A Quick Guide to Unlocking Mobile Phones

How many cell phones do you have in the nightstand drawer next to your bed? Do you not want to toss them out because there's nothing wrong with them? Have you ever wondered why you can not use one of your phones with a different service than the one you originally signed up with? I mean really, they all sell pretty much the same phones, right? That's why you need to seriously consider unlocking your mobile phone.

I remember back before I knew any better, the battery in my cell phone was not holding a charge, so I took it back to the store where I bought it. They informed me that it would be cheaper to buy another phone and sign a new contract than to buy a fully charging battery. I did not want another phone, as I had four already, but I also did not want to spend more that I had to. So I got yet another brand phone phone and signed a new agreement for two more years. If I had known then what I know now, I would have simply unlocked my phone. Here's how it works:

Every cell phone has an International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI), a serial number that connects a phone to its service. An IMEI also connects the phone's owner to the phone. The IMEI is the "tape" that connects the phone subscriber to the service.

Now, inside most cell phones is a removable Subscriber Information Module, or SIM for short. A SIM is a card that also connects the phone to the owner (subscriber) and simultaneously the phone to the service. Many cell service companies will lock the SIM so the phone will only work with their service. This is why you need to buy a new phone when you switch wireless phone companies. This is true no matter how much you paid for the phone- and you may never be able to use it with a different service provider, no matter how many calls they drop.

When you unlock your phone, you can use any cell phone service you choose, plus you'll get rid of the roaming charges threat and be able to get more cash if you'd like to sell your phone. Your new, unlocked phone will be legal attachment-free. Of course, if you have a contract with a provider, legally you are fully responsible to fulfill all obligations with said company, including payment and length of contract.

If you wanted to unlock your cell phone in the not so distant past, you had to send your phone out to a company and have them perform the service. But recent technological advances and e-mail have brought this service directly into your home. Many companies who provide such a mobile phone unlocking service can get you the "secret code" to unlock your phone based on your IMEI and send it to you via email. You do not even have to wait for the postal carrier to show up- just for your computer to boot up.



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