As of 2015, it is legal to unlock mobile phones in the United States, including phones manufactured by Samsung. However, carrier networks are not obligated to provide unlocking services if a consumer's 2-year contract is not fulfilled, states TechHive.
The option to unlock phones in the U.S. was made possible when the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act was signed into legislation by President Barack Obama in August, 2014. Additionally, under the guidelines implemented by the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association in February, 2015, major American wireless providers are mandated to disclose their respective rules and regulations regarding the unlocking process of their prepaid or postpaid devices, notes ExtremeTech.
Unlocking a Samsung phone enables users to switch between compatible carrier networks. For example, an unlocked Samsung Galaxy smartphone purchased from AT&T can only be moved to T-Mobile, which also uses the Global System for Mobile (GSM) wireless technology standard.