What is a Network Lock

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SIM lock:

A simlock, NETWORK LOCK, carrier lock, imei-lock or (MASTER) SUBSIDY lock is really a technical constraint built into GSM and CDMA phones by manufacturers to be used by providers to restrict the use of these phones to specific locations and/or networks. This is as opposed to a phone (retrospectively called SIM-free or unlocked) that doesn't enforce any SIM constraints.

Many cell phones can be unlocked to operate with any GSM network provider, although the phone can still show the original branding and may not support popular features of the new service provider. Apart from the locking, cell phones may also have firmware that come with them which is specific to the mobile phone network provider. This firmware is installed through the service provider and is separate from the locking mechanism. Almost all handsets can be unbranded by re-flashing an alternative firmware version, a process suitable for advanced users only.

Unlocking Technology:

Typically, a locked mobile will display a message if a restricted SIM is used, asking for the unlock code. On modern phone models operating on Android os software, the phone will display a message stating “SIM network unlock PIN” or “Enter Network Lock Control Key” if it's network locked. Windows phones will display the message, “This SIM card can only be used on specific networks. Contact your customer service center for the unlock code”. Alternative handsets could display alternative messages for example , "Enter special code" or "Enter unlocking code," or in some cases the phone will simply show a message saying that it is locked. The minute a valid code is typed in, the handset will display "Network unlocked” or “Network unlock successful”.


Most of the time a SIM-locked mobile is offered for sale at a significantly reduced price than an unlocked one due to the fact the supplier anticipates income through its service. SIM locks are used on lower priced (pay-as-you-go) mobiles, despite the fact that discounts on higher priced handsets require a subscription that offers guaranteed income. Unlocked mobiles have a improved market value.

Unlocking Services:

A certain amount of businesses offer a unlocking service . This service needs all those that would like to unlock a mobile phone handset to provide their IMEI number to a unlocking company and frequently they will also request the country and cellular network the mobile is locked to, either sent via email or entered on their web site. The supplier will then supply (at a cost to you) a unlock code for the phone.

Unlocking Service Providers:

Regrettably there are a lot of scammers sites operating in the smart-phone network unlocking industry. Consequently it is prudent to be certain you use a genuine provider for such a service. Take the necessary precautions and investigate all prospective providers prior to choosing to place an order. In the case of on-line providers, ensure they document their formal business name and associated registration information (every genuine company has to be lawfully registered with the official authorities within their country of origin) and ensure they supply a genuine certified address and contact details on their web site. Furthermore make sure that any payments made are through legitimate methods for instance a recognised bank or financial institution using a debt or credit card, but do not ever make payment via a direct transfer as this provides no fiancial security. To assist with the search for a reputable supplier, we have provided an inventory below (and in no specific order) of several legitimate organisations currently offering such services.

Reputable Mobile Phone IMEI Unlocking Service Providers: