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Unlocking Service for Smartphones

 
Cellphones supplied by Mobile Network Providers (carriers) commonly come locked to those carriers. The locked phones only work with those carriers; they cannot be used with another carrier's service. The Unlocking Service is to release the cell phones from such restriction. If a cell phone is unlocked, it can be used on other carriers’ network that is compatible with your cell phone’s wireless communication system. If your cell phone is for GSM and WCDMA systems, you may get a lot of advantages from the unlocking because the communication systems are very common in both European and Asian countries.
 

If your cell phone has been unlocked,

 

You can use your current phone with other carriers.

You can switch to another carrier’s service without changing the handset. You do not have to buy a new expensive phone.

Unlock service is recommended those who want to change their carrier but do NOT want to

  • change your phone,
  • be bound by a two-year contract, or
  • sign a two-year contract with a new carrier to get a good deal on cell phones.

You can use your phone in Japan or Europe without int'l roaming

You can use your unlocked phone in Japan or Europe without paying high international roaming fees to your carrier.

When you travel in foreign countries, you may make a call using international roaming service that cost you a lot of money.  You can enjoy long distance calls at lower cost, much cheaper than roaming if you can use a local prepaid SIM card with your phone.  All you have to do is to insert a local SIM card into your unlocked phone. For visitors to Japan, we provide JAPAN SIM card that enables you to use Japanese phone number and Japanese local airtime rate. For the details, see JAPAN SIM card page.

Foreign cellphones can be also used in USA

Even Softbank phone or iPhone you have used in Japan can work in USA without international roaming. You do not have to make a two-year contract with US local carriers.

It may be the best way for short-term residents in the US to unlock your phone you have used in your country and use it with pre-paid SIM card (no annual contract). For example, T-Mobile offers 1500 Talk & Text (with 30 MB of data) for only $30, Unlimited Talk, Text & Web (first 100 MB at up to 4G speeds) for only $ 50. You get unlimited calls to landlines in over 50 countries, unlimited texting to any mobile in over 200 countries, and discounted calling to landlines and mobile phones in over 150 countries with extra $10.

How to unlock your cellphone

There are three methods to unlock iPhones.

  • Insert an unlock chip into your iPhone together with a SIM card - The unlock chip fakes the iPhone being unlocked, but is restricted to specific iOS and baseband versions. Updating the iOS and baseband may lose its bite.
  • Jailbreak your phone and install unlocking software on it - This voids Apple's warranty and increases security risk.
  • Factory (IMEI - International Mobile Equipment Identifier) Unlock - No Jailbreak, no chip added. Unlocked status will be never changed even if iOS and baseband are updated.

We recommend Factory (IMEI) unlock for iPhones. Please see here for details of iPhone Factory Unlock.

The factory unlock does not damage iPhones at all. If you jailbreak iPhone, it is recommended not to update OS or Modem. Updating OS after the jailbreak may give you serious trouble.