If you have used a smartphone with a mobile service provider, you have inevitably encountered a situation where the phone itself is actually locked to one specific carrier. You would not be alone in wondering how this is possible. It seems that many cell phones are offered to mobile providers at a steep discount, which is how they are able to offer it to the consumer for cheaper than retail. In the end, however, they are permitted to lock the device so that it only works on their system. In many cases, there is no other possibility, but now there is.
Take Your Phone Wherever You Want to Go
Designed with the consumer in mind, unlocked mobile phones truly become your phone. You are no longer tied to a contract, and you can use it with whichever carrier you like. We commonly associate unlocked phones with smartphones, but any type of mobile device can come either locked or unlocked. An unlocked version is much more convenient, particularly for the international traveller. It enables users to quickly and effortlessly switch out SIM cards, for example, as they cross national borders in order to avoid costly roaming charges. Domestically, unlocked devices allow you to switch service providers if you become unhappy with your current one, or if you find a better package out there that suits your needs. Many argue, as well, that this creates more competition in the industry and forces the mobile provider to be more responsive to the consumer.
How Does an Unlocked Cell Phone Work?
An unlocked phone is not tied to any specific mobile phone carrier, so you are free to choose whatever carrier you wish to use. The only requirement is that they will work only on a system that is GSM capable and utilises a SIM card to connect service through. You can purchase an unlocked device without any type of service plan or contract. For consumers that just despise being locked into a plan, this is definitely the way to go. Just keeping the mobile phone itself is quite a bit more expensive, but this cost is often offset by the flexibility one has in not being pigeon-holed into a phone contract that they do not really want. In addition, as mentioned, international travellers can often make up this cost difference in only a few trips just by saving on roaming fees.
When you purchase an unlocked mobile phone, you will then purchase your own SIM card separately. You can get this straight from a mobile phone carrier, or you can go through one of the many prepaid phone services that are popping up these days. Also, keep in mind that if you purchase a phone that is Internet capable, you can often use Wi-Fi Internet technology without needing to be connected to a data, voice, or texting plan. This is another cost saving factor as well. Consider purchasing your own unlocked device today and gain back the flexibility you have been looking for.