How to Unlock a Phone on Every Carrier

How to Unlock a Phone on Every Carrier
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We'll go over the answers and what you can do to get your phone free of your company's restrictions. When your annoying wireless contract expires, it's usual to search around for more cost-effective options while keeping your trusted smartphone. There's only one problem: your handset is almost certainly "locked" to your previous carrier, which means you won't be able to switch providers.

You should be able to switch providers without purchasing a new handset if you can unlock your phone (the processes in this process vary by carrier). Let's look at how to unlock a phone and what you'll need to do to get your phone off your old service provider's network.


Also, Read: How to decide when to get a new computer? Signs You Need a New One


What is an unlocked phone?

When you unlock your phone, you're effectively removing any provider locks that prohibit it from working on a competing network. Once a phone has been unlocked, it can be used with any network operator.

Is it illegal to unlock your phone?

If you've heard rumors regarding unlocked phones and their legality, it's because doing so was banned in January of 2013. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) have agreed on "voluntary industry guidelines" for unlocking wireless phones with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless, which is good news for consumers.

How do I unlock my phone?

Although it may appear to be straightforward, each wireless carrier has its own set of requirements and instructions for unlocking your smartphone.

You should also double-check that the provider you're leaving employs the same technology (CMDA or GSM) as your new one. GSM phones will not work on a CMDA network, and vice versa; however, if your device is compatible with both networks, you can use it with any carrier.

GSM is used by AT&T and T-Mobile, while CMDA is used by Sprint and Verizon. As a result, an AT&T-compatible gadget would not work on Sprint's network. Unlocking a GSM device is usually simple since once it's unlocked, you can use it on any GSM network.

On the other hand, CMDA phones are more difficult to unlock and transfer. CMDA providers such as Verizon and Sprint have their own database that keeps track of which devices are allowed to use their network.

If you're changing providers, you'll need permission from your current provider to unlock your phone and authorization from your new provider to use your phone on their network. CMDA providers aren't obligated to let your device connect to their network.

Unlocking an AT&T phone

When it comes to device unlocking, AT&T makes it simple as long as you have access to your AT&T account or the provider's website.

You'll need the following items:

An AT&T Device Unlock Request form that has been completed
Information about your AT&T account
The IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number of your device

To unlock your AT&T phone, follow these steps:

To unlock your device, make sure you meet the eligibility requirements.
Fill out the Device Unlock Request form and send it in.
Within 24 hours of receiving the confirmation email, click the link and take note of the unlock request number provided to you.

Unlocking a Sprint Phone

You'll need to contact Sprint Customer Care for domestic unlocks (855.639.4644).

For support, international and military locks should contact Sprint Worldwide Care.

You'll need the following items:

Information about your Sprint account (name, phone number, account number, password)
The IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number of your device

To unlock your Sprint phone, follow these steps:

Examine the Sprint unlocking requirements to ensure that your device can be unlocked both locally and abroad.
Contact the relevant Sprint Customer Service number and provide the account information requested.

Unlocking a Verizon phone

It's worth noting that beginning in July 2019, Verizon will lock all phones for the first 60 days after purchase.
After the two-month time has expired, all Verizon phones will unlock automatically.
Before the policy change, phones should have been unlocked before purchase.

If your Verizon smartphone was acquired before July 2019 and is locked, call Customer Service at 800.922.0204.

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