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Locked versus Unlocked cell phone

Discussion in 'Northeastern US Wireless Forum' started by bostonnole, Sep 23, 2002.

  1. bostonnole

    bostonnole New Member

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    What does it mean when someone says they are selling an "unlocked" cell phone? What is the difference between a locked versus unlocked phone?
     
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  2. aiwapro

    aiwapro Silver Senior Member
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    The terms locked/unlocked is frequently used to refer to phones/wireless providers on a GSM network. A locked phone is when that certain phone is locked to a certain wireless provider. This means you cannot use your SIM Card from one wireless provider with that phone, if the phone is locked to a wireless provider other than the company that your SIM Card came from.
     
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  3. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    TDMA and CDMA phones can be locked as well so they can only be used on the provider they were bought for. Although these don't use SIM cards.
     
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  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    can you switch an AT&T GSM Sim card between two different AT&T "Locked" GSM phones?
     
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  5. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    Yes you can, because it is the same provider.
     
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  6. anthlover

    anthlover New Member

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    when ones contract is up can not one use a a previously locked phone with a different carrier??
     
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  7. pfp

    pfp Senior Member
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    Can't quite follow the grammar, but the answer to your question is no. That's why you want to buy phones that are unlocked. There are tricks to getting unlock codes, such as saying you're moving out of the country and such, but it's just easier to have an unlocked phone.

    P
     
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  8. Greenthumb

    Greenthumb New Member

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    My question is similar. Does anyone know if an AT&T Nokia 8260 phone can be reprogrammed (unlocked?) to work for a user other than the person who set up the account. In other words, take the phone back to virgin so it can work on any network? I know nothing about these things but for more about why I want to attempt this, see below:


    Ok, here is what happened. As I walked out of my house this morning to help my daughter with her paper route, I see a baseball cap lying on the ground next to our storage shed. Even though it was still dark outside, I discover the shed has been broken into and some articles stolen. The only thing the thief left behind was the hat, his cell phone with a broken faceplate and two nasty piles of vomit where the (drunken?) thief threw up. The wooden fence around our property was broken. We live in a small college town. Undoudtedly, some partying fool decided he needed what we had.
    Now, I am wondering if I can't make this rather nice cell phone work for us as payment for what we lost. Why don't just call the police? ,..This is not the first time we have had a problem. The last time I took a day off and went to court to testify against the morons who were dumb enough to let me catch a glimpse of their license plate. I went to the district justice as a witness for the cops. The DJ gave them probation and did NOT require reimbursement for the damage they caused because I hadn't taken pictures of it. I'm not going through that again.
    So, my question to any Nokia/ slash cellphone gurus is can I use this phone or should I pitch it?
    [email protected]
     
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  9. Apoc

    Apoc Senior Member
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    Stop the phone from locking you out!!
     
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  10. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    The only thing that AT&T locks is access to a hidden menu called "SOC number" The SOC on an AT&T phone is 2049 and it will force the phone to operate on AT&T towers only. With a special code you can open this menu so you can change the number. That's what they mean by "unlocking."
     
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