unlocked cell phones

What are Unlocked Phones

What are Unlocked Phones? Unlocked means cell phone without carrier restrictions!

Unlocked phones, or Unlocked GSM cell phones are cell phones that are not locked to any carrier or service provider. They work with any GSM SIM card any where in the world. A few reasons you may want to buy an Unlocked cell phone. 1) You carrier doesn't have a powerful phone you want. 2) You like your plan but don't want to extending your contract. 3) You are traveling over sea's and want to use a local sim card when you get there to save yourself from international roaming charges. Unlocked phones give you the power and freedom to choose the terms of your cell phone service.

What are the types of Unlocked cell phone?


Unlocked Phones come in two types:

1:Unlocked Phones From (OEM's) Or Original Equipment Manufacturer:

Phones Unlocked From (OEM ) are Unlocked phones that comes directly from the manufacturer. OEM Unlocked cell phones have never been assigned to any carrier or service provider (i.e. AT&T or T-Mobile). Unlocked Cell Phones from OEM's come in the manufacturer's original packaging (i.e. The Box will be labeled Nokia, Motorola, Sony or any other manufacturer). These Unlocked cell phones don't have any service provider or carrier logos or customization (Internet / MMS settings). Unlocked Phones from OEM can be configured for Internet / MMS settings with any service provider / carrier. These Unlocked Phones have warranties from the country in which they were manufactured. They also usually contain packaging material i.e. manuals, cd and other content in the language of that country. Major OEM unlocked cell phone manufacturer's are Blackberry, Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, LG, HTC, I-mate, Alcatel and Pantech.


2: Unlocked Phones From Carriers or Operators:

Phones Unlocked from Carriers are cell phone that were originally locked to a specific service provider i.e AT&T Mobility, T Mobile or any other GSM Carrier Then were unlocked using a code or software. These unlocked phones usually have a carrier / operator customization in the menus and carrier logos on the welcome screen when you turn the phone on as well as on the cell phone itself. They usually can't be configured for Internet / MMS settings with any other carriers / service provider (i.e if you buy a AT&T Unlocked cell phone most of the time you won't be able to set up t-mobile internet & mms setting on it).  Carrier / Operator unlocked phones carry local warranty of the country in which the carrier with whom they was originally locked operates. If unlocked without the permission of the carrier the warranty usually becomes void. Again the cd's, manual and other material with these cell phone will usually be in the language of that country.

NO CONTRACTS or PLANS the Benefits of Unlocked Phones

NO CONTRACTS / No SERVICE PLANS the Benefits of Unlocked Phones:
The Benefit of having a unlocked cell phone is not having to deal with contracts and Freedom from carrier control. No Contracts and No Service Plans. Pre Pay is the best way to save money for most people. Specially If you don't use your cell phone often. Also if you have an unlocked cell phone you can take it with you on vacation get a local sim card and don't have to worry about a huge bill.

Now all that's left to do is find and purchase an unlocked phone that's right for your needs. After you buy the unlocked phone of your dreams just get a prepaid sim card from any carrier like at&t or t-mobile or any other carrier that uses gsm sim card technology. Put the sim card in your phone and you are all set.

The world is GSM, GSM is the world:

Gsm Sim card technology is the most widely used cell phone technology around the word today. In the United States unlocked cell phones can be used with AT&T / Cingular, T-Mobile and other GSM Carriers / Providers

Unlocked Cell Phone - University

Important posts about unlocked cell phones and unlocked cell phone technology.

1.What are Unlocked Phones?
2. How to buy a cell phone without a contract?
3. What are GSM Frequency Bands?
4. What is a sim card?
5. What Gsm Frequencies are used in the United States?
6. List of GSM & 3G frequency banded used from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe
7.What is 3G?

Buying Cell Phones Without Contracts or No Plans

No contract phones - No service plan cell phones

How to buy a cell phone With No plan / Contract or a unlocked cell phone. You may be tired of your current carrier supplied cell phone or maybe you've dropped it on to many times and now your cell phone works when it feels like it. After dropping my AT&T / Cingular LG Cell Phone one two many times the buttons didn't work on it any more that's why i need a new phone not to mention that My LG looked like a 1990's model. To make a long story short i purchased a Nokia N80 more than a year ago and it works great. Back to you for whatever reason you are in need / want of a cell phone without the attached pain of a multi-year contract / plan.

The main issue you may have is price no contract cell phones can get expensive specially the higher end models plus if you purchase them from you local wireless store or carrier. The reason for this is carriers like AT&T and T-mobile and others subsidize the cost of the cell phone they sell to you. Over the contract period they make back whatever they've spent on the cell phone plus a profit. If you really don't want to pay up front for a cell phone you should check with your cell phone carrier if you are covered under a warranty to get a new cell phone. Most carriers have rebates on new or refurbished cell phones. They offer discounts and even free cell phones specially if you are eligible for a upgrade. But they may extend you contract for another few years. So ask questions before you purchase for a carrier or a carrier affiliated wireless store.

Okay so you have your heart set on a new no contract cell phone. Here is how to get one.

cell phones without contract

You can you can go to your local wireless store and ask to purchase a cell phone without the contract. Or go directly to a carriers website i.e. AT&T or T-mobiles sites and purchase a cell phone without the plan. If you purchase from the carriers website you may get the phone for a little cheaper than the wireless store but its still more expensive than buy the phone with a contract. The phone that you purchase from the wireless store or carrier will be locked to that carrier so you can't use it with any other carriers unless you have it unlocked and it has the right frequency bands.

Understanding Unlocked Cell Phones

first step you have to figure out what gsm frequency band your carrier uses. You can call up your carrier and ask them. This will help you purchase the right unlocked cell phone. You can find some more information on How Unlocked Cell Phones Work Here. In The united States AT&T currently uses 850mhz and T-mobile 1900mhz.

Purchasing a Unlocked Cell Phones

The internet makes it possible to find exactly what you need. Google "Unlocked Phones" or "Unlocked Cell Phones" or do a Yahoo! search and You will find that there are 100's of websites specializing in unlocked phones. Two that come right on top in Google and Yahoo! are CellHut and Cellular-Blowout. You can also vist E-bay or amazon. By shopping around you will find the right unlocked cell phone for the right place. Unlocked cell phone can range in prices $35 up to $1,000 plus. So there is something for everyone.
Prepaid cell phones
One last option is to buy a prepaid cell phone. these cell phones are very cheap. Plus this way there is no contract to deal with you just buy minutes. If you like / want AT&T as your carrier they offers monthly plans. So you can get a unlocked cell phone and go to an AT&T store and purchase a SIM card for one month. After a month if you don't like the service or for whatever reason you can go to another carrier. This is a good option if you use your cell phone often because otherwise every time you run out of minutes you will have to run to the store to purchase more.

Note: Unlocked Cell Phones work with GSM Carriers meaning you have to have a sim card carrier to use them. Verizon Alltel or Sprint are CDMA carriers unlocked cell phones will not work with them. Understanding CDMA Cell Phones Technology

What are dual sim phones?

Dual sim means the phone has the ability to take two sim cards. So you can use two different carrier sim cards in one phone. For example if you use AT&T as your personal carrier but your work place gives you a T-Mobile phone. You can take both sim cards put them in a Dual sim phone and carry just one phone insead of two.
For whatever reason you need two different carriers or even the same carrier with two different numbers you can use a Dual Sim Phone.

What are GSM frequency bands and how do they work.

Cell phones aka mobile phones use radio waves to transmit voice and data. These radio waves are transmitted at different frequencies. They work just like regular radio stations transmission do which is at varying frequencies.

GSM cell phones work within four frequencies 850 MHz 900 MHz 1800 MHz 1900 MHz. Although these frequencies seem very close a phone that works in one of these frequency bands will not work on another band unless that second band is present in the phone. For example if you have a phone that has 900/1800 it will only work on networks that uses these two frequencies. It will not work on any network that uses 850/1900 frequencies. By network I mean the physical medium service providers (at&t and t-mobile in the US) use to move voice and data that is transmitted by their customers.

Example to explain frequencies bands: Let’s equate frequency bands with language. In general they work in a similar fashion.

850 = English
900 = German
1800 = French
1900 = Spanish

The cell phone would equal a person. If the person speaks all four languages he/she can communicate with anyone that speaks any of these languages. If he/she only speaks three languages he/she will be able to communicate with three others who speak his/her language so on and so forth…

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