Up until recently, if you were switching service carriers, you would have to pay a token fee to unlock your smart phone. This has all changed from the 11th of February, 2015. No more can a carrier charge you with a fee for switching service providers. Until now, you would not be able to call up your service provider and ask for help for a smooth transition. You would earlier have to look for other ways to unlock your smart phone like jail breaking or other illegal ways.
So if you are a smart phone user and your phone is blocked for use due to purchase or carrier swapping, then you need not worry any longer. Unlocking your smart phone has never been easier. There are certain key factors one must keep in mind while unlocking one’s phone. First, check whether your phone is even eligible for an unlock or not. Usually when you buy a phone with a service provider, it comes with a two year contract. You cannot unlock your phone until the two year contract is honored with the service provider. However, in urgent situations, you can choose to terminate the contract altogether by paying a small fee. Your phone then becomes eligible for unlocking. If the two year contract is met however, no extra fees is charged and the phone becomes eligible for unlocking incase service provider is changed.
Incase you purchase the phone downright, then the contract is reduced for a duration of one year, after which the phone becomes eligible for unlocking, ready to be used with a different provider.
Another aspect which is to be kept in mind is the configuration of your phone to a specific type of network. The standard radio systems are Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) and Global System for Mobiles (GSM). Different service providers use different radio systems for their services. For example, AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM, Sprint uses CDMA. 4G enabled sets should work on any network. However, a few models are not attuned to work on a specific LTE band. Before switching to a network, make sure your phone will support the network, or else you will face the problem of a locked phone.
Different service providers have a different approach towards unlocking your phone. You can check with the network policy before going in for the best option for yourself. Some providers may charge you a small fee even if your phone is liable for unlock, although this is a rare chance. Some providers may ask you to drop in at the store to get it unlocked, while some may do it remotely. Some providers may ask you to unlock your phone using an unlocking code, while some sets may require a software update to do the same.
A few popular networks and easy solution to unlock optimized smart phones-
1. AT&T– For AT&T users, they need to go online on the website and go to the Consumer Device Unlock Portal and ask for their phone to be unlocked. Users will require the IMEI code of the phone, which is easily procurable by pressing *#06# on most smart phones.
2.Sprint– Sprint users can call 888 211 4727 or simply start a web chat from their website, and then follow simple instructions. As of February, 2015, Sprint claims to unlock all “eligible” phones for free.
3.T-Mobile– Users from this service provider can call on 877 746 0909 or start a web chat from the T-Mobile website.
4.Verizon– Verizon boasts of no locked phones and prides itself for the same. No code or anything like that is needed to unlock Verizon. If in case there is an odd chance of finding one thats locked, you can get it unlocked easily by going on their official website.
Generally, service providers will charge you no fee for this if the contract is honored. For more information, you can read through your provider’s company policy regarding unlocking your smart phone.