26 07 2009
Cellphoneforums.net – So what does unlocking do then?
One of my favorite things to do is to read forums and try to help answer members questions. As I’m sure many of you can relate, forums are an excellent way of getting your questions answered.
Today, I was reading on cellphoneforums.net and I came across a question that I absolutely love answering…and since I love the question so much, I thought it would be a great opportunity to write about it on my own blog.
What caught my eye first is the title…
Please help me with some unlock questions!
If that isn’t a desperate cry for some help, I don’t know what is….The question started off with “My current carrier is Verizon. I really want to use the LG lg255, but it is only offered to AT&T. Is there any way to unlock the phone or something to use it on Verizon? Thanks.”
And of course, the readers here should know that the answer is….no! Finally it led to my favorite question…
Then what does “unlocking” a phone do?
Here is my response…always a new way to say it, but the same message…
I would love to answer this question in short, but it’s difficult to do.
Seeing that you’re on Verizon, it makes it difficult because the only Verizon phones that can be unlocked are the Blackberry World series. Seeing that you want to use a phone from a different network (AT&T) and use it on Verizon, as mentioned above, it is not possible.
To go further into GSM (AT&T) vs. CDMA (Verizon), in short, GSM uses SIM cards while Verizon uses an ESN number.
With GSM phones, you do not need the carrier’s permission to use a phone. You can technically use any GSM phone and your carrier will never know that you swiched your phone – locked or unlocked.
With CDMA phones, you need to call in and let them know the ESN number. If the ESN number is not in their database, they will not activate the phone for you. For example, if you happened to like a Sprint phone and want to use it on Verizon, you will not be allowed to. As soon as the representative finds out that the phone does not belong to them, they will let you know that they cannot activate it.
Now to the longer, yet more informative part.
There are several advantages to unlocking your phone. First the summary…
#1.) You can use any GSM phone on any network — Ex. If you’re with AT&T and you absolutely love their bold, but found a better rate plan at T-mobile, you can take your bold, get it unlocked, and use it on the T-mobile network.
#2.) It increases the value of your phone significantly when you plan to sell or resell your phone. What a lot of people are doing these days is purchasing a cell phone on E-bay or other classifies (locked to whichever carrier), they unlock it, and sell it for a hundred bucks + from their purchase price. Not a bad side job if you know what you’re doing. It pays off when your unlock code only costs $20 doesn’t it?
#3.) The most important….Unlocking your phone has the potential to eliminate all roaming fees. Let’s get a grasp of roaming first.
Let’s use the wikipedia definition.Quote:
In wireless telecommunications, roaming is a general term that refers to the extending of connectivity service in a location that is different from the home location where the service was registered.
In layman’s terms, once you leave the country, or your servicing area, you will begin roaming. To better illustrate this, if you are a US resident on AT&T, if you go to Canada, the friendly little AT&T text at the top of your phone will change to Rogers Wireless, or vice versa. Carriers have roaming partners and contracts where they can both benefit and make great cash off of end users, like all of us.
Getting to the beauty of unlocking your phone….
Let’s use the above example of an AT&T user traveling to Canada on business, to see family, you name it. Everyone has their reasons for traveling. After unlocking your phone, your phone has freedom and more power (not literally)! Rather than using your SIM card when traveling, you simply walk into one of the thousands of Rogers or Fido stores (the 2 Canadian GSM providers) and activate a prepaid SIM card. You will be given a local # in the city of travel and can load as much or as little as you’d like.
The biggest complaint we get is that people don’t like giving out 2 numbers to the people who need to reach them. There are 3 solutions to this problem.
#1.) Forward your primary carrier’s number to your new number. Of course there are fees to this, so it’s something you’ll have to duke out with your carrier.
#2.) Temporarily change your voice mail, stating your new number to call for emergency, pleasure or whatever your purpose is.
#3.) Suck it up and deal with a new temporary number – you’ll still have your original number as well, you probably won’t be using it though.
If at this point, you don’t understand how you can actually save money, I’ll let my blog posting talk. We published an article on our blog entitled “Cellfservices Wireless Usage and Roaming Survey – Are we ripping ourselves off?”. This will explain to you the long term and short term savings of unlocking your phone.
So that’s my poor excuse for a simple and short answer to your question.
Hope that helps!
Click here to view the thread.