Unlocking a mobile phone allows the user to use that phone with another wireless service provider as long as the technology is compatible. As of 2015, most wireless service providers equip the phones they sell with locking software that keeps the phones tied to that particular service.
One way to unlock a phone involves contacting the service provider. Asking for the unlock codes or other software updates provides the capacity to free the phone. Alternatively, some providers ask the user to come into the store for unlocking, while others perform this function remotely. Other devices such as tablets also have the capacity to be unlocked, depending on the user's contract with the provider.