Generally, the cell phones which are sold in the U.S.A basically operate on a contract basis. That means you can’t switch to another carrier while you are already contracted with one. Therefore, if you want a switch to another carrier, the first thing you must do is unlock the phone, otherwise, you can’t switch to another carrier. Therefore, if you want to unlock your phone, then the following unlock cell phone guide may help.
Barriers in Unlocking A Phone
Before you start unlocking your phone, it is important for you to understand the technical barriers. Sometimes, you may not get a completely portable phone due to these technical barriers.
In the U.S.A, the main technical barrier which can come when it comes to the unlocking a phone is the difference between GSM and CDMA. Carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile generally operate in GSM network and at the same time carriers like Sprint and Verizon do have a working principle based on GSM standards. Therefore, if you want to switch to Verizon from the T-Mobile, then it won’t be possible. But if you have AT&T and you want to switch to T-Mobile, then it is compatible and you won’t face any kind of major problems.
On the same contrast, it can be said that CDMA phones are more conservative. Because, if you have a Verizon phone and you are looking to switch it to Sprint mobile, then it won’t be possible for you. Therefore, the first thing you have to make sure before switching to another carrier is, your phone is compatible with that carrier.
Apart from the restrictions between GSM and CDMA standards, there are also few technical barriers in switching your carrier. There are few carriers who lock the phones. Therefore, when your phone is locked by a carrier you can’t move to another carrier irrespective of their working principle. For example, if T-Mobile has locked a particular phone, then you can’t replace the T-Mobile carrier with the AT&T. It does not matter if both of them are GSM phones. At this moment, the T-Mobile phones, only accept the T-Mobile SIM cards and it will reject SIM cards from any other carrier.
How to ACTUALLY unlock your cell phone
Reaching out your carrier
Yes, you heard it, right! The best and simple way is to reach out your carrier and request for them to unlock your carrier lock. However, there are several considerations that come into play with this option including your contract, your eligibility and so forth. But still, if you can convince them that you’re not going to leave them but just want to get it done for time being, you might need the following:
1) You have to provide the name of the account holder and simultaneously you have to put the account number as well.
2) You have to keep the IMEI no. of your device.
3) You have to keep all the details of the contract, in case your contract is expired.
4) If you are traveling to another country, then you will need all the documents related to that travel. If you can produce such documents then changing your carrier may not be the reason for your headache.
How does unlocking procedure for different carriers works?
A) Verizon Cellphone Unlock
Verizon phones generally work on CDMA standards. But recently, Verizon have stated that people who are using the 4G LTE devices do not need to unlock their phone and they are free to switch to any device. Simultaneously, devices with the 3G network other than iPhone won’t require any code to unlock it from Verizon.
In case, you have other devices and if you want to unlock them from Verizon, then you can definitely call the Verizon customer service for any kind of necessary information.
B) Sprint Cellphone Unlock
It is very easy to unlock the recently launched phones which are under Sprint carrier. In case, you have bought a phone after February 2015 and if you want to unlock it, then the process is very easy. Once you have paid all the installments, you can easily unlock the phone. Apart from that, there is one restriction before you unlock your phone from Sprint and that is you must use the phone for at least 50 days.
C) AT&T Cellphone Unlock
In case, you are using a prepaid AT&T phone and if you have a GoPhone account then, you can unlock your phone from the AT&T service after the six months of subscription. For any additional information regarding AT&T cell phone unlock, you can call to AT&T customer service.
D) T-Mobile Cellphone Unlock
You can unlock your phone from T-Mobile subscription after the 12 months of usage. In case, you are using a basic phone, you can unlock it after having a refill amount more than $25 and for smartphones, the refill amount is $100.
DIY with the paid service out there
To unlock cell phone is fairly simple process if phone is paid off and is under your name but under circumstances not as such, you still have plenty of options you can rely on. Under any circusmtances wherein you have to quit your current carrier and they are finding it hard to let you go, you can always go other route for DIY unlock. You would be surprised to see the listings in ebay to unlock cell phone carriers and depending on carrier, some can be really like $2.00 for ATT.
I hope this information can be handy if you are looking to unlock your phone. Feel free to contact me if you have any confusion about unlock and I will reach back to you asap!
Last but not least, I would like to thank Roshan Dhakal, my friend in iPhone Repair Las Vegas, who informed me about the ways carrier unlock in the USA works. His teams will come to your place to fix your iphone for you.