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Unlocking is the process of altering the phone so that it can be used with other carriers. US carriers lock your phone to their network so that you can’t take it to another carrier and have it activated. When you sign your new contract you get a subsidized price on the phone. The carrier makes up for what they lose on the phone with your monthly payment over the two years. Therefore, they want you to fulfill your obligation so they can make up for those costs. Which is why they lock the phone to their network. Many times, if you pay the carrier full price for the phone, they’ll unlock it.
Factory unlocked phones are never locked to any carrier. These phones can be purchased straight from the manufacturer and can be used on any network world wide. Though you will want to buy one that matches the frequencies of the network you plan to use it in. For example they have iPhones with US, Europe, and Asia specifications.
You can request your carrier to unlock your phone.The US carriers have agreed on a new set of standards when it comes to unlocking phones and tablets. They each have their own requirements that you must fulfill. T-Mobile’s can be found here and AT&T’s can be found here. This will allow you to use your phone on other GSM networks like AT&T, T-Mobile, Straight Talk, Net 10 Wireless, H20 Wireless, etc. The Verizon iPhone 5, 5c, and 5s already come GSM unlocked!
Unlock your T-Mobile Phone: Contact T-Mobile
There are also methods of unlocking your phone by altering the software. We won’t go into details about those because it can be complicated and can alter your warranty eligibility.
Having the ability to use your phone with any GSM carrier is a valuable asset. It increases the market size of those who can use your device. Instead of being locked to one carrier in the US, you can use it with any GSM carrier world wide. About 80% of the world uses a GSM network. This is a huge advantage for those that travel overseas. You can just buy a prepaid SIM card in whatever country you’re in and be on your way! Here at Smart Supply, we pay you about $20 extra for any phone that is factory unlocked or unlocked through a carrier.
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