More people are requesting an unlocked mobile phone. This enables people to take advantage of networks that offer a much cheaper SIM only deal.
The process might seem complex, but it’s much simpler than people think. If you’re thinking of unlocking your phone, take a read through our guide.
Is your phone unlocked?
It’s simple to find out if your phone is locked. Simply insert a SIM card from another carrier (you’ll be able to get one free from a phone shop or by ordering one online) and see if the name of the network appears on your handset.
If it does and you’re able to use your phone, it’s unlocked.
If you want to unlock your phone, you have several options.
Independent phone shops.
This method will see you spending only a one off fee of around £15 for the service.
Contrary to what many consumers think, it’s not illegal to unlock your phone with either of these methods. However, in both cases you risk invalidating your warranty.
But the safest and smartest way of unlocking mobile phones, and the way we recommend, is to call your network and ask them to unlock it.
Whether a charge will apply and how fast and readily they’ll unlock it depends on your carrier’s policy.
Unlocking with a network
Your network should as youfor your IMEI number. This is an identifier that’s unique to your phone and enables your network to discern make and model, as well as its serial number.
You can get the number in a variety of ways. But perhaps the easiest is by opening phone app, then entering *#06# using the keyboard. The IMEI number will flash up on the screen instantly therefor you will be able to jot it down.
Got an Android phone? You can also get your IMEI through the Settings part of your phone. Once you’ve opened Settings, go to ‘About Device’ and thence to ‘Status’. And there you’ll find it.
Iif you’ve got an iPhone you can find it via your Settings app. First open up settings, then press ‘General’, followed by ‘About’. You’ll find it towards the bottom of the screen.
How long will it take?
This all comes down to your network. The cost also depends on the networks policy. Both are also affected by whether you’re a pay monthly or pay as you go customer and by the make and model of your phone. You should be mindful that you could be waiting for anything between a few days or up to 30 days for the phone to unlock.