What is Carrier Unlocking and Why Should You Carrier Unlock Your Device?
What is a Carrier Lock?
The carrier lock is used by many service providers (like Sprint or T-Mobile) to restrict a phones use to only their specific network. While you are in your country or traveling abroad with a carrier locked phone, you are unable to use a SIM card from a alternate carrier. This is different from devices that do not impose any SIM restrictions. Because carrier unlocked phones are able to use a SIM card from any network provider they choose. Carrier lock is also called SIM lock because most carrier locked devices are predominantly GSM devices (Global System for Mobile). GSM devices use the global network standards allowing you to use any network provider internationally. It is unreasonable for a network provider to have you spend hundreds of dollars on a phone that restricts you to only their network. Which is why many oppt to carrier unlock their phone, allowing them the freedom they deserve.
What is a Carrier Unlock?
In most cases, service providers (like Sprint or Verizon) lock their devices to their network, to ensure they will make the most amount of money they possibly can per device. A carrier unlock simply breaks you free from the limitations that carriers set on your device, by enabling it to use other carriers and networks. The fact is that if you have a device that has a bunch of restrictions, it is never truly yours no matter the amount of money spent on it. A carrier unlock helps reduce the level of restrictions you will have on your phone allowing you to use any SIM card you want.
The technology behind a carrier unlock is quite straight-forward since locked devices are programmed by an application to accept only SIM cards with certain International Mobile Subscriber Identities (IMSIs). An IMSI is a a fifteen digest found on SIM cards that is unique to individual service providers. Carrier locked phones are unable to use a SIM card with a varying IMSI number than their current network provider. Consequentially, a mobile device can be unlocked by entering a carrier unlocking code provided by the network operator. You might think that if you wanted a carrier unlock on a Sprint device you will be able to go to your closest Sprint store and ask for a network unlocking code, but unfortunately the process isn’t that simple. The code that is used for unlocking is referred to as the network code, multi-lock code or master code. You must use a carrier unlocking service or find your specific master code for your carrier and learn how to unlock it yourself. Carrier unlocks can be be carried out using special software running on the handset or on hardware devices or even a computer attached to the handset.
Why Should I Unlock My Carrier?
There are several reasons why you may want to carrier unlock your device and they include:
Choice of Network
Most networks do not offer a 100% perfect service and some subscribers may wish to change providers before the expiration of their contract period. A carrier unlock will help you avoid paying for a new phone when switching networks as you can request for just their SIM card. Since the carrier unlocking process is not a complicated one, it can save you tons of money in the long run.
No Need for Lengthy Contracts
In most cases, the main reason why we agree to sign a carrier contract is because they usually come with a great phone at a massive discount. The contract is done so that the company can make back their money. If you get a carrier unlock you do not have to worry about contracts as you can get any of the same plans without the contract if you’re bringing your own phone with you. This means that you can cancel your plan anytime without facing any penalty.
If you are locked to a particular provider you are going to rack up massive charges on your service plan when traveling overseas. This is one of the reasons why you’ll find kiosks stands that sell local prepaid sim cards in airports. With carrier unlocked devices, you can use any prepaid SIM worldwide without having to worry about any unexpected charges.
In many cases network providers carrier lock phones that have been sold to their customers. Making it incredibly difficult to change network providers without purchasing a whole new phone and paying extra fees to your original service provider. When your phone has these restrictions it makes it very difficult to really feel like you own your device. You are able to carrier unlock your phone if you or a carrier unlocking service have the carrier unlock code. If you unlock your device from its original network you will be able to use any SIM card you choose. This allows you to be able to use any network globally on your phone. Carrier unlocking your device allows you to have less restrictions on your phone and saves you a lot of money.