This blog post provides detailed information about unlocking a phone, eligibility criteria for your device to be unlocked. It covers topics like the locking of mobile phones and how to get them unlocked.

Does it cost money to unlock a phone?

No, you can get your Mobile unlocked for free if the device satisfies the unlocking eligibility criteria, like it was sold by the carrier it is locked with, has no dues, and satisfies the contract.

Why are cell phones locked?

  • The major reason cell phones are locked is to keep users under contract.
  • For example, if you are a T-mobile user then you will be under contract with T-mobile wireless carrier.
  • Under the contract, if you purchase a new i-phone then the cost of the i-phone will be broken up and it will be added into a three years contract.
  • This cost will be divided into EMIs and it will be adjusted into the monthly bill. It will be in addition to service charges.
  • Under such circumstances, the phone will be locked with T-mobile wireless carrier.
  • Now if you wish to change the carrier then you should request for unlocking your cell phone.
  • Generally unlocking means you will have to pay extra to remain out of the contract.

Meaning of locked phone

  • A locked phone is a mobile device that is tied up with a particular mobile carrier network.
  • If you purchase a new cell phone under some contract then it is a locked phone.

Are all cell phones locked?

  • All cell phones are not locked. The cell phone purchased from a carrier under some kind of contract is locked.
  • But if you purchase a phone directly from the manufacturers, it is unlocked. In this case, you can easily switch from one carrier to another.

Difference between locked phone and unlocked phone

  • In the case of a locked phone, there is an inbuilt software code.
  • This process of inserting a software code is called encoding. Such locked phones are also said to be encoded cell phones.
  • This code prevents getting services from another carrier.
  • So if you purchase a locked phone from a T-mobile carrier and if you insert another SIM then it will not be activated.
  • This is because the software code allows the signals only from T-mobile carriers and net from any other carrier.
  • On the other hand, for an unlocked phone, there will not be any software code.
  • Even if there exists a software code for an unlocked mobile, you will get some other code that unlocks the original code.
  • This procedure of unlocking is called decoding. 

Advantages of getting the phone unlocked:

●   The important prime benefit is that you will not be stuck up with the same wireless carrier.

●   If you have an unlocked phone, insert another carrier’s SIM card and then proceed to sign up with new services. But you need to check the carrier compatibility.

●   In this case, you don’t have to buy a new cell phone for a new wireless operator.

●   So, you can think of getting the cheapest services using the unlocked phone.

●   This provision is more beneficial if you are traveling abroad.

●   Replace the SIM card, insert a local carrier SIM card and start using the service.

●   In this case, you will get a new local number. Using it, you can make calls and access the internet. It will be much cheaper.

●   Usually, unlocked cell phones do not have unnecessary apps.

Drawbacks of an unlocked phone

  • The unlocked family device might not work with full functionality on another carrier’s network, because of differences in carrier technologies.
  • T-Mobile does not take any responsibility for any such limitations in the service while using another provider’s networks after the phone is unlocked 

Eligibility criteria for the device to be unlocked for Free:

  • The device must be in working condition.
  • The device’s IMEI should be clear.
  • The cell phone should not be reported as blocked or lost.
  • An account concerned with the device must be active.
  • Depending upon pre-paid or post-paid plans, the device should satisfy all necessary unlock requirements.

How to Unlock a mobile device?

To unlock a mobile phone, you need to enter an unlock code. The following steps are used to unlock any mobile device.

  • First, check whether your cell phone is eligible for unlocking.
  • Request customer care for the unlock code.
  • Insert a blocked SIM and switch on the device.
  • Press the select key and enter unlock code.

How to use Mobile Unlock Service

  • Outside of carrier service to unlock your phone, there are different paid services to unlock it for you.
  • If you do not meet the carrier’s eligibility criteria, you can go for these paid unlock services. Though these services are legal gray area.
  • These services are hassle-free, you just need to provide them with your IMEI number(International mobile equipment identifier). You can get it by using the following steps.
    • iPhone – Settings > General > About then finding the “IMEI” number.
    • Android – Settings > About Phone > Status then finding the “IMEI” number.

Conclusion:

This blog post gives a piece of detailed information about “Does it cost money to unlock a phone?”.It also provides information about the eligibility criteria required for unlocking the phones. It also covers the advantages of getting the phone unlocked.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs): Does it cost money to unlock a phone?

How to check if your phone is unlocked?

• You can directly insert a sim card by another carrier to find out if it works.

• Or go to settings > connections > Mobile networks > Network operators and click on the search now. If names of multiple carriers appear then the phone is unlocked.

Where do you get the unlock code?

You have to contact carrier services to request the unlock code. Depending on the eligibility of your device you might have to pay a certain fee.

What is a phone lock code?

● A unique code, which is used to prevent any unauthorized person from using a phone, is called a phone lock code.

● A typical default code is the last four digits of your phone number.

● If a cell phone is locked by a service provider, then such a device is programmed with some unique codewords. Due to this, the device will not operate with other wireless operators.

Is Unlocking your phone legal? 

● Yes, it is legal but there are some restrictions. 

● The cell phone should not be reported as blocked or lost.

● An account concerned with the device must be active.

● Depending upon pre-paid or post-paid plans, the device should satisfy all necessary unlock requirements.

● Your phone for any contract must be fully paid for any contract if you have T-Mobile family service.

What is T-Mobile unlock eligibility?

  • The device must be in working condition.
  • The device’s IMEI should be clear.
  • The cell phone should not be reported as blocked or lost.
  • An account concerned with the device must be active.
  • Depending upon pre-paid or post-paid plans, the device should satisfy all necessary unlock requirements.

What is the T-Mobile network unlock code?

●   A unique code, which is used to prevent any unauthorized person from using a phone, is called a phone lock code.

●   A typical default code is the last four digits of your phone number.

●   If a cell phone is locked by a service provider, then such a device is programmed with some unique codewords. Due to this, the device will not operate with other wireless operators.

References:

How Much Does It Cost to Unlock a Phone? 2021 Ultimate Guide, October 28, 2020

How Much Does It Cost to Unlock a Phone (in 2019)?. April 19th, 2019

https://www.itsworthmore.com/blog/post/how-much-to-unlock-a-phone-in-2019

How to Unlock Your Phone Using Free Unlock Phone Codes, BY MIHIR PATKAR, PUBLISHED DEC 09, 2019

https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/3-sites-to-find-free-unlocking-codes-for-mobile-phones/

How to Unlock Your Phone From Any Major Carrier, By Bree Fowler, Last updated: July 19, 2021

https://www.consumerreports.org/smartphones/how-to-unlock-your-phone-from-any-major-carrier/

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