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SIM lock:

A sim-lock, network lock, CARRIER LOCK, imei-lock or (MASTER) SUBSIDY lock is really a technical constraint built into CDMA and GSM smartphones by manufacturers to be used by carrier networks to limit the usage of these phones to specific countries and/or networks. This is as opposed to a cell phone (retrospectively called SIM-free or unlocked) that does not impose any SIM limitations.

Unlocking Technology:

A smartphone can be unlocked simply by entering a code provided by the network operator. Different mechanisms incorporate software operating on the handset or a computer attached to the phone, hardware devices that attach to the handset or over-the-air by the carrier. Generally the unlock process is permanent. The code needed to get rid of all locks from a cellphone is known as the master code, network code key, or multi-lock code. Generally if the phone is network locked it will typically show one of the following messages: SIM network PIN blocked, Enter lock PIN.


Handset suppliers have monetary incentives both to improve SIM lock protection (which placates network providers and will allow exclusivity deals) and weaken it (widening a mobile phone's appeal to users that typically are not interested in the provider that offers it). At the same time, making it too difficult to unlock a phone might possibly make it much less appealing to network service providers with a legal responsibility to provide unlock codes for certain devices or in selected countries.

Unlocking Services:

A number of organizations offer a network mobile phone unlocking service . This service needs individuals who want to unlock a handset to give their IMEI number to a unlocking company and quite often they will also request the country and network the mobile is locked to, either sent by email or submitted on their web site. The supplier then will supply (at a cost to you) an unlock code for the device.

Unlocking Service Providers:

Regrettably there are a great deal of dodgy service providers operating in the smartphone IMEI unlocking industry. Consequently it is advisable to make sure you find a reputable supplier for such a service. To assist with a search for a trustworthy service provider, we've provided an inventory below (and in no specific order) of a few legit organizations currently offering such services.

Reputable Mobile Phone IMEI Unlocking Service Providers: