Unlocking Your Mobile Phone

By: Samantha Hasson

Are you one of the millions of folks across the country that has gotten incredibly attached to their cell phone? The phone is comfortable both in your hand and on your ear; you've gotten accustomed to all of the functions; even if blindfolded, you could still dial anyone you ever needed to. Plus, you've spent a small fortune on faceplates and other accessories and doodads, all for this one phone. Everything would be great except for the fact that you have less than favorable views regarding your wireless service provider. In order to switch cell phone service, you'll need to get a new phone.

Gone are the days when you'd have to put up with inadequate service just to keep your phone. Mobile phone unlocking is the latest craze sweeping the nation, enabling you to keep your phone and hook it up to any service you'd like. This service simply "unlocks" your current service's hold on your phone.

It works like this: Every mobile phone has a serial number to identify it, known as the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) by the cell phone industry. This number connects a mobile phone to a server, as well a phone to a subscriber- so it's connecting you, the subscriber to a phone and service at the same time. Many mobile phones have a removable card called a SIM (Subscriber Information Module) that connects the phone to owner, too. When you buy a cell phone and sign the contract, the server puts a lock on the SIM so the phone will only work with them and no other service.

All that, and you paid for the phone.

Of course, there is a fee for unlocking your phone, so it's important that you figure out if it's worth it to get our mobile phone unlocked, or if you should just buy a new phone. To help you with your quest, here are 3 questions to ask yourself:

1. How much did you pay for your phone and how much is your mobile phone worth?
If you paid a lot for your mobile phone, you might not be ready to give it up just yet. If your phone was one of the free, bottom of the barrel models and you don't care for it, a new phone purchase might just be in your future.

2. Have you had any problems with your mobile phone? Maybe you've had battery issues ever since the phone trial period ended. Maybe you don't like your current phone, but the fit within the nightstand drawer is your all-time favorite. If you like your phone, mobile phone unlocking is the only way to keep and reuse it.

3. What are your future plans for your phone after your contract expires, if any? Remember, having your mobile phone unlocked does not get you out of any contract between you and a cell service. See your signed contract for details.

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