Do you know what is an unlocked phone? An unlocked phone is a phone that’s capable of working with any cell phone carrier such as Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile… All the phones on the market that are not unlocked can only be used with one carrier.
In this blog post, I will tell you everything you need to know about unlocked phones.
Now You Know What Is An Unlocked Phone:
When you’re thinking about getting a particular phone. It’s always a good thing to find out if the phone is capable of working on a wireless network that’s different from the one in which it was designed to work on.
Nevertheless, a phone’s network compatibility is only relevant in regards to cell phone carriers, not wireless networks such as Wi-Fi.
Any phone with Wi-Fi capabilities can connect to a Wi-Fi network, it makes no difference whether or not the phone is locked or unlocked.
What Are The Benefits Of Having An Unlocked Phone?
Many of the cell phones/smartphones on the market are locked to a particular carrier. Even the phones that you don’t buy directly from a carrier are still locked to a carrier.
For example, if you purchase a Samsung Galaxy phone from Walmart, you may be required to sign up for service from a particular carrier.
In exchange for signing a service contract with the carrier, you will get a discount on the phone. You will also get the voice and data service that you need to use your phone.
This is what cell phone carriers do to entice people to buy a locked phone. However, not everyone wants to be tied to a particular carrier’s network for a number of reasons.
Example 1, if you constantly travel overseas, it may not be in your best interest to have a locked phone that will not work internationally.
Or a phone that will be extremely expensive to use abroad.
Example 2, If you recently bought a phone and you’re happy with the phone and with the service that you’re getting from your carrier.
However, you end up moving to a different city/state to live and you suddenly realize that you have poor cell phone service in that area.
If you have an unlocked phone, all you have to do is change your carrier to one that works well in that area and your problem will be solved.
Why Do Carriers Lock Their Phones?
Phones do not have to be locked to a particular carrier. All phones could be released unlocked and you can activate them with the cell phone carrier of your choice.
However, it’s more beneficial to the carrier to lock its phones to their network to maintain their business. When their phones are locked to their network, you have to pay for a service plan with them.
For example, if all Samsung Galaxy Phones were locked to the Verizon network and they worked exclusively with Verizon service. You would have to sign up for a Verizon service plan if you bought a Samsung Galaxy phone.
However, if the Samsung Galaxy phone is unlocked and you decided that you no longer wanted to continue using Verizon.
You would have the ability to use your Samsung Galaxy phone with any other carrier you would like to.
How To Unlock A Phone:
Not every phone has to be unlocked to be able to use it with another carrier. However, if you must unlock your phone, you must contact the last carrier that the phone was used with.
For example, the majority of Verizon’s phones are unlocked so it’s relatively easy to use an unlocked Verizon phone with another carrier.
However, if you have an AT&T phone and you would like to unlock it you must fill out AT&T’s device unlock procedure which will give them permission to unlock the phone.
Refer to how to unlock a phone to learn more about unlocking your phone.
You must match the criteria for unlocking your phone before you are allowed to do so.
The Criteria For Unlocking A Phone:
- The phone must be fully paid for.
- The phone must be active on the carrier’s network for a certain period of time.
- The phone cannot be reported as stolen or missing.
Finding An Unlocked Phone:
You can find an unlocked phone online or anywhere else that sells locked phones. If you would like to buy an unlocked phone which you can use on the cell phone carrier that you already have. Or any other carrier you would like to.
You can also filter your results by the operating system such as Android, iOS, or Windows, or by a specific criteria such as price, features, internal storage, size of the display screen, color and more.
Unlocked Phones On CDMA Or GSM Networks:
For example, if you unlock a CDMA phone it will not be compatible on a GSM network or vice versa.
If you have any comments or questions about any of this information. Or if you would like to share your experience with an unlocked phone, please feel free to do so in the comment section below.