To unlock a ZTE phone, enter the factory unlock code based on the phone’s international mobile equipment identity number. Sites such as Unlock Mob, UnlockItNow.com and Unlockninja allow you to look up the code for your device. Unlocking a phone allows you to change the subscriber identity module card and switch network service providers.
To look up the unlock code for your phone, enter the model of your phone, the current network provider and the phone’s international mobile equipment identity number on one of these websites. To locate this number, press *#06# on your phone. Unlock code providers email the unlock code for your phone along with instructions for using it.
To use your unlock code, insert the subscriber identity module card for the provider you wish to use, and turn the phone on. At the prompt, enter your unlock code.
You must obtain permission from your service provider to legally unlock a cellphone. Some providers agree to allow you to unlock your phone once you have satisfied the terms of your service contract. Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the government can fine users who do not obtain permission $2,500 and individuals who profit from unlocking handsets up to $500,000. You can still legally purchase a new unlocked ZTE phone.