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The mobile phone serves as a lifeline to the rest of the world, and is a tool that not only saves time and money, but lives as well. There are many ways to get a phone and cell phone service. The easiest way would be to sign up with a carrier via a contract. In such cases, a carrier will provide the new subscriber a phone that he or she can use to make calls, send text messages, and use other services on the carrier’s network. However, not everyone wants (or is even qualified for) a contract. Some people may have bad credit and are not qualified to get a contract without a large deposit or a cosigner, or perhaps a particular phone model isn’t available on a certain network.
This doesn’t mean, however, that such people can’t get the phone they want. It’s easy enough to get an unlocked phone and get service for it. This guide will help people activate their unlocked phones on either of the two popular types of cellular phone networks. Unlocked phones can be purchased from some big box retail stores, electronics specialty stores, and even from the carrier or manufacturer. However, for those who prefer the convenience of shopping online, eBay is a great alternative to
these brick-and-mortar stores.
Definition of an Unlocked Phone
An unlocked phone is a mobile phone that is not tied to a particular network. Cell phone service carriers will often sell cheap phone to new subscribers to use on their network. Such phones are said to be locked and cannot be used on any other network. Carriers lock phones to prevent new subscribers from jumping to another carrier once they receive the new phone. While unlocking the phone isn’t illegal, carriers don’t encourage it either. Depending on the carrier and the terms of a contract, the carrier can unlock the phone for the subscriber at his or her request. There are also some third-party software applications that can be used to unlock a phone.
Mobile phones can also be sold unlocked out of the box. These can be bought from retail stores or straight from the manufacturer. However, these come at a premium price, as the buyer pays for the entire cost of the phone, instead of having a carrier finance the initial costs with a contract.
There are two main type of cellular phone technologies used by carriers today: GSM and CDMA. It’s best to examine how these two types of technologies work, to be able to understand how to get service for unlocked phones on these networks.