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  1.    #1  
    I see a lot of talk about phones being locked or unlocked. Could someone explain this or point to a thread that does? I've looked at some threads but they all assume prior knowledge.

    Thanks,
    dx
  2. #2  
    Originally posted by draxll
    I see a lot of talk about phones being locked or unlocked. Could someone explain this or point to a thread that does? I've looked at some threads but they all assume prior knowledge.

    Thanks,
    dx
    Unlocking a phone refers to GSM phones. All the information that identifies the user to the network on kept on a SIM card. If you want to switch carriers, you just get a SIM card from that carrier and you're all set up. However the phone is most likely locked that way you can't up and take your phone elsewhere. By unlocking it, you're free to activate it on another carrier's network. CDMA uses MSL numbers to reprogram phones. Kind of like unlocking, but not exactly.
  3. #3  
    Originally posted by draxll
    I see a lot of talk about phones being locked or unlocked. Could someone explain this or point to a thread that does?
    Basically, when you purchase a new mobile phone, the GSM operators often give you a discounted price.

    Of course, they don't want you to buy a new phone with their help, then see you run away to another operator, and they often "lock" the phone so that it can only accept a limited range of SIM cards.

    Typically, there's at least a "provider sim-lock", which means that a mobile phone purchased from an operator cannot be used with a SIM card originating from another operator.

    In some cases there are also more restrictive locks, which might prevent using a phone with a subcription plan if you initially bought it to use with a no-subscription, pay-per-use plan, or preventing use with a business account SIM card if you bought it in a "personal" account package.

    All in all, those sim-locks are software only, and can be unlocked. Some carriers will do this for a fee, other will make you pay only if the phone is recent (for instance, less than 6 months old) but will unlock it for free after the initial 6 months period.

    There are some softwares and hardwares which can help you unlock a phone, but this is always risky (it generally involves reflashing part of the ROM) and often unsuccessful and expensive (not only the cables and programs, but also reparing the phones messed up during failed unlocking attempts!), and the unlocking codes are phone-specific (you can't share a code with anyone else as each phone has a different ID number, the IMEI number) and difficult to compute at best...

    Hope this explains things a bit...
  4. #4  
    It is more or less explained in above post.

    You are probably from USA using CDMA all your life so do not know anything about it.

    One reason to lock the phone is that the GSM phone is heavily subsidised by the network so they want you to use their network only, at least to recoup the subsidsed cost.

    It is the same with many CDMA phones in subsidising. But it is a different way of "locking".
    http://pc-mobile.net

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