Remote unlocking of mobile phones

by fonesunlock on April 30, 2010

Remote unlocking of mobile phonesBlackberry Unlocking

Unlocking mobile phones is a way of making a handset accept any SIM card and work with any network. Unlocking can either be done remotely, by the provision of a code which is typed into the handset or physically using a cable and ‘clip’.

In most cases when you buy a new mobile phone you are in effect buying three things; the hardware, software for running the phone and some form of deal with a network provider. In most cases these are bundled together and effectively locked.

There are many reasons why a person may want to unlock a phone, for example; to change network provider at the end of a contract, in preparation for resale or to use a different network whilst abroad without high roaming charges. In the case of some older mobile phones it is possible to acquire unlocking codes from free websites. For more modern phones there are two main choices; go to a professional phone unlocking service, or go back to the current network provider.

Companies which provide professionally generated, remote unlock codes will generally state what they charge and the speed with which they will provide the code. As long as the phone is legitimately held by the customer this service is completely legal. The customer needs to provide the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number, which can be obtained by pressing *#06# and is normally printed on the phone near the battery. This along with the handset model number and current network provider information is normally all that is required.
Network providers vary in the charges they make for providing unlock codes and in the time they will take to respond to a request for an unlock code. An individual may have to wait for up to 28 days to receive an e-mail response and may be charged nothing or a flat rate fee.

Unlocking a mobile phone will enable it to be used with other networks. The handset owner may still be liable for any contract fees should with their existing provider and in the case of new phones it is possible that any warranty or network provided insurance would be invalidated.

An unlock code may also be known as a subsidy password, based on the idea that the network provider has subsidised the cost of the handset based on expected income from the call contract.

Unlocking is a completely legal process under the Mobile Telephones (Re-Programming) Act 2002. It should not be confused with unblocking which may be required after a wrong PIN code has been entered. For this service a Personal Unblocking Key (PUK) is required from the network provider. Unlocking should also not be confused with re-programming, or otherwise making usable a phone which has been barred, blocked or blacklisted due to being reported stolen.

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