What is an Unlocked Cell Phone? -
If a phone is unlocked, generally it means it can be used with different carriers. Only GSM phones or phones that use sim cards can actually be unlocked. If the phone states "Unlocked" in the title and / or description you can just take out your sim card from your existing GSM phone and place it into another unlocked GSM phone. If the description says unlocked, you can use it on any GSM network worldwide (dependent on frequency). Only GSM phones can be unlocked so please look for the word GSM in the description. Also, you must make sure that the frequencies supported by the unlocked phone are compatible with your current wireless provider. You may just want to do a quick google search to see what frequency a specific phone / carrier operates on to assure you will have the clearest reception with your phone in the area you plan on using it.
Can my Verizon / Alltel / Sprint / Nextel phone be unlocked?No, sorry... All the carriers mentioned above operate on CDMA networks and therefore can not be unlocked. Keep in mind that only GSM phones can be unlocked. Some CDMA phones are now dual compatible with GSM Sim cards in order to be used internationally, but for the most part CDMA phones can not be unlocked.
Can my AT&T / Cingular / T-Mobile / Rogers phone be unlocked?Yes! Well for the most part. Most GSM phones can be unlocked. All the carriers mentioned above operate on GSM ntworks. All these wireless providers, provide you with a sim card upon activation. If you have an AT&T phone and you want to use your current service plan with another AT&T phone, all you have to do is take out your sim card and place it in the other AT&T phone and you can use the phone without calling anyone to activate it. Your phone number and personal information are stored on the sim card and you can use it from one unlocked phone to the next. If your phone uses a GSM Sim Card, it can be unlocked. Locking a phone is a carriers way to prevent its customers from switching over to phones with other carriers. Once a certain carrier has you, they do not want to let you go easily. Carriers also have deals with large cell phone manufacturers to make certain phone exclusive to them and they pay big $$$ to try and prevent people from easily being able to use their phones on other networks.