Thursday, September 15, 2011

BlackBerry unlocking FAQ's

What does unlocking mean?

First, you should understand why phones are locked in the first place. Network providers lock phones so that that you are forced to use their network at their rates. No other SIM card will work in their phones. You cannot take advantage of better rates from other providers. A locked phone is subject to roaming charges.

When you unlock your phone, you are free of these restrictions. There is no more restriction placed on the phone by a network carrier.

Are there advantages to unlocking my phone?

After a phone is unlocked, you are free to use any network and any SIM card of your choosing. You can insert and use SIM cards purchased while abroad and take advantage of better rates for calls and SMS messaging.

You no longer pay roaming charges, and you can switch back and forth between carriers/networks. Other advantages are the increased resale value of your phone. Locking is a guaranteed safe procedure for your phone and cannot harm it.

What is a SIM?

A SIM stands for a 'subscriber information module'. It is a chip inserted into a GSM handset and allows the phone to work within a given network. It identifies who you are, knows to send calls to you when your number is dialed and also controls your calling rates according to your contract or pay-as-you go carrier plan.

How do I know if my phone is locked or not?

That's a simple one. Just borrow a SIM card from a friend that comes from an alternative carrier from yours. If the phone works, your phone is unlocked. If you get an error message, it means that your phone is locked.

Do I have to unlock my phone every time I change SIM cards?

No. Once unlocked, your phone stays unlocked.

Do I save money by unlocking my phone?

Yes. While you will still be paying your provider the usual monthly rate, you can save money by using other SIM cards for other regions or countries if you are traveling. You can avoid roaming charges and you can search around for better rates wherever you are.

How much technical knowledge do I need to unlock my phone?

None at all. The instructions are easy to follow and simply require that you be able to enter the code unlocking number on your keypad. If you can dial a telephone number, you can unlock via code.

Can unlocking harm my phone?

No. Unlocking simply removes the network and SIM locks imposed by your network carrier. However, you should check your contract and paperwork to make sure that it doesn't affect your phone's warranty or that it breaks the terms and conditions of your contract. There is always the possibility that if you enter the wrong code (or a previous owner has tried) too many times that it will permanently lock your phone.


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