There are different codes that are used in setting up the phone to be locked to one particular network provider. The primary element that governs this system is the SIM lock, the central blocking point that restricts service access to other networks. The exact reverse terminology of these codes is the unlock code. This means that when these special character combinations are instead used to open the lock, it then enables a specific phone to bypass the restraints placed to it.
Just what does each code stand for anyway? How are they used? And are there similarities that we could use to speculate that some of them are exactly the same thing? We’ll try to differentiate each of these codes for you and teach you the baseline information for each.
Network Unlock Code
Again, the network unlock code is a special combination of characters that is used to free a phone from a network provider. It functions directly as a key, opening up the network access of a phone and enabling it to communicate properly with other network providers if the proper medium is provided (e.g. a SIM card).
All network unlock codes are special to each phone unit, and would usually (not always) have to be cracked or revealed by a professional unlocking service using all available identification data and codes.
The restriction code has a function that is similar to the unlock code, as it is used to remove the network service restraints placed by the original carrier of the device. Some people and a few groups place no direct distinction between an unlock code and a restriction code, and are sometimes interchangeably used.
However unlike the unlock code, a restriction code by its strict definition is a code that is officially made by the manufacturer of the phone to be used by the network provider. Thus it is not supposed to be generated randomly by an unlocking service. A generated restriction code would bear the definition of an unlock code instead.
The subsidy code is a variable 8-digit (for older phones) or 16-digit (for newer phones) code that acts as a necessary key if one wants to remove the operator lock of a specific phone. Much like a restriction code, it is not generated from all the other phone identification codes, but is already issued by the original equipment manufacturer at the request of the network provider.
The subsidy code is probably one of the most important requirements to obtain the unlock code of a specific phone. In fact, the unlock code of a phone can actually be its subsidy code. Alternatively though, the unlocking procedures may involve the resetting of this code, so that another customized code can be placed as the unlock code instead.
All in all though, each of these codes is essentially of the same nature, as they are all still the keys to set a phone free from its network limitations.