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Unlocked VS Locked Cell phones?

by melissalynn87 / March 28, 2007 12:04 PM PDT

Can anyone tell me the difference between a cell phone that is locked and one that is unlocked?

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A little bit of search would go a long way!
by neocon / March 28, 2007 12:42 PM PDT

This has been discussed to death on these boards.

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by melissalynn87 / March 28, 2007 1:09 PM PDT

I had gone through quite a few threads on the locked and unlocked phones and none of them really answered my question. There were a lot about unlocking locked phones and a few about them itself but were pretty vague. I was trying to save myself from going through almost 5000 threads! Thanks for the help

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unlocked phones
by myth90045 / March 29, 2007 2:47 AM PDT
In reply to: Research

Basically an unlocked phone is not tied down to one carrier or another. Also it only applies to phones that require SIM Cards, i.e. tmo, cingular/at&t. By getting an unlocked phone, you can use that phone with any GSM carrier in the US or abroad. All you have to do is place the sim card in the phone. Also, the resale value of the unlocked phone is greater than that of a locked, carrier specific phone. Hope that helps.

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by melissalynn87 / March 29, 2007 7:46 AM PDT
In reply to: unlocked phones

Yes that actually told me what I needed to know! Thanks for the help it is much appreciated!

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unlocked phones
by jonesdi / April 15, 2007 9:31 AM PDT
In reply to: unlocked phones

I just wanted to say that the info that I recieved from you was exactly what I needed. Thank You.

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Thank you!
by catnbirdlady / January 6, 2009 11:52 AM PST
In reply to: unlocked phones

Inquiring minds want to know... Thanks for the answer--just what I needed to know!

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Thank you
by NicoleB111 / December 30, 2011 2:00 PM PST
In reply to: unlocked phones

Thank you for being specific & to the point. I just wanted to purchase a NEW replacement phone on Ebay (the exact same phone that I have), which is now broken and the phone for sale stated that it was locked. It is a Verizon phone & I am a Verizon customer, so I should have no problem with them unlocking it. THANK YOU!

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Not with Verizon
by birdmantd Forum moderator / December 31, 2011 1:16 AM PST
In reply to: Thank you

Verizon does not use unlocked devices in the US. That is reserved for providers such as At&t or T-mobile. If you need to discuss this further, please start a new thread. Due to the age of this thread, it is now closed.

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unlocked rawks!!!
by jveltre1300 / March 29, 2007 7:55 AM PDT

a locked phone is full of bare bones carrier modifications. all phones come with wide varieties of features and the carriers love to knock out a few and sell the phone for free. when the razr was first released the original carrier disabled the video camera. it was a rip off considering the phone was about $200 with a contract and retails for not much more unlocked. I have a pantech candy bar phone that is advertised for being slim sexy and have an am/fm radio in europe and asia. but cingular got rid of that for the cingular mall portal. let's say you love the krazr which is of course here locked on verizon sprint and cingular but you are in love with it have to have it and refuse to leave tmobile because you travel to europe every summer. by purchasing the unlocked version the phone is sure to work. if you do not want to buy online and go to cingular and buy retail price and use tmobile, as long as you have a tmobile account or someone in your family they will unlock the phone no matter the carrier for free. Just remember unlocked works for gsm carriers and in some occasions when you are lucky a nextel iDEN sim will work but if you have cdma, sprint verizon alltel metropcs us cellular cricket virgin mobile USA amp'd and helio, you are SOL.

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by Kellye62 / March 30, 2007 12:15 AM PDT
In reply to: unlocked rawks!!!

You mention that if you buy a phone from a carrier that you don't have and then take it to your carrier, they will unlock it. Do they "relock" it to themselves or does it stay unlocked at that point? I'm planning some international travel and would like to take an unlocked phone with me so I'm wondering about the logistics of this process. Thanks.

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by myth90045 / March 30, 2007 1:42 AM PDT
In reply to: unlocked

hi kelly,

I know you werent asking me, but I am not sure if a carrier would unlock the phone for you so that you can use it w/ another carrier. if you do need an unlocked phone, your best bet would be to go to a site that carries unlocked phones and purchase it from them. it maybe a little bit expensive but well worth the effort especially if you are going to travel out of the country. just google unlocked phones. hope this helps.

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Lock & Relock
by Remag1234 / March 30, 2007 9:43 AM PDT
In reply to: unlocked

Once you get the unlock code from your carrier or have someone unlock it for you [usually for a fee], the phone will be unlocked forever. Just call or email your carrier and ask them for the unlock code because you will be traveling to Europe or Asia. They will then email you the unlock. I've done this times with TMobile.

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by Corkie2 / March 30, 2007 11:19 AM PDT
In reply to: unlocked

Just to let you know as a European we use different formats over here. You need a minimum of a triband phone to work over here. The UK uses one, Europe another and you in the States another. Most of the latest phones tend to be triband or quadband, but check your phone works over here first, before you go to the trouble of unlocking it. Most networks will rent you a compatible phone for international travel. Hope this helps

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cingular locked up
by ameliastep / March 30, 2007 1:05 PM PDT
In reply to: unlocked

I just wanted to pitch in that I have two old phones "retired" from Cingular service as I have gotten upgrades every two years or so. When I found that my old phones would work just right in the Bahamas where I was staying for long periods , Cingular absolutely REFUSED to unlock them. I showed I was still a loyal customer, and showed them my current phone and promised that I was NOT leaving their network, that I just wanted to put the old phones to good use on the islands, and they flat out would NOT unlock them so that I could insert new cards to work in the Bahamas. Those phones are still sitting in a drawer, I mean to donate them soon or ...maybe try a fresh plea to have them unlocked.

I also spent a bunch of time on the line with customer service, and they did just about agree to unlock my curernt phone while I was away for say, two weeks, and then they would lock it back it up after my trip. But I decided that would be too much trouble having to go visit the phone service store all those times.

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get an unlocked phone on ebay
by caljac51 / March 30, 2007 2:20 PM PDT
In reply to: cingular locked up

get a used older unlocked triband non-CDMA phone (like a motorola v180) on ebay for a total of $30 or so (cost and shipping) and buy a prepaid card in the country you are visiting. Tell Cingular to @%#$&*. Then use it as a "charger" phone or back up phone when you return (or sell it back on Ebay). Or just use it on your next overseas trip

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When I go to Australia
by dlarson4245 / April 1, 2007 2:28 PM PDT

I take my Cingular Motorola SLVR L7 with me. When I get to Sydney airport, I go to the Vodaphone kiosk and ask them for a prepaid SIM. They sell the SIM to me, register the phone, and I'm good to go. I've done this twice. I stay around a month there and make many long distance calls back to the States. My bills were $250 and $150. It may sound steep, but when you realize what money you are saving just by having the phone, avoiding so many screwups, etc., it is not expensive at all. The cards are time coded so they run out eventually even if you do not use up all the minutes you paid for. But man, I like that whole idea and next time I go, I'll do the same thing. It is very cool to have my own phone and use it exactly like always. As long as you your most important numbers are saved to the phone, not just your SIM, you should have no problems.

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saving to phone vs saving to sim??
by shelby61 / April 6, 2007 1:04 AM PDT
In reply to: When I go to Australia

Is there a way to tell whether your data (phone #, songs) is saved to the sim or the phone? How can I make sure I get data saved to the phone and not just the SIM?

I have a Nokia 5300 and am planing on calling T Mobile for the unlock code so I can use my phone in Europe later this summer. Thanks...

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Cingular Sux & I'm being gentle
by Remag1234 / April 2, 2007 6:05 AM PDT
In reply to: cingular locked up

Google unlock cellphones. There are services NEAR you that you can call and they will unlock your phone for a fee [about $25]. When your contract is up, go to PrePaid with TMobile. They are the CHEAPEST [10 cents a minute]. Almost everyone falls for the Cingular ******** "NO dropped calls". Well if you're talking to someone who uses another carrier or either of you hits a dead zone..THE CALL DROPS, Cingular or no Cingular. So what a call drop---what's so important that you can't redial and continue the call. People complain about dropped calls but don't give a second thought to the @#$%#$&ing Call Waiting that beeps and beeps or the person says "hold on I have another call". When that happens to me, I hang up and they can call me back or go screw themselves. I have Call Waiting disabled both at home and cell. For those who need to call home when out of the country, get yourself VOIP, bring the device and plug it into your internet connection [if you have one]. You then get calls and make calls using your home number at no extra charge. Another plus it you don't have to tell people where you are, they'll think you're home.

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by jveltre1300 / March 31, 2007 9:52 AM PDT

After this past december it is confirmed that phone unlocking is legal in the US according to a friend of mine. I guess that is why t-mobile unlocked a sony ericsson T86i for me that does work with my cingular sim although reception is not very good and i found that the prominant frequency for t-mobile is 900/1800 band and the phone is triband and lacks the 850 band that cingular is pretty much married to. if you unlock t-mobile for cingular make sure that it carries the 850 band for best reception or be easy and go all out for quad band, then you are sure to have the ability to have the right equipment for any sim card. if only the rest of americans would just use gsm and we would adapt the same frequency as the rest of the world, then maybe we would not have to go through the constant hassle when going out of the country and the mobile community would be happier. CDMA and iDEN suck!!! I have family in italy and when they travel here they never have frequency or sim issues and they don't have to try to find unlocked because you really can only find unlocked over there.

Process of unlocking:
1. call provider you have an account with.
2. get transferred to technical support.
3. they will fill out an unlock form for you.
4. in 24 hrs u should receive unlocking instructions.
5. before the initial process make sure all security features on the phone are off! sometimes after the unlock of the network the phone needs you to enter the security password of the phone.

when i unlocked the sony phone it was stuck on a phone lock screen and i had to type the default security password 0000 and the phone acted like it should

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Unlocking phones have never been "illegal"
by neocon / April 1, 2007 9:38 AM PDT
In reply to: RECAP

I don't know where you/your friend got the information from. I had T Mobile unlock a phone for me 4 years ago.

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T-Mobile shines when it comes to service:
by jagworld / April 3, 2007 12:07 AM PDT

When I call T-Mobile, they will gladly un-lock any phone that I bought from them after the first 90 days ---- Cingular has yet to un-lock any of the phones I've bought from them after trying forever.

Also, all Cell phones company's must use the same towers as I've failed to find any differences in signal quality.

I have both t-Mobile and Cingular accounts for yrs and after my experiences with both of there services and on a scale of 10, I'd have to say T-Mobile stands at a 9.5 and Cingular at a 5

Needless to say, I'm going to drop Cingular in 2 months.

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Cingular Sux
by Remag1234 / April 3, 2007 1:16 AM PDT

You're right that Cingular is no better than T-Mobile or anyone else. Verizon does have the best coverage but their prices are higher. I use T-Mobile which is cheaper than the rest and the service is as good or better.

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Service depends on where you are at
by myth90045 / April 3, 2007 1:31 AM PDT

I have used all these carriers because I am just that way. friends would get mad at me because I would switch services as I do my clothes. They would get really mad especially before we were allowed to port numbers back and forth. My friends would have 4-5 different cell phone numbers for me because I would switch so often.
anyway sorry for the side note, Service depends really on where you are at IMO. sure, tmo/cing have the same service in big cities and out in the open road. But when it comes down to inside buildings or in elevators the 850 band seems to kick in more and offer more bars than just the 1900. Granted tmo is now trying to use the 850 band, but as of late the phones tmo offer only use the 1900 bands. So my whole runon sentence just means that carries who use the 850band tend to have greater service indoors than the 1900band. But what do I know, I just switched back to verizon!! haha : )

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T-mobile and unlocking phones
by Kellye62 / April 3, 2007 2:08 AM PDT

This is great news! I have had service with T-Mobile for years and would prefer to keep it and upgrade my phone cheaply with them, but get it unlocked for trips overseas. I will be checking with them ASAP since I have only about 120 days until my trip...need to buy it early enough to get past that 90 day thing. Thanks.

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The 90 day thing is just for new user's !!
by jagworld / April 3, 2007 4:34 AM PDT

Hi Kelly:
As long as you've had the service for longer than 90 days, the phone from them can be new ----- they will help you to unlock it.

TM has un-locked 4 phones for me so far, Cing = none.


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