How you can Unlock Cell Phones via IMEI

By Florencio Tibbits

Anytime you purchase a cellphone through a cellular provider, it will be locked to that network's service. If the company offers you a free or reduced price cellphone, you ordinarily have to consent to a 1- or 2-year plan as well. You can avoid this contract and freely switch between networks, and also travel overseas and roam on other networks, simply by unlocking your mobile phone using the IMEI number. Permanently unlock your handset by following the three simple steps below.

Step 1

Find the 15-digit IMEI number. This is generally written on the cellphone underneath the battery. You can also sometimes find it in your smartphone's setting page or by keying in a unique code to get your smartphone to show the IMEI number on the screen. Most of the time, this code is *#06#

Step 2

Once you have located the IMEI number of your smartphone, get hold of your current network carrier and ask if they can provide you with an unlock code. Dependent on your circumstances, they could very well grant your request. Unfortunately, many providers are going to have thier own conditions that need to be fulfilled before they are willing to supply you with an unlock code, and many could refuse. Generally, if you have finished your service contract, your smartphone provider may well provide you instructions on how to permanently unlock your phone, but typically they will insist you're the original owner of the handset (the contract on thier system is in your name). In the event that you're not, for example, you purchased the mobile phone second-hand, you will have to find an alternative unlocking process to factory unlock your phone.

Step 3

When you are not the orginal owner of the cell phone, you are going to need to buy an unlock service from a third party service provider. Luckily there are a lot of on line suppliers selling services by merely giving them your cellphone's IMEI number, it's model and make and the network its locked to. The cost of the service and the time it will take to unlock your cellphone depends upon these factors, and can vary quite significantly for more obscure mobile phones or networks. Using a third party unlocking service is often the fastest and the most straightforward method to permanently unlock your smartphone, as it will be conducted remotely without your cell phone ever needing to leave your pocession. Once your mobile phone has been sucessfully unlocked it can then be used with any carrier and in any country you want.