Are you satisfied with your smartphone but not with the service provider? Do you wish to switch over to another carrier and see how it goes? With the passage of the “consumer choice and wireless competition act,” you can now easily unlock your phone for use with another carrier. However, if you are using a prepaid service, then you may have to wait to unlock your phone until your contract expires.
Conditions to Unlock Your Phone for Use with another Carrier
Before you can unlock your phone for use with another carrier, there are some things you need to verify first. All your phone bills should be paid and there should be no dues or any other fees remaining to be paid. Also, your phone should not be stolen or reported lost and should be in good working condition.
Is Your Phone Already Unlocked for Use with Another Carrier?
The next step is to check whether your smartphone is unlocked already for use with another carrier. There are many companies that sell phones that are unlocked to make it easier for buyers to transfer carriers. The easiest way to know whether your smartphone is locked or unlocked is by checking with your present carrier.
You can also try by using another SIM (Server Identity Module) card to check if it works or not. If you are able to call or can send text messages using a different SIM, then your smartphone is already unlocked and ready for use with another carrier.
Check with Your Carriers
Verizon: One of the top companies in the US, Verizon has its own rules and regulations. Verizon does not lock 4G LTE devices. Also, they don’t require any special programs to make it work with a different carrier. Verizon does not lock its 3G devices, apart from their non-iPhone 3G world devices. In short, if you are using a good iPhone having 4G LTE, then you don’t have to unlock the phone to use with another carrier. If you are using a 3G device that is locked, you can apply unlock codes like “000000” or “123456” for use with another carrier. If you are using Verizon’s prepaid service, you need to wait for 12 months to unlock it.
AT&T: If you are using AT&T, then you can unlock your smartphone by using the device unlock portal and avoid calling your customer service. AT &T also allows you to unlock your phone at the end of 6 months, if you are using prepaid service.
T-Mobile: T-Mobile also allows you to unlock your smartphone so that you can use it with another carrier. The company restricts its users to 2 unlocks for single line service per year and also unlocks prepaid connections only at the end of 12 months of usage.
Sprint: Sprint allows automatic unlocking of any smartphone that are purchased post February 2015, subject to the condition that the installment period is completed. But, they have one condition: your phone should be active to unlock it. If you are using a old phone, Sprint will forward you the unlock code after you are done with the complete payment for your smartphone.
All the top providers allow you to unlock your smartphone so that you can use with other carriers. Before you decide to switch over for use with another carrier, check whether your smartphone is capable of handling the new carrier.