Breaking something that is intended to be officially used by a legitimate business entity might seem illegal. After all, other cases of “breaking”, such as hacking are considered a criminal offense. But as negative as it sounds, using unlock codes to free a mobile phone from a particular network provider is completely safe from the law’s perspective.
Month: February 2012
The choice of mobile unlocking always brings the idea of added freedom to the user. It promises added functionality, and the great feeling of breaking free from an otherwise limiting and binding contract. But beyond this somewhat optimistic view, some people have considerable doubt if unlocking a cell phone is even worth the bother.
A SIM lock is a restriction that makes your phone only usable for a specific network provider. It is the subsidisation of the cost of the handset by the operator, as the network limitation is something that you have to put up for in buying the phone at a lower than market price.
Regardless of whether you want to unlock a mobile phone from any network operator around the world there are several different types of unlocks depending on the phone model you wish to unlock. The choices you have are: visit an unlocking shop that will plug your handset into a computer with special unlocking software and force the phone to be unlocked.
The reason for this question is typically somebody is trying to use a SIM card other than that provided by the network operator who provided the phone. Network operators sell their mobile phones at a much reduced rate in order to entice customers into a contract of typically 12 or 18 months. In practice what the operator is doing is adding the cost of the cell phone into the monthly contract charge for the service. This is why they put in place restriction codes to ensure that the mobile phone cannot be used with another carrier while they recoup its initial cost.
In the USA in 2006 the DMCA created an exemption which Allow You to Unlock Cell Phone legally. Up to this point unlocking a mobile was considered an infringement of the carrier’s rights. Carriers often exploited this situation and forced users to pay enormous fees to unlock their device or be forced to discard their phone and buy a new one.
You can unlock your locked phone using online software that is either paid or unpaid and available for specific phones or carriers only. The advantage in having an unlocked cell phone is that you can travel anywhere in the world without needing to purchase an additional cell phone.
I was surprised to see how easy it is to unlock my cell phone. My phone is an AT&T Samsung SGH model, and here are the steps I followed to unlock my phone:
You may belong to AT&T wanting to switch to Verizon and you need to have your cell phone unlocked, but do not know how. It may very well frustrate the daylights out of you. Why can’t you just have a cell phone that works with any other network without any limitations?