If you have purchased a cell phone that you really like, know how to use, and you consider an investment you don’t have to sell it or buy a new one just because you don’t want to stick with the same cell phone provider. Instead, you need an unlock code that will allow you to use your phone with any service, or SIM card. While the phone is yours, many cell phone providers lock their phones, so that you cannot use the phone with any other service provider.
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There are two basic ways to unlock cell phone devices. Many times you will have a cell phone that can be unlocked by entering a code into it. The code is unique to your phone and is linked to the serial number of the phone. This code can be purchased for as little as $5 and when you enter it into your phone it will become unlocked and you can travel internationally or switch cell phone providers.
Other phones require that you unlock service or their operating system, basically the operating system has to be rewritten to remove the lock. If you have this type of phone you will need to connect it via a data cable to a programming unit. This is a bit more expensive, but if you are attached to the phone it is worth it and this can be done quite easily and affordably. Cell phones these days such as a Treo or a Blackberry are an investment, so it makes sense that you want to hold onto it and unlock it under any circumstances. If you have a phone that you consider disposable, you may want to simply buy a new phone if you don’t want to pay more than $5 for an unlock code.
After you have unlocked your phone you will usually get some sort of message that says it has been unlocked or you may simply notice that the phone doesn’t say the name of your old service provider. This means that you are free to choose the provider of your choice. When you sign up with a new provider, you should inquire about whether or not your phone will become locked again, as this is possible. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but you should know whether or not your phone is unlocked so you are free to switch providers at any time or use different SIM or GSM cards.