When cell phone users change between compatible wireless service providers, they have the option of "unlocking" their phones to use on their new service provider's network, giving consumers greater freedom and flexibility while increasing incentives for service providers to innovate. Here are several FAQs to help you better understand cell phone unlocking and how it relates to you.
- What is mobile phone and device locking?
- Which service providers implemented the standards on unlocking mobile devices?
- Why do providers lock mobile wireless devices?
- Is my cell phone currently locked?
- How can I unlock my mobile phone?
- Are mobile devices besides phones locked, too?
- Will my provider unlock my phone?
- Will my postpaid phone be unlocked on request?
- When is my device eligible for unlocking?
- Will my prepaid phone be unlocked on request?
- Will my phone automatically be unlocked when my service contract has been fulfilled?
- Will I be charged fees to unlock my device?
- Are there military exceptions to allow devices to be unlocked early for deployments?
- Can my mobile service provider refuse to unlock my phone because I owe them money or am currently under contract?
- Will my unlocked mobile device work on all networks?
- Will unlocking my device enable it to work on international networks?
Cell Phone Unlocking FAQs (pdf)
Date Last Updated/Reviewed:
Tuesday, December 31, 2019