Phone Unlocking: How Does It Work?Tips
After receiving many questions from all over the world, we decided to highlight key facts about our unlocking procedure in a dedicated blog post. By doing so, our aim is to demonstrate both the extent of our expertise and the value of our proposition.
Today’s wireless market is highly diversified. In the past few years, low-cost carriers have entered the market and triggered a higher need for greater freedom amongst consumers.
A Result Of Carriers’ Policy
Most handsets are sold through deals combining a device and a plan subsidising the device. As a way of securing their investment and enforcing retention, carriers lock devices so they can only be used on their networks of origin.
Locking is implemented through lucrative trade agreements passed with manufacturers. This allow carriers to attractively price state-of-the-art devices. As a result, both your choices of carrier and manufacturer impact the unlock procedure.
How did they lock my phone ?
Warning : your phone may be locked in different ways.
The SIM card lock is when your phone prompt for a 4-digits PIN. If you didn’t setup your own personal PIN, by default it should be 0000 or 1234. A PUK is required to unlock SIM cards that have become locked after three successive incorrect PIN entries. PUK codes are delivered by your carrier only.
SIM Unlocking, on the other hand, consists SOLELY of unlocking your device from its original network. Unlocking has been misrepresented as phone hacking by people confusing SIM lock and network lock. But hacking has nothing to do with SIM unlocking or network unlocking.
Your phone is usually network locked through a software restriction embedded into your phone’s OS or operating system. For instance, SAMSUNG phones are network locked through ANDROID. In most cases, unlocking requires the input of an unlock code. The unlock code is designed to alter your device’s firmware i.e. its operating system. If you applied a custom ROM or flashed your Android phone with a different firmware, the code will often require you to downgrade to the firmware version your phone was originally shipped with.
Depending on your device, unlocking may require remote activation either by the manufacturer or by your carrier. This is standard procedure for iPhones for instance. Please note that all the codes we issue are genuine and will NOT void your phone’s warranty.
Finally, IMEI’s Blacklist lock is implement upon owner’s request, whenever a phone is reported lost or stolen. IMEI or Serial Number are blacklisted and therefore useless across all networks. Blacklisted IMEI locked phones cannot be unlocked.
Consumers have the right to unlock their phones but network carriers still willingly make it difficult for them. They might charge you an Early Termination Fee, flat or depending on how many days are left on your contract.
YOUR phone – YOUR call
This is our motto. You purchased a phone. It became your property. You should be free to use it however you see fit and to pick your carrier on your own terms.
Carriers are bound by law to unlock your device after purchase once you have fulfilled your contract. In reality most do not comply and make it increasingly difficult for consumers by applying prohibitive fee and ever longer delays to unlocking. Naturally unlocking is all the more complicated when you own a second hand device or have terminated the original plan your device was tied to. In short, do not expect carriers to set their consumers free.
So how does the unlocking magic work?
Magicians do not give away their tricks..so do not expect us to dwell on the specifics. Requests are sorted by unlocking type, device manufacturer, country of origin and network carrier and then routed to the relevant supplier. Our suppliers act as sub-contractors and actually liaise with the relevant manufacturers or carriers to obtain the proper unlocking code.
Unlock codes may be generated by algorithms, some software unlock your phone while tethered to your computer. The software writes over part of your device’s firmware to unlock it. Unlock codes come in different classes.
The most basic : NCK code or Network Code Key. Others such as the Master Code Key (MCK) or region codes are designed to remove specific device locks.
Several criteria impact unlocking price and delay
The more recent the handset, the more complicated the unlocking. Brand new phones or handsets still tied to a subsidizing plan are traditionally harder to unlock. Some carriers make unlocking very hard to perform. Again price and length of unlocking are carrier-led.
It’s naturally cheaper to unlock an AT&T Microsoft LUMIA than a T-MOBILE SAMSUNG GALAXY S6 EDGE+.
Although there are so many CARRIER / MANUFACTURER combinations, your phone remains unlock able EVERY case. If the device or carrier you are looking for cannot be found on our website, please feel free to send us a request for your specific needs so that we can find out a solution.
We hope you now have a better understanding of unlocking. Please remember, unlocking is 100% LEGAL.