Phone unlocking is the process of removing the sim restriction that is enabled on a phone so that the phone can only be used on a specific network provider (e.g. T-Mobile only). Networks provider have this restriction enable so that they can retain business. When you buy a phone that is locked to a specific network provider you are then forced to buy or use a sim card from the network provider that the phone is locked to unless you get the phone unlocked. As you see, locking the phone is a smart move by the network provider because even after the phone becomes old and is sold on, the new owner is put in a position where they may have to sign up with the original network provider that the phone is locked to in order to use the phone.
Ways to unlock a phone
By unlocking a phone you remove this network restriction and are therefore able to use the phone on any other network service provider. There are a number of ways that you can get your phone unlocked.
Unlocking your phone online (via IMEI):
Every phone has a unique 15 digit code identifier which is known, as the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number. By providing your IMEI number to an online phone unlocker, they in turn generate a unique unlock code that you simply enter into your phone to unlock it. The unlock code is unique to the IMEI number so the unlock code they provide you with will only unlock the phone/device with that IMEI number.
How to find your phone’s IMEI number?
You can find your phone IMEI number a number of ways:
- Dial *#06# on your phone’s call screen and your IMEI number will be displayed (it may contain forward slashes “/” but all that is needed in the first 15 digits
- Check the back of your phone/table in the battery compartment. It will be on the sticker and labeled either S/N (serial number) or IMEI.
- Printed inside your dongle or on your Mobile Broadband dashboar
Check out online unlocking services here.
Unlock your phone locally in-store:
In the unlikely event that your phone/device cannot be unlocked online, you always have the option of taking your phone into a local phone unlocking shop or the local Network provider’s store to get it unlocked. The service provider will likely have the unlock code for that specific device which they will provide toyou. A general unlocking store will use either unlocking software or unlocking hardware to disable the sim lock on your phone.