It is not uncommon for mobile phones to come locked to a particular SIM. If a phone is locked, this simply means that you can only use a specific network for that mobile phone. Of course, such a limitation causes all kinds of disadvantages. Not only does that force you to stick to just one network carrier, but it also prevents you from being able to use your phone in different parts of the globe (remember, not all networks have a global reach). This is where phone unlocks come into the picture.
Here are some things you need to know about the process.
Phone unlocking is a process wherein you remove the lock within your mobile phone’s system that restricts the type of SIM card you can use. As much as any kind of mobile phone can be locked, any kind of mobile phone can be unlocked as well, though the methods used for unlocking may vary from model to model. There are only a few exceptions in this regard, such as operator-exclusive phone models. Without the lock, you can use all types of compatible SIM cards on your phone, regardless of which network it carries.
When unlocking any kind of phone, there are 4 pieces of information you must have: the make and model of your phone, the IMEI number of that phone, and the network it is locked to. You can easily identify what kind of phone you have by either sheer familiarity or by checking out the box or instructional manual. More often than not, you as the phone owner also know which network your phone is locked to. Obtaining the IMEI number is slightly trickier, as each phone has its own unique number. On almost all phones, getting the IMEI is as simple as typing *#06# into your keypad.
So why should you unlock your mobile phone? As mentioned earlier, there are many advantages associated with owning an unlocked phone. The biggest advantage is having the freedom to choose your network. It also provides you the opportunity to use multiple SIMs on the same phone. Another advantage is that it allows you to use your phone internationally. Just place a local SIM and you won’t have to worry about roaming charges. Unlocking your phone also increases its value should you decide to sell it.
Of course, there are some disadvantages associated with unlocking your mobile phone. For one, unlocking your mobile phone can affect its warranty, especially if you own a new model. And while unlocking per se should not harm you or your phone, some unlocking methods may cause damage to your SIM, your phone, or both. Also, the one who unlocked your phone may choose to steal your private information. Lastly, while there are no laws dictating that unlocking phones is illegal, there are some situations wherein this skill is used for performing fraudulent practices.
Phone unlocks is a somewhat touchy issue in the world of mobile phones.