Mobile phones fresh from the manufacturer, technically, should work with any network provider, as long as you have a Subscriber Identity Module, typically known as a SIM card. If you got your Nokia phone at a promotional price from you network provider though, then most likely, it was ‘locked' before you purchased your cell phone. You don't have to worry though, because you can actually unlock your Nokia phone yourself. Here are a few steps on how you can do it:
- Contact your network provider. You can call your network provider and ask them for the unlock code of your cell phone.
- Download software that generates unlock codes. Online there are websites that offer software, either for free or for a fee, to help you unlock your cell phone.
- Locate your serial number. Typically labeled as IMEI, the serial number can be obtained by looking underneath the cell phone after removing the battery, or by simply typing in *#06# on your cell phone.
- Remove your SIM Card, and power on your cell phone. A message "Insert SIM Card" should appear on the screen of your cell phone.
- Use the downloaded software. Enter your Manufacturer (in this case, Nokia, of course) and codes are then generated, which you can use to unlock your cell phone.
- Key in all of the characters generated by the software. Make sure that you are able to enter in all of the symbols. To get a ‘+', you have to press * two times. To get a ‘p', you have to press the * key three times, and to get a ‘w', you have to press the * key four times. Ignore the spaces on the code.
- Entering the first code generally should unlock your cell phone. If using (MCC+MNC) as the first code did not work, you can use code "7" for Multilock.
- Upon successfully unlocking your phone, you should see a message saying "SIM is not restricted" or "Restriction off". If still unsuccessful, you can try using the other codes generated by the software. Generally for Nokia cell phones, you can try up to five times before the phone locks you out completely. If the message "Cannot Undo Restrictions" appears, your phone is ‘hard-locked', which only means your phone would already need a special device to be unlocked.
Having an unlocked cell phone is especially useful if you want to be able to travel abroad without worrying about racking up roaming charges, or forcing yourself to buy a cell phone locally where you are traveling. Above everything else though, double check your service terms to make sure you're not violating any policies set by your network provider.