the best, the quickest, cheapest, and the safest method of all. What you have to do is just call your carrier’s customer care and request for an unlocking code for your device. Now you ask you at all, the carrier, who locked it will provide me an unlock code?
Let me tell you, there are two conditions for this to work. The first one is that you have used the phone for a period for which the lock was applicable. And the other one is that you are resident of USA.
The alter defines that you have fulfilled the terms and conditions to use the carriers service for the time specified in the contract that was meant to restrict you to unlock your phone before a certain period of time. But once that time period is over, you are free to unlock your phone and the best guys to do this are the ones at your carrier’s office. They have certain soft codes that are linked to your device’s IMEI number. These codes can be used to unlock your phone and you are then free to use it any service provider.
And the later one states that if you are a resident of United States, you can directly request the unlock code from your carrier. This is due to a recent law that was signed by President Barack Obama, which allows the residents of USA to unlock their phone if necessary without the fear of any legal action to be taken against them. However this law does not free you from the contract that you have signed with your carrier.
Method 2: Search for a free unlock code
This method only works if you have an old NOKIA phone in your pocket. Some websites, provide you with free unlock codes that meant for your phone. All you have to do is just head out to this website (NOKIA only) or this website(other phone), select your Phone model number, enter your IMEI number and you will have your unlock code at your service.
The next step would be unlocking your phone, when doing this with the help of your carrier, you don’t have to worry about this because they will guide you step by step, but in this case let us help you. The first thing you have to do is take SIM card out of your phone, and insert some other network SIM card. Restart the device, and then enter the code you received from the above website. Make sure you enter your data into these website correctly because the codes generated are solely based on the data you provide.
Method 3: Buying an unlock code
This option is for those do not fall under any of the above categories but still want to unlock their phones. One option they have is to contact their network carrier and ask them about an unlock code. Make sure to ask out the details and pricing of an unlock code. The carriers will charge a good amount if you are unlocking your phone after a short period after your purchase. They will charge you on the basis of the contract period left with you. So if you want, and have the courage to do so, go ahead with this option, it might cost you some money but is defiantly a better but expensive one than from those coming up.
Method 4: Use a Gevey SIM
If you are not up for the costly method, here is a cheaper option for you. Use a gevey SIM if you want to use SIM other than your carrier’s with your phone. Heavy SIMs are nothing but a SIM card extension with the same size as of a normal SIM that you may be using. It comes in all sizes, standard, micro and nano SIM cards. With this, you can place your SIM in these gevey SIM holders and then insert them into a locked phone. And then you will be able to use your SIM of the new carrier in your previously carrier locked phone. The downside of this method is that sometimes there are different holders for different carrier SIM Cards, so in some cases you may not have the option to use your phone with all other network SIM cards. But this option do provide you with cheaper option than the paid carrier unlocking.
Method 5: Use a cable and connector
The last option if none of the above suits you is to unlock your phone using a cable connector and running a software program to unlock your phone. While this option may often include risks of leaving your phone damaged, these options are still used widely all around the world. But complication do exists, which are no doubt being addressed in a regular fashion due to a widespread market of this.
While this option provide you a good option to unlock your phone permanently, this option is still considered illegal in some countries of the world and should be avoided where applicable. Considering the legal compilations, the how-to of this method is not included in this article, but you do want to unlock your phone by this method, we recommend you to find a local vendor offering this service. As with this option is not meant for all to practice themselves. You will find such vendors pretty easily in your neighborhood depending if the system is legal or not. And moreover this option is cheaper and also provides permanent unlock for all kinds of SIM cards.
Which of methods do you think is the best? Or which one do you prefer and why? Do let us know in the comments section below.
PS: While practiced worldwide, unlocking a phone is still considered as illegal in some countries. Please follow proper measures before following any of the methods mentioned above. Unlocking, mentioned in this article is in no way related to “unblocking” which is a criminal offence worldwide. And this article in no way supports the same.