What is a Carrier Lock

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SIM lock:

A SIMLOCK, network lock, Carrier Lock, imei lock or (master) SUBSIDY lock is a technical constraint built into CDMA and GSM smartphones by manufacturers for use by service providers to restrict the usage of these phones to specific countries and/or networks. This is in contrast to a phone (retrospectively called SIM-free or unlocked) that doesn't enforce any SIM constraints.

The vast majority of smartphones can be unlocked to work with any GSM mobile phone network provider, however the phone can still display the original logos and may not support popular features of the new carrier. Aside from the locking, smartphones may also have firmware placed on them which is specific to the network provider. This firmware is installed through the service provider which is separate from the locking mechanism. The majority smartphones can be unbranded by re-flashing an alternative firmware variation, an operation suited to advanced users only.

Unlocking Technology:

Normally, a locked device will show a message if a restricted SIM is used, requesting the unlock code. On modern phone models running Android operating system software, the cellphone will display a message stating “SIM network unlock PIN” or “Enter Network Lock Control Key” if it is network locked. Windows phones should display the message, “This SIM card can only be used on specific networks. Contact your customer service center for the unlock code”. Other devices may very well show different messages like "Enter special code" or "Enter unlocking code," or in some circumstances the device may simply present a message stating it's locked. Once a valid code is keyed in, the mobile phone displays "Network unlocked” or “Network unlock successful”.


Device producers have commercial incentives both to enhance SIM lock protection (which placates network organisations and allows exclusivity offers) and to weaken it (widening a handset's appeal to customers who aren't interested in the service provider that offers it). Moreover, making it too tough to unlock a smartphone might make it significantly less appealing to network service providers that have a legal duty to offer unlock codes for some handsets or in selected countries.

Unlocking Services:

Several organizations offer a online smartphone unlocking service . Hopefully your are absolutely clear on what a IMEI number is and how you can easily get it from your cell phone, but why do you need this? The primary purposes of obtaining a IMEI number is to allow a smartphone to get unlocked so it can be used with an alternative network, doubtlessly saving you a lot of money by switching to a cheaper provider. When you have decided you want to unlock your phone, you've established that your cellphone isn't Blacklisted, and you want to use it on another network, then the safest site for The Only Real Way To Permanently Unlock Your Phone is Unlock.Zone - we highly recommend them!This service needs individuals whom want to unlock a mobile phone to give their IMEI number to a service supplier and in most cases they will also require the country and network the handset is locked to, either sent via email or submitted on their website. The supplier then will supply (at a cost to you) an unlock code for the device. For many brands such as Nokia and Samsung various services also offer special remote-unlocking software with instructions, where a cable is required to remove the SIM lock at home. Such companies may well email the unlocking code or software that should remotely unlock the unit. The price for unlocking a cell phone will fluctuate dependent upon the network it is locked to and the handset model itself, as each unlock code is unique to each individual handset.

Unlocking Service Providers:

Disappointingly there are many of scammers organizations working in the smart phone unlocking industry. As a consequence it is prudent to make sure you use a trustworthy provider for such a service. Take the necessary precautions and investigate any potential dealers before committing to place an order. In the case of on-line providers, ensure they provide their genuine business name and corresponding registration information (every authentic enterprise is required to be lawfully registered with the official governing bodies in their country of origin) and make certain they provide a legitimate certified address and contact details on their web-site. Furthermore make sure that any payments made are done so via legitimate methods such as a recognized bank or financial institution using a debt or credit card, but do not ever make payment via a direct transfer since this offers no fiancial security. To assist with your search for a reputable company, we have supplied a checklist below (and in no specific order) of a number of genuine organisations currently offering such services.

Reputable Mobile Phone IMEI Unlocking Service Providers: