By Frank Ling
At one time or another you’ve probably heard about devices called unlocked phones. If you’ve wondered what they are, what unlocked phones do, and where to get one, you’ve come to the right place.
We’ll give you information about how much they cost, who may need one, and what the benefits of owning one are. So if you want the key to finding out what unlocked phones are all about, keep on reading!
Mobile phones that can be connected to different wireless carriers are called unlocked phones. These phones accept SIM cards from any mobile phone company as long as they operate on compatible mobile networks. About 99% of the world operates on the GSM network standard.
In the U.S. the major wireless carriers that operate on GSM are AT&T and T-Mobile, while Verizon and Sprint run on the CDMA network. All unlockable phones are GSM phones and use SIM cards, while CDMA phones do not.
On the flip-side locked phones are devices that are "locked" to only one wireless carrier and cannot be switched to another company. So if you own an AT&T locked phone, it cannot operate on T-Mobile, Verizon, or any other network except AT&T. Virtually all mobile phones sold by wireless carriers are locked. More...