- Check your phone if it is SIM network locked.
- Ask your carrier for SIM network unlock.
- If your carrier is unable to provide a SIM network unlock, you can manually unlock your phone through IMEI information, or
- Unlock your phone through unlocking service.
Traveling overseas has been a trend today, and more often than not, generating SIM network unlock PIN codes is still an issue for most travelers. Some spend way higher on it than buying unlocked basic phones, or unfamiliar carrier phones may not be available to service in particular countries. With that said, it is only important to be aware of how to unlock your phone – should you need to do so.
But first, we will start with the basics.
Is Your SIM Network Locked?
In most cases, certain mobile phone makers such as ASUS and Alcatel do not sell their phones as locked. Hence, it is only important to start off with the question: how to determine if your phone’s SIM network is locked?
To be able to identify if your phone is locked, you can check its documentation. It can most likely be stated in the invoice or receipt if your phone is unlocked or locked.
Another way to determine if it is locked is through contacting the carrier or inserting another SIM card, which is the easiest way possible. If you tried a different SIM and it didn’t work, then it can most certainly be locked on the original SIM’s network.
You can also note that most likely, phones bought directly from third-party retailers and manufacturers such as Huawei, Samsung, Motorola, or Amazon are unlocked. On the other hand, carriers such as T-Mobile and AT&T are usually selling SIM-locked phones to their respective networks.
Now, if your phone is SIM locked to a specific network, read on to know how to unlock it.
Ask Your Carrier for SIM Network Unlock
Given that you cannot use your preferred SIM network on your phone, ask your carrier for help.
You can call them, tell them you need to unlock your phone for a network change, and eventually, they will give you a code that will help unlock your phone. This code should be entered once the phone asks you for one when you insert a different SIM card on your device. Your phone should be unlocked after the code is entered or after a reboot (if prompted by the device).
However, in most cases, especially those phones that are under a financial contract or “plan,” carriers will not unlock your phone unless it qualifies on the terms that are specified in their unlocking policy. But don’t worry, there is an alternative route around it.
How to Manually Unlock Your Phone
If you can’t get through a carrier service, then you can do it on your own. You’ll just need to perform a few tricks or use an unlocking service to help you with. Refer to the following information below:
Unlocking Through IMEI Information
For Android phones, you will need to confirm the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number first. This number serves as a unique distinction between phones and appears as an identification code of your phone on any given network.
To confirm your IMEI number:
- Dial *#06# or directly head on to your Settings
- Select About Phone
- Scroll to Status and look for your IMEI information (though in some phones, you can immediately see the IMEI information when you open the About Phone page).
- By handing over the 15-digit IMEI information, your network should be able to provide you with the PIN code needed to unlock your phone.
It should also be noted that the process may vary from across networks and your newly inserted SIM network may require you to input a particular code to enable its use on that specific carrier.
Additionally, carriers may charge you an additional administrative fee for unlocking your SIM network (except for American carriers as per the law).
Unlocking Through Unlocking Service
If the above option doesn’t work for you, then you may proceed with finding a reliable phone unlocking service on the web – which may be difficult.
One way to walk your way through this is to visit forums to get reliable information regarding unlocking services, and at the very least, get some advice from people who have been in the same case as you.
An example of a reputable service that you can go to is Unlock Base’s Unlock My Phone feature, as aside from their expertise on the niche, there is also a variety of phone brands that they unlock – hence, a higher possibility that yours is included.
Beware: Unlocking Phone App Scamming!
In the process of choosing an unlocking service, you may probably encounter apps that may also do so. Beware! As this does not guarantee an unlocked phone, moreover, it may get your phone in trouble. In particular, cracked apps from download sites or Torrent networks may possibly infect your phone with Trojans and other malicious software. Yikes!
Unlocking your phone for easier communication is possible if you choose the safe and legal way. You may spend a bit, but that would be for the good of your phone plus, you get to enjoy the convenience an unlocked device can provide you in your most exciting trips overseas.