Phone Unlocking 101: Everything about phone Unlocking

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Unlock Buddy’s mission is to show everyone the advantages of phone unlocking and how mobile freedom is accessible to anyone. We aim to provide accurate information that is easy to understand for experts as well as novice cellphone users.

Through this short article, we hope to teach you the basic ins and outs of phone unlocking. We’ll explain what phone unlocking means, why carriers lock your phone and show you the benefits of having an unlocked device.

Why should you trust us?

Unlock Buddy has been a supplier for Canadian unlock services for multiple years. Our team is composed of mobile experts having decades of cumulative experience in cellphones and mobile related services. We continually test our services to make sure that they are reliable and always look to improve our skills and knowledge to ensure that we provide accurate information. Take a look at our awesome team here!

What is phone unlocking?

The majority of cellphones sold in North America are locked to the carrier which sells the phone. Locked phones, can only be used with their original carrier, which means that if you try to insert a SIM card from a different carrier, your phone will demand that you enter an unlock code (or get it unlocked in Apple’s database if you have an iPhone) before you can use the new network.

Canadian citizens have the right to get their phone unlocked through their carrier for $50 plus taxes if they meet the requirements. These requirements are strict and generally entail having a phone on contract that is older than 90 days or that has not been subsidized by the carrier. If you’d like to see the full requirements, to look at the CRTC wireless code here. If your phone bill is overdue or if your phone has been reported as lost or stolen, you will not be eligible to unlock your phone. Your best bet is to unlock your phone through unlocking experts like Unlock Buddy where restrictions are much more lenient and prices are generally cheaper.

Is phone unlocking illegal?

It is perfectly legal. The CRTC wireless code requires carriers to provide the customers a method to unlock their phones. This method is costly and requires strict conditions to be met. Unlock Buddy’s unlocking services usually cost less and are much more permissive.

Is unlocking permanent?

Yes. Because we use the same method carriers do, once we unlock your phone, it is unlocked forever.

Why does your carrier lock your phone?

Carriers have the legal obligation to unlock your phone if you pay for the unlocking and meet specific criteria. However, does your carrier really want to unlock your phone? Probably not.  Your carrier locks your phone because they want you to keep you as a customer. The price for unlocking your phone is used to discourage you from subscribing with their competitors. Your carrier also locks your phone because they subsidize it. While your phone is subsidized, you are only allowed to subscribe to specific plans the most expensive ones. Only when your phone’s balance is totally paid off do you have access to cheaper Bring Your Own Device plans. Carriers want you to pay more for your monthly plan because they make profit.

Speaking of profit, carriers also want you to use their roaming plans abroad. When travelling, your carrier always has roaming add-ons geared towards the country you are visiting. But, did you know that unlocking your phone and buying a local prepaid plan is much cheaper? Local prepaid plans generally include more call time, text messages and mobile data than roaming add-ons from your home carrier.

What benefits can I get from unlocking my phone?

1. Cheaper plans

Unlocking your phone allows you to subscribe to exclusive discounted plans: Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) plans. These plans are generally $10-20 cheaper per month and will include exactly the same calls, text and data as their more expensive counterparts.  

2. Change Carrier whenever you want, no strings attached

Unlocking your phone will also permit you to get a plan from any carrier; Meaning that if you find a plan with a different carrier that matches your needs and budget you’ll be able to take it without any hesitation. If your carrier offers a promotional plan, you’ll be able to switch your plan without a hassle. BYOD plans do not have a fixed 2-year term. They are monthly plans which can be ended any time without penalty from the carrier.

3. Boost the value of your phone

If you’re the type to sell your old phone to upgrade to a new one unlocking your phone will also increase its value. Not only will you be able to sell it for more money, but in our experience, you’ll sell it much faster than a locked phone. Because your phone will work with any carrier, anyone can be a potential buyer for your phone. Even if you’re not thinking of subscribing to a BYOD plan, odds are you’ll think about changing your phone in the near future. So, why not make more profit from your old phone if you can?

4. Stay connected with cheap local prepaid plans when you travel

As mentioned above, using your phone when you travel abroad can be quite costly when using your home carrier in a foreign country. It’s much cheaper to buy a prepaid plan once you get to your destination. For less than half of the price, you’ll get access to calls, texting and lots of mobile data.

If you’re a traveler or know someone who likes to travel, read this neat article about why you should always get a local prepaid plan when you travel abroad. Read the article here.

How is it done and how much it cost?

Unlocking through Unlock Buddy is done remotely. You simply need to enter your phone’s IMEI, model and carrier which the phone is locked to. The IMEI of your phone is a unique number used to identify your phone. If you’re slightly curious, the IMEI of your phone can be found by dialling *#06# on your phone. After your payment has been processed, simply wait for your code. The processing time may vary according to your phone and carrier. When ready, the code will be delivered to you by email with detailed instructions to fully complete the unlocking process.

The cost for unlocking your phone may range from $10 to $90 depending on the phone’s make, model and original carrier. If you own an Android phone, the cost to unlock your phone will be on the lower end of this spectrum while the cost for unlocking iPhone’s tends to be on the higher end.

If you have any questions related to unlocking, you can message through the Unlock Buddy Facebook page, we’re always glad to help out. We’re available to share our knowledge and promise to provide you with honest and accurate information. If you’re thinking about unlocking your phone, know that we offer fast and budget friendly services and always honor our money back guarantee policy if we can’t unlock your phone.

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About the Author:

Vanessa is a big travel enthusiast and is always planning her next adventure. All while travelling, she manages everything to do with customer experience, our wonderful team and our social media. She writes most of our blog posts and shoots the majority of the inspirational pictures featured on our Instagram page @unlockbuddy.

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