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Unlocking The Difference Between Locked And Unlocked Phones

You might have seen while perusing our site that our wireless deals are pretty foxing good. You also probably noticed that Mint Mobile works on unlocked phones, but what the fox does that mean? We’re about to tell you. 

Before We Get Started 

Let’s break down a few key terms. First, an unlocked cell phone is one that isn’t tied to a specific carrier’s network. In other words, an unlocked cell phone will work with more than one service provider. 

On the other hand, a locked phone has software that prevents it from being used on different mobile networks, hence the term “lock”, which locks the phone to a provider’s network. Even if you didn’t buy the phone from the carrier, the phone is still tied to a carrier. Locking software ensures devices are active for a certain period on the network of the provider that sold that device. 

Fortunately, it’s easy to find out if your phone is unlocked and how to unlock it so you can switch to Mint and start saving on baller wireless service. Got more questions about locked and unlocked phones? Here are answers.

What do I do if my phone is locked? 

If your phone is locked but you want to switch carriers, you’ll need to have your phone unlocked by your old carrier before you can switch to the new carrier. 

How do I know if my phone is locked?

Unless you purchased a device specifically sold as “unlocked,” you should assume that it is locked to a specific service provider’s network. This is true whether you purchase the device from a service provider, a retail outlet, or through a third-party.

When can I unlock my phone?

Check with your current provider for more information about its unlocking policy. For most service providers:

  • A postpaid device is eligible to be unlocked by a participating provider after you have fulfilled the applicable service contract, completed the device installment plan, or paid an early termination fee.
  • Prepaid devices are eligible within one year of initial activation, consistent with reasonable time, payment, or usage requirements.

In all cases, your account must be in good standing, meaning there shouldn’t be any outstanding bills or illegal usage.

Still not sure if your phone is locked or unlocked?

Borrow a phone from a friend who uses a different wireless carrier from yours. Take out your SIM card and put your friend’s SIM card into your phone. If your phone gets service, that means it’s already unlocked.

How do I unlock my phone?

Each carrier requires a phone call or a visit to its webpage or store to start the unlocking process. Ask the customer service representative to “network unlock” the phone for you.

Welp, that’s it. Now you know how to unlock your phone from the tyranny of Big Wireless and start enjoying the Mint life. Catch ya on the fox side.