Just based on its name, unlocking a cell phone sounds like something that only happens in spy movies, but it is actually a very mundane and innocent process. Unlocking a phone means enabling you to use it with a cellular service provider other than the one you had when you bought the phone. You must also unlock a U.S. phone in order to use it outside the United States. When you unlock your phone, you can keep your same phone number even after moving to a new cellular service provider.
Locking or unlocking a phone takes place at the software level, so locked and unlocked phones look exactly the same on the outside. Nevertheless, it is usually easy to tell whether your phone is locked or unlocked. If you buy your phone at a low price and are required to buy a service contract with it in order to get that price, the phone is probably locked. Most phones sold at stores names for wireless service companies are locked. When you buy an unlocked phone, the seller usually specifies that the phone is unlocked.
Some cellular service providers automatically unlock your phone at the end of your service contract, and some require you to bring it to the store to have it unlocked. All of the nationwide networks, as well as some regional cellular service providers, are capable of unlocking phones. This applies to prepaid and post-paid phones. Providers are required to unlock devices free of charge when they are eligible to be unlocked as per the service contract; they may charge fees to unlock them early. If you are unsure whether your phone is locked or unlocked, bring it to Elkhart Cell Phone Repair, and we will find out. Since this service falls in the category of diagnostics, we will not charge you for it, as our diagnostics are always free.
While cellular service providers are required to offer phone unlocking services, they are still allowed to set a lot of restrictions as to the circumstances under which they will unlock phones. In many cases, it is less expensive to have your phone unlocked at Elkhart Cell Phone Repair. Our phone unlocking services are completely legal, and there is no risk of damaging your phone or losing stored data. We can unlock your phone while you wait, and it will not cost you very much.
Unlocking your phone is not a catch-all solution for making your phone usable overseas. Which functions of your phone will work when you travel abroad depends a lot on which wireless service provider you have, as well as on the country to which you are traveling. In general, traveling abroad with a locked cell phone severely limits what you can do with your phone in the destination country. If you are able to use the phone at all, there are usually expensive per-minute charges for phone calls and Internet data use. If you are going to stay in the foreign country for more than a month, it is a better idea to get a prepaid cell phone while you are there.