What is unlocking? There are two types of unlocking you might need to use with a Verizon phone. The first and simplest is handset unlocking. This simply means that you have activated the phone’s security protection against accidentally dialing. If you previously entered a handset lock PIN, you can reenter the PIN to unlock it. If you never entered a PIN, you can perform handset unlocking by entering the last 4 digits of your phone number.
The other type of unlocking is unlocking a phone that has a SIM lock. A SIM lock is tied to the specific SIM card used by your phone, and locks the phone to the Verizon network. It can only be used with Verizon. Usually, if someone asks, “What is unlocking?” this is the type of unlocking they are referring to.
In order to unlock your phone, you’re going to need a valid international SIM card to replace the SIM card that’s locked to Verizon. You can buy these SIM cards internationally, of course, but they are also available from your local cell phone stores that cater to international travelers.
Unlocking the SIM lock on your Verizon phone is fairly straightforward. The easiest way of unlocking your cell phone is simply to go to a Verizon store or call their customer service number. Provided that you meet their criteria, for example, not having unlocked another phone of theirs within the last ten months, they will be happy to perform the phone unlocking service for you.
You should explain to the Verizon representative that you want help with unlocking your cell phone to use an international SIM card. They may try to convince you that Verizon offers international roaming, and you don’t need another SIM card. Insist that you do not want to use the Verizon option, and would prefer to purchase a SIM card from an international carrier.
At this point, Verizon will ask you to read and sign the phone unlocking service agreement. It’s not a big deal. If you’re doing this over the phone, they’ll email it to you, and then you need to state to the phone operator that you agree to it.
The procedure to unlock the phone is simple from that point.
1. Turn your phone off.
2. Take out your existing SIM card. Replace it with the international SIM card.
3. Turn your phone on.
4. If there are any additional codes that need to be entered, the service operator will walk you through entering them at this time.
Your phone is now unlocked. Once your Verizon phone is unlocked, you will be able to use it to make international calls from local GSM networks without being charged Verizon’s international roaming charges.