Is your current phone contract about to expire and do you want to unlock phone for free?
If you’re planning to purchase a new carrier but you do not wish to change your smartphone, you can always opt-in for the alternative of unlocking your smartphone so you can use it on any desired carrier.
Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? But, is it even legal? Here’s a question that I would like to clarify.
Yes! According to the legislation and the Federal Communication Commission, the unlocking of phones is fairly legal under the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act.
Hence, in light of the following law, I would like to cover an article which will help individuals to learn how they can unlock their smartphones so they can use these phones on any carrier of their choice.
What are the Conditions for Unlocking Your Smartphone?
Even though the law supports the process of unlocking, there are conditions that one must follow.
For instance, some smartphones won’t even require to undergo a detailed unlocking process. By simply inserting other carrier sim card into your locked phone, one may easily end up unlocking it.
Other smartphones that automatically do not unlock will require the fulfillment of a formal request.
Sometimes, the device you want to unlock is not eligible for unlocking and it will take a different way to unlock it. Carriers are required to unlock phone for free when asked if the contract for the phone is fulfilled.
The same goes for every prepaid phone on the market. The law states that all smartphones powered by the prepaid carrier must unlock users’ phones at least a year before they were purchased or activated. So now, that’s out of the way, let’s see how many phones we can unlock today 😉
How to Unlock Verizon Prepaid Phone?
Verizon uses CDMA instead of GSM channel access and it already comes with an unlocked SIM card slot. Furthermore, Verizon confirms that its 4G LTE powered devices aren’t unlocked at all.
So to run a different carrier on the phone, you just have to insert the SIM card on your Verizon phone.
However, for free-roaming, the GSM carriers will still require GSM radios so users can make phone calls and send text messages to other different carriers in parts of the United States of America. Most Verizon handsets may work perfectly fine on American GSM some may still require the LTE support.
However, when it comes to prepaid phones unlocking can simply turn into a trickier task. A major number of the prepaid 3G phones powered by Verizon can easily be unlocked using the universal codes like “000000” or “123456,” but with most off-the-shelf prepaid handsets can be unlocked after 12 months of activation or at least until the time till the phone’s pricing validation is completed.
By the way, if you do want to unlock a phone, there are certain prerequisites that you will need.
- The account holder’s name and account number
- IMEI number of your device
- The phone number on which the carrier is registered
- The account holder’s social security information
- A completed contract on the device payment plan
If you have the following information, then unlocking your phone can become relatively easier.
How to Unlock AT&T phone for FREE?
Unlocking a phone on Verizon was fairly easy compared to unlocking a phone on AT & T. Even though it takes up some of your time and you might have to do some pondering, you will still be able to achieve:
There are certain prerequisites that you need to pay attention to before purchasing an AT&T device.
- The device must function on AT&T’s network
- The current installment plan must be cleared
- The device must not be reported for stolen or lost.
- The must-have an account with a good standing
- It shouldn’t be active on any other AT & T carrier.
- It should be active for at least 60 days
- There shouldn’t be any past due balance.
Unlike Verizon, when you are unlocking a phone on an AT&T, you will be offered to fill up a request form for unlocking. Here, you can fill in the details using your mobile number or the phone’s IMEI number. Once, you’ve submitted the form you will have 24 hours to click on the confirmation link. Once you have confirmed your required email address, AT&T will send you the instructions on how to unlock your device via the same email address provided. This email will come in the next 2 days.
If it’s a prepaid device, then it is important that you are active on the device for at least 6 months.
If you’re unlocking an Apple phone, these products don’t require any unlock code. Once you receive the email that your unlock request has been approved, all you have to do is remove the AT&T SIM and insert the SIM of the new carrier. Apparently, sooner or later, your new carrier will initiate the setup.
How to Unlock a T-Mobile Phone?
So, if you’re going for the unlocking of a T-Mobile phone, then you need to keep the following in mind:
- The device that you’re planning to unlock should be a T-mobile.
- The device must not be broken, stolen, lost or blocked in any way.
- It must be a part of an account that has a good reputation (no frauds).
- On postpaid accounts, the device must be active for at least 40 days.
- If it is on a service contract, it should have at least 18 payments cleared.
- There should exist a proof of purchase which T-mobile will address.
- Also, your device should have consumed at least a $100 refill to meet demands.
As long as all the above-stated conditions and requirements are met, T-Mobile is good and ready for unlock. You will only need the T-Mobile Mobile Device Unlock Android app to complete the unlocking.
If that doesn’t work, you can always reach out to their customer support and ask them to unlock it.
How to Unlock Sprint Phone?
Sprint states that domestic-based SIM card powered phones featured by Sprint will automatically unlock once they become eligible. However, to activate the unlock there is a process to qualify.
If all the prerequisites are appropriately met, the phone will automatically unlock.
Your phone must be a device powered by Sprint.
- It must’ve domestic SIM Unlock capability
- It must not have been reported as lost, stolen or blocked
- It must be attached to an account with a “good standing”
- It must be active for at least 50 days on the requesting line
- There must be no outstanding payment or pending fees.
In case, if you’re planning to unlock the device for international use, then you must make sure that the device is also prepared for the international SIM unlock. Sprint prepaid phones also have conditions:
- The device shouldn’t be reported as a broken, lost or stolen device or it isn’t flagged for ineligible unlocks.
- The device must be associated with an active account for at least 12 months at the least.
Just like any other phone manufacturers, Sprint phone manufacturers are also incredibly smart at unlocking phones. If you aren’t able to unlock the phone yet, then you can always talk to the support.
How to Unlock Your Fully Prepaid Phone?
Not everyone can work with a subscription-based phone, and therefore, there are plenty of folks who also use prepaid versions of the phone which are available in the market as paid-in-full devices.
There exists a generalized unlocking policy, but with the Cellular Telephone Industries Association (CITA), a set of standardized unlocking policies has emerged for all cell phones and tablets alike.
To unlock phone for free which are prepaid, cellular services require a third-party service.
These third-party services can be
- Unlock Radar
- Mobile Unlocked
- Release My Code
If You Can’t Unlock, then You Can Always Buy Unlocked Phones
If you can’t root the phone or find a way to unlock your device, what you can do is simply purchase a phone which has already been unlocked. There are many phone manufacturers in the market who are selling different unlocked phones through their official websites or any other third-party websites. Some of the reliable names in the market include names such as Google, Apple, Sony, Huawei, OnePlus and many more. In fact, if you are not able to purchase the smartphone in a single instance, you can always resort to a payment plan. In this way, purchasing won’t be that difficult nor a hassle.
Other then that, renowned retailers such as Amazon and Walmart are also selling unlocked phones. However, the phones which they are selling feature a high upfront cost and a valuable bargain.