Most people buy their phones in plans. The plans contain the phone network service provider’s services as well as the actual handset. If you want to change networks however, you will need to unlock the phone because most phone networks will lock the phone so that you can use the handset only in their network. Here are ways to remove the phone lock and use your GSM phone across various network service providers.
- Get the unlock code. First of all, you will need to get the unlock code. You can get the unlock code through two ways. One is through your network service provider itself. Remember that not all network service providers will give you the lock, and not all will give the lock for free. Some network providers will charge you for unlocking the phone. If you want to get the unlock code from your network service provider, simply call the customer service hotline and talk with a customer service representative. Another alternative is to use websites that generate unlock codes. One of the best websites that you should used is the Free Your Cellphone website. All you need is to enter your IMEI code from the phone, and then wait for the website to generate the code.
- Remove the SIM card. You will need to remove the SIM card and the battery in your phone if you want to be able to access the IMEI code, which is usually found on the back of the cellphone just below the battery. When you have already generated the unlock code, you will need to remove the battery again and then slip out the SIM card from the latch in the cellphone. Afterwards, return the battery and open your phone.
- Enter the code. Because there is no SIM card in the phone, the only text that will be displayed on the cellphone screen is “insert SIM card.” Ignore this and simply type in the code that has been provided to you either by your phone company or the unlock code generators from the web. Make sure that you enter the code as is. After you have entered the phone unlock code, simply hit the call button. This will unlock the phone.
- New SIM. Once you have unlocked your phone, you should be able to insert a new SIM card from a new service provider and use a new network for your phone. Keep in mind, however, that the SIM card must be compatible with GSM phones.
- Limits. Also remember that there are certain limits to the number of times that you can attempt to unlock your phone. After a certain number of tries, the phone will shut down permanently. Make sure that you do not try unlocking the phone more than three times, which is usually the allowed number of attempts at unlocking the phone.
With these in mind, you should be able to replace the network company that your cellphone is using, by unlocking the phone. Although this is not in violation of any laws, keep in mind that unlocking the phone will invalidate the warranty that comes with the phone.