Q:

How do you legally unlock a cell phone?

A:

Quick Answer

You can legally unlock your cell phone by contacting your mobile wireless service provider. You receive an unlock code from for your device that allows you to unlock it.

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Full Answer

You can legally unlock your cell phone by obtaining an unlock code or other software updates from your mobile wireless service provider. Some mobile wireless service providers unlock cell phones in-store. Other service provides unlock devices remotely and automatically.

All nationwide service providers and some regional providers that have signed onto the CTIA Consumer Code for Wireless Service have made information about unlocking procedures available on their websites.

If you are an AT&T customer, you can unlock your cell phone as long as it is not reported lost or stolen. In addition, you cannot unlock your phone if it is associated with fraudulent activities. If you completed an early upgrade, AT&T requires you to wait 14 days before you can request to unlock your previous cell phone. To unlock your phone, you have to submit a request to AT&T.

Verizon 3G Prepaid Phone-in-the-Box phones are locked for 12 months after activation. After six months, you can dial (*611) from your cell phone to get the programming code to unlock your device. Verizon Wireless unlocks cell phones for customers in the military at their request.

Verizon locks non-iPhone3G World Devices and the SIM cards they use. Verizon unlocks the SIM card at your request.

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